Totaly lost Need Direction

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DevinTX
Posts: 94
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:32 pm
Location: Central Texas

Totaly lost Need Direction

Post by DevinTX » Sat Feb 09, 2013 6:17 pm

Every group has its idiot and think I am he.
I finished my build and have played with the"Hello World" and done some name engraving.

Now I want to draw/design some parts and begin living the dream...

1. I am trying to find the drawings for the dw660 spindle mount
2. I want to use sketchup to do drawing but can't seem to get the gcode plugin installed
3. I can't figure out how to convert dxf files to nc (gcode) files

I have looked around and read posts till me eyes bleed.

Can anyone take a min to get me moving the correct direction

Thanks in advance

Devin
ShapeOko # 207 / Dual Y Drive / Acme Upgrade / Belt on outside / Working on expansion

WillAdams
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Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:11 pm
Location: Pennsylvania --- south of the Turnpike, East of US-15
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Re: Totaly lost Need Direction

Post by WillAdams » Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:16 pm

DevinTX wrote: 1. I am trying to find the drawings for the dw660 spindle mount
These are linked to from the wiki: http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/DW660

https://github.com/shapeoko/ShapeOko/bl ... _Mount.zip

but there's also G-code here:

http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/download/file.php?id=1246

But it didn't work well for me. I hand-coded up a file:

http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic ... 9934#p9920

which seems to be a bit better, but I'm still fiddling w/ depth advancement and feeds and speeds.
2. I want to use sketchup to do drawing but can't seem to get the gcode plugin installed
I'd read Inkscape here for Sketchup --- punt.
3. I can't figure out how to convert dxf files to nc (gcode) files
I'm still kind of mystified by that myself. Some pages on it on the wiki:

http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/ ... orkflow_2D
http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/MakerCAM
Last edited by WillAdams on Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Shapeoko 3XL #0006 w/ Carbide Compact Router w/0.125″ and ¼″ Carbide 3D precision collets
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levlandau2
Posts: 187
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:52 am
Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA

Re: Totaly lost Need Direction

Post by levlandau2 » Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:32 pm

For the DW660 see this thread. Everything you need should be there, post a message if you can't get it to work.

The DXF to gcode conversion can be a little tricky, but is doable. I can help you get through it. What CAM software are you using? I recommend downloading CAMBAM to get started. It is a fairly easy way to go.

Give this a try and post if you have issues, we can guide you through them.

DevinTX
Posts: 94
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:32 pm
Location: Central Texas

Re: Totaly lost Need Direction

Post by DevinTX » Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:26 am

Thanks for the direction. I will let you know what happens in the morning

Devin
ShapeOko # 207 / Dual Y Drive / Acme Upgrade / Belt on outside / Working on expansion

glendresser
Posts: 38
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2012 5:45 am

Re: Totaly lost Need Direction

Post by glendresser » Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:46 am

I think all of us feels like an idiot at some point during our foray into something like this!

My 2 cents:
I found that the sketchup plugin didn't produce particularly good g-code. You can't customize it very well. If you're comfortable in Sketchup, then by all means use it for doing your 3D drawings, but use cam software to make gcode out of your dxf. I'd second the Cambam recommendation; it's relatively easy to use and very customizable.

(If you really want to use the sketchup phlatboyz plugin to generate gcode, the most common installation error seems to be putting the ruby scripts in the right location, and took me a while to figure out. Unfortunately, this seems to be different based on OS and version, and there's lots of contradictory information out there. I'm actually not sure where the correct location is, I've got it duplicated in both the Tools folder and the Plugins folder. One of those two locations is correct for me (OSX and Sketchup 8)!).

My first instinct when I started working with CNC stuff was to want to use the sketchup -> gcode script approach, because I was familiar with Sketchup and I liked the idea of being able to do everything in one environment. But after weeks of working with it and not getting the results I wanted, I tried a different approach: 2D drawing tool + CAM software (in my case, Illustrator + Cambam). It's a reasonably efficient workflow and has produced better results for me than generating gcode in sketchup. It'll handle any shape that's essentially a series of flat layers. Of course, at some point, you'll want to incorporate sloped/curved surfaces in your work, and here, you need to use 3D software. For the sorts of modelling I was doing (curved landscape meshes), I found Blender was actually a better fit than Sketchup, though unit conversions were really hairy.

Anyway, I don't want to discourage you from the sketchup gcode plugin, for some people it's obviously a good fit, and now that I've learned as much as I have in cambam, I could probably use the sketchup script and get more out of it now than when I was still learning the concepts. Best of luck!

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