A handful of questions

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awesomename
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:49 pm

A handful of questions

Post by awesomename » Wed Mar 05, 2014 12:19 am

First of all, I am very sorry if this is in the wrong subforum.

If this topic needs to be moved or split up please let me know, or do so.

I am fairly experienced in 3d modeling with 3ds max and Sketchup but I am now moving into the role of needing to prototype or manufacture small quantities or parts for myself.

I am mostly cutting Sheets of G10-fr4 or Carbon Fiber in thickness' less than 3mm.

I don't have any real experience with getting the 2d/3d files into a format the router can cut and follow. I've been watching random tutorials and reading so much but it's overwhelming.

I am hoping someone can help me with a direct path of least resistance. I can handle the mechnical and electrical wiring on the Shapeoko and I plan on using the Dewalt DW660 and the nema 23 stepper motors.

My questions are:

What is the best CAM/tooling software and gcode sending software that is easy to use or completely automated that is free, or close to free for windows (or linux if I really have to).

What kind of bits should i be using to cut this material? Keep in mind some of my cuts are as small as 2mm screw holes.

Any suggestions or step by step tutorials for using the software and getting my 2d drawings to the machine?

Thank you.

WillAdams
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Re: A handful of questions

Post by WillAdams » Wed Mar 05, 2014 12:44 am

awesomename wrote:First of all, I am very sorry if this is in the wrong subforum.

If this topic needs to be moved or split up please let me know, or do so.
We're not too fussy about that sort of thing here.
I am fairly experienced in 3d modeling with 3ds max and Sketchup but I am now moving into the role of needing to prototype or manufacture small quantities or parts for myself.

I am mostly cutting Sheets of G10-fr4 or Carbon Fiber in thickness' less than 3mm.
Sounds like a good fit.
I don't have any real experience with getting the 2d/3d files into a format the router can cut and follow. I've been watching random tutorials and reading so much but it's overwhelming.
It feels that way for a while, but eventually it starts to click.

<snip>
What is the best CAM/tooling software and gcode sending software that is easy to use or completely automated that is free, or close to free for windows (or linux if I really have to).
I'm not going to vouchsafe best, but if the license suits, there are some plug-ins for SketchUp which bear investigation --- see the Commercial software wiki page: http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/ ... are#3D_CAD --- you'll want to look up phlatscript, sketchup-svg-outline-plugin and SketchUCAM --- there are some tutorials listed there as well.

List of other options farther down on that page for CAM, and there is a page of opensource options.

GrblController which has a native Windows executable available.
What kind of bits should i be using to cut this material? Keep in mind some of my cuts are as small as 2mm screw holes.
AIUI, neither material you mentioned has any especial requirements in terms of tooling (though there are some incredibly expensive options, see http://www.carbidedepot.com/exactaform- ... mills.aspx ), so you should start w/ good quality carbide bits in suitable diameters --- http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/ ... #End_mills
Any suggestions or step by step tutorials for using the software and getting my 2d drawings to the machine?
We've got some tutorials on the wiki:

http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/ ... orkflow_2D
http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/ ... orkflow_3D
http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/ ... s_Tutorial
http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/ ... e/MakerCAM

and I've tried to link the ones which I've found --- look through the software lists and pages.
Shapeoko 3XL #0006 w/ Carbide Compact Router w/0.125″ and ¼″ Carbide 3D precision collets

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