Confused on workflow

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BigRez
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Confused on workflow

Post by BigRez » Fri Jan 16, 2015 4:03 pm

I need some advice on workflow. Up until now, I've just been cutting basic shapes with Easel. I would like to use SolidWorks to design projects. However, I'm confused on how to go from Solidworks to milling.

This is what I've got so far:

Solidworks-> ? -> MakerCAM -> UniversalGCode

My questions are:
Is this correct?
Is there a file format I can save my Solidworks parts into that I can import directly into MakerCAM?
Should I even use MakerCAM?
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WillAdams
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Re: Confused on workflow

Post by WillAdams » Fri Jan 16, 2015 4:14 pm

MakerCAM is intended to accept SVG files, say from Inkscape as documented here: http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Software

Basically what one does is:

- CAD --- design file, save a file which one's CAM tool will accept
- CAM --- accepts design files, creates G-Code
- Comm/Control --- sends G-Code to the machine

ISTR that Solidworks has some sort of integrated CAM option --- check the forums and the commercial page on the wiki: http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/ ... l_Software
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twforeman
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Re: Confused on workflow

Post by twforeman » Fri Jan 16, 2015 4:53 pm

I don't know much about MakerCAM, so I don't know if it does 3D or not, but my work flow would be export the part from SolidWorks as an STL file and then use MeshCAM or FreeMIll to generate the 3D surfacing g-code.

FreeMill is actually free and works surprisingly well.
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MGarber
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Re: Confused on workflow

Post by MGarber » Sun Mar 08, 2015 4:06 pm

twforeman wrote: FreeMill is actually free and works surprisingly well.
I thought Freemill was a plugin that only worked in conjuction with a couple of CAD pkgs.

mg

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Re: Confused on workflow

Post by twforeman » Mon Mar 09, 2015 1:37 am

FreeMill requires you to install VisualCad, but you don't need to buy a license for it. It works pretty well too.
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