Blendercam and Shapeoko Anyone doing this?

CrazyBillybob
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Blendercam and Shapeoko Anyone doing this?

Post by CrazyBillybob » Wed Mar 19, 2014 2:48 pm

Hi guys,

I've been trying to find some software that works well with the Shapeoko. But I don't want to have to take out a second mortgage on my house to buy it. I know there's maker cam and it work's well but I've hit I was wanting to try some doing some 3D work. I've found Blender for 3D modeling and found out there is a plugin/fork (not sure which it really is) that does CNC/ CAM as well. I just wondered if anyone had gotten it to work with the shapeoko and how it did. Was it easy to configure for the Shapeoko? are there any tutorials/how to guides out there that your recommend? I'm coming into this having used Autocad and 3dstudio Max for a while. So I'm trying to learn blender and then the cam part of it.

Thanks,
CBB

WillAdams
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Re: Blendercam and Shapeoko Anyone doing this?

Post by WillAdams » Wed Mar 19, 2014 2:55 pm

If anyone has been successful, they've not mentioned it here.

I do have a link to a Blender tutorial from the CAD page: http://www.rab3d.com/tut_blender.php

I've gotten as far as installing Blender a couple of times, but the 3D modeling tools (along w/ electronics) mystify me --- hoping at some point something will ``click''. Until then, I'll have to limp along w/ FreeHand, Inkscape, MakerCAM and OpenSCAD.
Shapeoko 3XL #0006 w/ Carbide Compact Router w/0.125″ and ¼″ Carbide 3D precision collets
Nomad 883 Pro #596 (bamboo)

mohinder
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Joined: Wed May 21, 2014 1:00 pm

Re: Blendercam and Shapeoko Anyone doing this?

Post by mohinder » Wed May 21, 2014 1:50 pm

Hi everyone!
I started yesterday using blenderCAM, but as first impression all i can say is that the lack of documentation is huuuuge :evil: ! Anyway, i'm curretly designing a curved piece of wood which will be cut out of a 2 cm (= 0.787401575 inches) thick wooden board.I first designed the part with freecad, exported it with .obj extesion, imported to blender cam and tried a couples of "CAM strategies" to cut it by stepping down 1 mm for each layer. I don't know why, but i'm getting just ona layer and nothing more. If anyone can help...that would be great!

Greetings to everyone (and sorry for my english, is not my native language)

Llamas
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Re: Blendercam and Shapeoko Anyone doing this?

Post by Llamas » Wed May 21, 2014 5:23 pm

I'm afraid that I've only had the same, not-great introductory experience with BlenderCAM. I haven't been motivated to push through the learning phase because my current FreeCAD --> STEP file --> HeeksCNC --> G-Code toolchain has been working for me. I think I checked out Blender/BlenderCAM when trying to get something from SKP into a form I could work with...

In any case, I could probably help out with HeeksCNC if the on-line help isn't enough.

mohinder
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Re: Blendercam and Shapeoko Anyone doing this?

Post by mohinder » Thu May 22, 2014 6:39 am

Thank LIamas for the reply.
From the quick investigation i did on Blander Cam i'd say that it seems a good solution for "complicated" projects (where you need to approach the milling by scanning the whole surface) but that it's bad suited for "simple" tasks, such cutting/engraving simple shapes (well, perhaps it's just me doing something wrong :? ). Of course we can only expect great improvements from the blender team, they do great work!
I didn't know about the existance of HeeksCAD/CAM. I'm downloading it right now. I hope this will be THE solution!

mohinder
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Re: Blendercam and Shapeoko Anyone doing this?

Post by mohinder » Fri May 23, 2014 8:22 am

Tried out HeeksCNC...it's just great the chain freecad->HeeksCNC->G-Code. I just needed a while to figure out how to extract sketches form faces and how to correct the imported sketches by splitting and reordering them. Since i started learining cad/cam softwares for my shapeoko, this seems the best way to proceed. Let me know if you make some improvements with BlenderCam. I'will put it aside for a while i guess.

SCW
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Re: Blendercam and Shapeoko Anyone doing this?

Post by SCW » Sat May 24, 2014 4:38 am

I couldn't get HEEKS to work on my system (LinuxCNC / Ubuntu 10.04 LTS); it keeps crashing and some of the icons are missing/inactive. I've tried other 3D CAD packages (FreeCAD / QCAD etc) and exported to PyCAM, but I kept getting spurious paths or paths missing. I then looked at Blender - a huge program with seemingly endless options. I've spent a few hours working through the Blender and BlenderCam tutorials:

http://cgcookie.com/blender/cgc-courses ... beginners/

and a very small video for BlenderCAM here:

http://blendercam.blogspot.co.uk/p/tutorials.html - the resolution is very low, but you can follow if you have BlenderCAM running alongside for reference.

I've only tried a couple of examples, but there seems to be good options for specifying tool types and safety margins. The g-code is generated and saved directly out of blender and can be run directly on the Universal G-code Sender app once the remarks are removed from the first couple of lines (this is just for safety as sometimes the UGS complains that a line of text is too long). As you would expect, the visualiser generates correctly and I can follow the progress with the yellow marker; so far, everything seems to work normally.

This is a really steep learning curve for me as I've never used Blender, CAD, CAM or CNC before, but I think that it is possible to produce some excellent work using this system. I plan to persist for a few more days and see what sort of results I can get.

mohinder
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Joined: Wed May 21, 2014 1:00 pm

Re: Blendercam and Shapeoko Anyone doing this?

Post by mohinder » Tue May 27, 2014 7:12 am

Hi SCW! I also tried HeeksCam/cnc on my ubuntu partition and also had frequent crashes. I didn't even try to solve the problem, i switched to windows and it worked just fine! I have just a minor problem now, sometimes UniversalGcodesender crashes while the shapeoko is running (rare but extremely annoying problem), I don't now if it's a problem of my jre, my windows or what...
Please keep us posted with your developments in BlenderCam, and if during one rainy boring afternoon you don't know what to do...make some tutorials ;) ;) ;)

SCW
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Joined: Thu May 15, 2014 3:44 pm

Re: Blendercam and Shapeoko Anyone doing this?

Post by SCW » Sat May 31, 2014 8:08 am

Hi mohinder

I have been trying to get to grips with Blender, but there annoyingly, there are features apparently missing that CAD users would normally expect, such as Align and Distribute, accurate measurements in mm (I can't yet find of way of resetting the measurements after re-sizing an object - it maintains a scale and original measurements, maybe it's something to do with Global and Local?). It does appear to work well with the GCode (BlenderCAM 2.69) but if I can measure them properly, I cannot make accurate enough models! So I have decided to investigate FreeCAD.

I have tried Heeks via Wine, but that was no better...

What version of Java do you have installed and what is your Universal Gcode Sender version? My Java is 0.48Ubuntu 2 with openjdk-7-JRE- and the UGS is v1.0.7 and I've not had any problems (yet!)

toomuchcookies
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Re: Blendercam and Shapeoko Anyone doing this?

Post by toomuchcookies » Sun Jun 01, 2014 9:06 pm

Hi, just within this negativity, i'd like to remark, that i've been using blendercam for both 2,5-D and 3D milling operations now and i think it's great. Also, please be aware, that blender is no cad program by any means. It has a very freeform approach, so an earlier cad plugin was not able to follow through. Blendercam only introduces cam functionalities to blender, so if you want to design your parts parametrically, then most probably you'd have to do that outside of blender (in hopes that freecad might one day become viable), then import the mesh (stl works best) into blender to define all the necessary cam operations.

I'd like to know what problems your having with the cam part of blendercam. Maybe i can help.

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