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What Software is req'd for Workbee

Discussion in 'CAM' started by Shannon Dupré, Sep 1, 2019.

  1. Shannon Dupré

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    I am a new to cnc's. I just bought bought the Ooznest Workbee 1000x1000mm, screw driven, black anodise, w/ dust shoe, w/Makita router, wifi connectivity, with no CAM software, from a great guy who probably had one to many hobbies. It's still in the boxes! Brand new, with only the z "thing" that has been barely assembled. I am trying to understand this new world through the net. So if you don't mind, I will be inquiring here on this forum , to you all who can bare with me, for answers. It's very new to me but I am sure it will become very interesting and for sure, time consuming.
    Here is where I get confused in my attempt in learning the basics of cnc's.
    From what I read for my Workbee, It seem that the Duet is doing two functions, it is controlling and it is a CAM at the same time? Or it is a CAD at the same time?
    Do I need to buy Mach3? (which I hastily already purchased on line as a download) I can have Fusion 360 for free up to 1 year. Do I need this? Some web sites mention that Fusion 360 is a CAD and a CAM at the same time? Is it?
    When I type in on the net "is Mach3 a CAM" , the first search pop up says that it is a CAD/CAM.....?
    Question #1 Can you please clear up my confusion with this, I need to know what to buy to complete the kit and to search for some kind of online training.
    Question #2 Can I run all this with a laptop Toshiba Satelite C-40D-A, on Windows 10, with 64bits?
    Thanks
     
  2. Gary Caruso

    Gary Caruso OpenBuilds Team
    Staff Member Moderator Builder

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    Hi Shannon,
    The Duet is a controller (hardware) and drivers all on one board.
    The controller takes the G-code commands from your control software on your laptop and interprets them to pulses for the drivers which actually powers the motors.
    Oozznest has excellent videos for assembly, I would recommend watching those and taking inventory of what you have or need and start there.
    Check out the Ooznest YouTube Channel.
    (the blue text are links to product pages)
    Duet has their own control software, no need for Mach3
    Your laptop will run it fine.

    The workflow is like this;
    Computer aided drawing (CAD) software on your pc, make drawing of your part, this can be Fusion360
    Computer aided machining (CAM) software on your pc, makes the g-code from the drawing, Fusion360 also does this.
    Control software (Duet Web control) talks to your control board and sends g-code to it, in this case Duet.

    There are many options for software other than Fusion360 from Free to very $$$, Fusion360 is very good but very steep learning curve if never used CAD/CAM before.
    We are always here to help, it is our pleasure!
    Cheers
    Gary
     
  3. Alex Chambers

    Alex Chambers Veteran
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    Hi Shannon, @Gary Caruso has covered the basics, but feel free to ask any questions about the Duet or Fusion (there are people here who are expert on Fusion - I've been using it for 6 months and like it a lot). It is free for non-commercial use.
    If you have questions about the workbee or Duet let us know what version of the firmware you are using - there have been changes lately that can lead to confusion.
    Alex.
     
  4. Shannon Dupré

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  5. Shannon Dupré

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    Thanks Gary and Alex for your response. I will be looking into the suggested sites and links. As I said it is all very new to me. I am a woodworker by trade and there is a portion of my work where a small cnc can help me with certain tasks and creativity. My shop workload is maxed out till Christmas, so I don't think I will start any serious assembly till 2020. Until then I will take in all info and training online as possible. Thanks again and I will for sure have other questions along the way.
     
  6. Alex Chambers

    Alex Chambers Veteran
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    I think you have to be earning quite a bit before you have to pay for Fusion, so it is worth checking out. One thing to be aware of with the Duet from Ooznest is the G-code is not quite standard (might be changing soon though). I'm on my phone on a train at the moment, but I'll post some links that might be useful this evening or tomorrow.
    Alex.
     
  7. Shannon Dupré

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    Thanks. Apparently less than 100k of revenu related directly to the profession using the Fusion 360 keeps it free of charge for the year. My Workbee was shipped to eastern Canda late April of this year. Duet3d bar code ident. Is Duet 2 Wifi v1.04b. My intension for use of the Workbee is to surface engrave logos, dates and names for family related events, reunions, anniversaries etc. On wooden creations such as cutting boards, corporate table service trays, table seating name plates etc. So I think that this will require quit the basic software. Most logos will be available for copy and transfer with italics, font al mostly being a common task for the cnc's capacity. I'll look into this. Thanks
     
  8. Alex Chambers

    Alex Chambers Veteran
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    It's not just the first year with Fusion, I've only really been using it for about 6 months, but I've had a free license for over 18 months. If you are looking to engrave signs look at Fengrave - I have not really used it much but it looks as though it would be ideal for what you want to do.
    Alex.
     
  9. phil from seattle

    phil from seattle Well-Known
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    Hi Shannon, I do a lot of woodworking and got my CNC (small CBeam, but will probably move to a larger one, maybe a workbee) to help up my game. I'm using it to make a lot of templates for hand routing. But also started making a few signs. F-Engrave is very much worth looking at. It doesn't hold your hand so you have to stumble around with it a bit. It took me a few days to really figure it out but for lettering, simple "engraving" and simple designs/logos, it really is worthwhile learning. I make a lot of small boxes (jewelry, keepsake, wine, ...) and am going to start adding engraved accents in the top. I'm experimenting with Celtic Knots right now. F-Engrave is pretty capable in that area.

    You may also want to get something to do graphic design (as opposed to Fusion360). I'm using Affinity Design ($50, a real steal) but you could also use Inkscape for free. One thing these are good for is you can load an image (drawing, photo, what ever) and then essentially trace over it to get a "vector drawing" that you can then use a CAM application to convert to GCode. Or you can just export it as a PNG file for F-Engrave.

    The reality for me is that there are multiple "CAD" programs that I use to create the basic idea and then several CAM programs that I use to create the GCode.
     
  10. Shannon Dupré

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    Thanks Alex. I'll look into F engrave as you mention.
     
  11. Shannon Dupré

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    Hi Phil and thanks for the reply. I also make and sell keepsake boxes and jewelry boxes with inlay and marquetry. Long work hours but fun to do, but I need to start making better profits in relation to the time it take to produce unique designs, and hopefully thats what the cnc will do for my creations. Multiple productions of unique designs.
     
  12. phil from seattle

    phil from seattle Well-Known
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    I'm lucky to not have to make a living at it. If I did though, I would probably look into getting a really rigid CNC machine that you can push hard - i.e. run fast - and software that allows you to create efficient tool paths. F-Engrave is pretty good for what it does but creates lots of short moves that probably aren't necessary. I'm fussing with Celtic Knots for the tops of some boxes and even ones I've drawn to be super clean have lots of unnecessary moves which translates into longer machine time. I redrew one in sketchup and used sketchucam to create more efficient GCode which took about 1/2 the time to run on my CBeam. Unfortunately Sketchup isn't the best tool for creating that kind of design.

    For a production shop, I think it's really hard to get a handle on what kind of throughput you will get from a given machine without just trying it. Makes selecting the right machine challenging. I love my CBeam but have to run it with a fairly small DOC to get good clean cuts. That means a lot longer run times. I could see using it to do simple designs but more complex (ie lots of cuts) might just take too long to be economic. For my level of "production" (think Santa's Workshop) though, it's not bad at all. Of course, the trick is to find the right balance.
     
    #12 phil from seattle, Sep 3, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
    Peter Van Der Walt likes this.
  13. Shannon Dupré

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    I just stumbled on the Workbee not not knowing completely what I was buying. I think I'm going to be OK for what I need. It'll be put to work in my shop for only a maximum of 10 maybe 15% of total productions hopefully. This may sound optimistic but the learning and handling to get this cnc working for me has to be quick and easy. KISS is my moto for this project. I really can't have this become a full time hobby. All the input I get here will be very usefull, and like you say, I have to try it to find out.
     

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