3D solution: FreeCAD and Pycam

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alpha
Posts: 174
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:49 pm

3D solution: FreeCAD and Pycam

Post by alpha » Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:44 pm

I just did test this and it looks like it works good. I was able to create a 3d object in FreeCAD http://sourceforge.net/apps/mediawiki/f ... =Main_Page and I did export it as STL file. Pycam http://pycam.sourceforge.net/ was able to import the STL file and generated some GCODE that worked in CNCSimulator http://www.cncsimulator.com/ (I'm using using Ubuntu 11.04 with Wine).
The next program I want to test is Blender, I did use Blender before - but it it's more for "art" and not so much CAD. At one point there was a CAD plugin, however since the 2.5 and now 2.6 change I don't know yet if there still is something that works... I will post my finding here.

alpha
Posts: 174
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:49 pm

Re: 3D solution: FreeCAD and Pycam

Post by alpha » Thu Apr 26, 2012 7:21 pm

Looks like Blender works very good too. I installed Belnder from here http://www.blender.org/download/get-blender/ and also got this extension http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Exten ... Edge_Slice. I watched this video to understand how to use the mash tools in V2.6: http://blendtuts.com/2010/09/how-to-edi ... lling.html. I did model some small object and saved it as STL file and imported it in Pycam and ran it in CNCSimulator and it worked. I had to tweak the model size and position in Pycam just like for FreeCAD.

jahn
Posts: 75
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 1:22 pm

Re: 3D solution: FreeCAD and Pycam

Post by jahn » Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:07 am

I tried FreeCAD to import CAD drawings of MakerSlide e.g.
http://www.buildlog.net/cnc_laser/erp/g ... 5&type=dxf
but the results does not seem to be correct.
Can anyone check?

AtomSoft
Posts: 589
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:15 pm
Location: Brooklyn NY
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Re: 3D solution: FreeCAD and Pycam

Post by AtomSoft » Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:12 pm

Ive been playing with blender for about a hour and its AWESOME! wow... doesnt use a lot of resources and those video tutorials are superb!

This will be my number one choice in 3D stuff... now to learn how to use it for CNC :) im sure it wont be too hard. :)
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Max Metz
Posts: 240
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 11:55 am

Re: 3D solution: FreeCAD and Pycam

Post by Max Metz » Sat May 26, 2012 3:43 pm

As someone just starting out with cnc stuff I have tested Pycam with Sketchup and it works very well using a rubyscript stl export/import plugin - though the model has to be rescaled in Pycam. I have posted my experience here:
http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=255

Sketchup is very initiative and fast, especially when using a battery-less pen and tablet like a small Wacom - allowing one to 3d model almost as quick as sketching freehand and for many as quick as 2d computer drafting. The sketchucation site has countless Sketchup scripts and parametric models plus there is countless 3d models on Google warehouse.

Sketchup is fast because its a surface concept modeller, although the latest version has boolean capability it still retains a face based underpinning, that said it is extremely accurate. The key to using sketchup is learning how the cursor will respond when pointed at anything in 3d space - its akin to a 3d pencil.

Pycams 3d view, although a little clumsy, still allows one to quickly see if the the sketchup model intent is being maintained, keeping the workflow visual.

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