Learn About BobCAD CAM Products

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balazar
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2015 3:42 am

Re: Learn About BobCAD CAM Products

Post by balazar » Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:53 pm

I just bought a package with V27 3 Axes standard and Bobart. It was a little intimidating when I was first getting started, but now I am starting to become proficient with the CAD and CAM aspects of the software. I had only used Sketchup and Inkscape before. I have used the phone tech support that I get for 45 days with the initial purchase of the product twice and they were ok. It took about 30 minutes for a reply phone call each time. For me that is acceptable. The shapes library and cad history tree have really helped me model things much faster. The help topics (help menu) is also pretty good. I have only had to ask a few questions. Everything that I have encountered is mostly covered in the help topics.

The only caveat that I have found so far; It is poor at managing resources. When calculating a big cam job or generating an emboss it will only use 2 threads. I have a 3.4ghz i7 with 16gb of system memory a 2gb dedicated graphics card and I'm running off of a solid state hard drive. Even when I assign a higher affinity to the bobcad process it will at most use 18% of my cpu (2 cores) and doesn't even put a dent in my ram, but it will sit there and grind on the process for several minuets or longer if it is complex. Yes I am using the 64bit version on Windows 8.1 64bit. Some times if it's a really big cam job like say, an intricate v-carve it will just lock up. Though I have found that this is usually because of bad geometry. [edit] It just locks up on things I can easily run through Fusion 360~ - You may need to clean up your geometry and there are tools for this. [edit] shouldn't have to use a cleanup tool to engrave fonts packaged with the software because they randomly brake.~ The solution to this that the tech support guy showed me, is that you must break up your cam job into multiple parts. The layers system helps with this. I ran into a little trouble with this doing a v-carve. I had to create borders to separate sections and that resulted in a carving that looks different than the original and requires extra finishing. I feel like there are so many ways to do things that there must be a better way to do it. I am still learning and there may be something super simple here that I am overlooking. [edit] After a year with the software and trying a variety of other software, I now know that I was naive the think that I was just doing things wrong. This software really is junk. I just didn't have anything to compare it to at the time I originally wrote this post. The touted features for ease of use are really basics that just about all of the competing software has as basic stuff. Everything that BobART does can easily be accomplished with free software that is popular in this community. With less headache to boot! The errors this software comes up with are just downright bad development. You will get cam errors using tools from the default tool library because the way it rounds numbers when calculating a radius is flawed at best. You may have to mess with the number rounding settings for a hour before you can get something to work. Oh and it may just lockup on you for no reason, and the way it displays graphics is grossly inefficent. Even with a monster video card you may freeze up the program after doing a hand full of fillets.

I would like to do some of the training but it's very expensive. I wish I could watch the recorded webinars on a pay per webinar basis say $10 each. That way I could watch the ones that pertain to what I need to learn without my wife (accountant) becoming furious. Our shop is small, CNC is only a small part of what we do at this point and buying Bobcad, even at a discount was a very big investment for us. CNCzone has a forum that is just for bobcad and I have found a lot of useful stuff there. [edit] mostly people as furious as me that they payed so much for a software package that would still be passed up if they marketed it for $30 on the shelf at Wal-Mart.

As far as the capabilities of the software, with bobart I am doing things that would be nearly impossible with meshcam art. [edit] Meshcam + any free vector editor would be just as good if not better because it won't crash, lockup and throw errors every five minutes. using textures, wrapping a model with an emboss, creating an emboss from a vector, or even just a photo! [edit] I was pretty excited about that but it turns out that the vector conversion is not that great. There are free vector editors that work much better. You must also trick your post processor to get cam to work with a wrapped engrave on a 4th axis or pay even more for 4th axis. The cam wizard is really strait forward and has illustrations to help you understand what all of the perimeters do. I make small boxes with carvings on them. I can copy and paste a cam tree from one file to another and just reassign the cam features to the new geometry. This allows me to quickly use the same milling/cam strategy from file to file when making new carvings. I can also use a solid model as the milling stock and see what a carving will look like on a box that I have already created. The simulation is awesome! I have saved so much time and material because of the sim that I have run out of firewood lol! [edit] Yeah most cam packages will do that stuff. Fusion 360 will do it much better and for free not to mention without a barrage of errors to deal with. You can edit geometry easily and there are even tools to fix "dirty" geometry. You can select geometry and have it delete duplicates, clean up curves for efficiency, and so on. So far every geometry problem that I have had could easily be cleaned up with the automatic tools. SOOO much easier than zooming in on everything looking for open geometry. [edit] Most other CAD/CAM packages produce clean geometry to start with. So yet again I was being naive in thinking that the tools to fix the massive amount of geometry errors that BobCAD spews forth was a top of the line feature.

All in all I would say that I am pretty impressed with Bobcad-cam + Bobart and I would recommend it. For $100 more than meshcam art you get a package with cad and much better cam. You will need to learn the software though. Meshcam is easy. My grandmother could figure out meshcam on the first use. Bobcad has a little bit more of a learning curve but you get a lot more power. Every time I use the program I learn something new and I don't find myself feeling frustrated very often like I did with other software. I hope this helps you guys if you are in the decision making process right now. I can say that I don't have buyers remorse. I like the product and this is my honest opinion.

[edit] My honest opinion after owning and using this software for over a year and also trying several other popular packages from other companies: BobCAD is a scam. They charge you $600 for the basic package, but only after haggling with them. Then you find out that support costs a boatload, training costs even more, and to do the things that other software like Fusion 360 does for free, you will need to cough up even more to unlock the licenses for toolpaths that should be included in the basic package. BobCAD doesn't even give you "pencil" toolpaths unless you pay more. Meshcam and Fusion 360 both have them and more. I had once incident where my hard drive died. After replacing it and reinstalling Windows and the BobCAD Software they wanted to charge me $50 to reactivate my license! How outrageous is that? I also had to pay $100 to transfer my license to the poor sucker that bought it from me when I was finally able to get rid of it. Now I feel guilty of screwing him with the cursed software. I know I have Karma coming to me for it :evil: If you don't believe me just do a google search really quick for BobCAD reviews. Amazon has some really scary stories about how others have been burned. I don't think I have ever seen a product with more one star reviews. [RANT]I know that their sales rep is on these forums from time to time. He offers discounts on old versions. I hope that he reads this because I have a message for him: Your business is built on ripping off startups and entrepreneurs. That is obvious from the amount of bad press you have all over the internet. Your marketing scheme is blasted by hundreds of people that were burned, some of them much worse than me. I hope that you sir will eventually find peace, happiness, and abundance. Because I know that you must be swimming in your own hell every time that you close your eyes knowing what your hands have been soiled with, just to make a buck.
Last edited by balazar on Tue Apr 05, 2016 1:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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izumi5188
Posts: 64
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2014 7:38 pm
Location: Madison, WI

Re: Learn About BobCAD CAM Products

Post by izumi5188 » Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:47 am

I have the V24 and it works well for me. Al has been very helpful when I come across issues.
-IzumI-
Shapeoko 2 : With Works Kit and 1000mm Expansion
Upgrade with X-Carve, Acme Screw kit, and X-Controller

aldepoalo
Posts: 81
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:34 pm

Tools For Guitar Neck Design

Post by aldepoalo » Thu Feb 19, 2015 7:06 pm

This is part 1 in a 4 part video

http://youtu.be/NLk9VQxkWEI
Image
Al DePoalo
Partner Products Manager
866-408-3226 X147
BobCAD CAM, Inc.

aldepoalo
Posts: 81
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:34 pm

Tools For Guitar Neck Roughing

Post by aldepoalo » Thu Feb 19, 2015 7:08 pm

This is part 2 in a 4 part video

http://youtu.be/bRgUdiTM6fU
Image
Al DePoalo
Partner Products Manager
866-408-3226 X147
BobCAD CAM, Inc.

aldepoalo
Posts: 81
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:34 pm

Tools For Guitar Neck Semi Finishing

Post by aldepoalo » Thu Feb 19, 2015 7:15 pm

This is part 3 in a 4 part video

http://youtu.be/1kyzGAtRnzU
Image
Al DePoalo
Partner Products Manager
866-408-3226 X147
BobCAD CAM, Inc.

aldepoalo
Posts: 81
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:34 pm

Tools For Guitar Neck Finishing

Post by aldepoalo » Thu Feb 19, 2015 7:25 pm

This is part 4 in a 4 part video

http://youtu.be/-YVIcQbMOHY
Image
Al DePoalo
Partner Products Manager
866-408-3226 X147
BobCAD CAM, Inc.

T3PRanch
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2012 2:34 am

Re: Learn About BobCAD CAM Products

Post by T3PRanch » Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:44 am

aldepoalo wrote:It's been a while so I thought I would post an update. I am still offering the V24 promotion for this community. If anyone is interested let me know.

Al
I AM interested! 8-)

Thurmond

chonkat
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2015 6:53 pm

Re: Learn About BobCAD CAM Products

Post by chonkat » Sun Mar 01, 2015 10:46 pm

Me too! Will try the trial first though.

seeker0843
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 4:05 pm

Re: Learn About BobCAD CAM Products

Post by seeker0843 » Mon Mar 02, 2015 5:05 pm

I am interested

T3PRanch
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2012 2:34 am

Re: Learn About BobCAD CAM Products

Post by T3PRanch » Mon Mar 09, 2015 3:57 pm

Where can one obtain a download of V24 for a quick look? The site only offers V27 which I assume is different than V24 in several if not many respects.

Thurmond

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