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  1. #1
    AlexKu is offline Member
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    Guys,

    how do you convert Solidworks file into something that CNC mill would understand? I believe you need to specify a tool path. How do you do it? What software can you use?

    Thanks,
    Alex

  2. #2
    smallshop's Avatar
    smallshop is offline Diamond
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    Alex,

    There are a number of different programs you can use that vary wildly in price and ability. Regardless of which you use you have to plan how you would like to machine the part and then create each toolpath accordingly. One thing you need to determine is what your needs are. If the work you are doing has a lot of organic surfaces you would need a software package that will do a lot of 3d surfacing. If your work is more of a mechanical nature a 2.5d package will work. You can search here to see which price range would best fit your needs.(couple hundred bucks to many thousands) you can download demos to see which software "thinks" closest to the way you do. That will be the one easiest for you......

    I use visualMill and am quite happy with it. I have used Surfcam(hated it) mastercam(loved it) gibbscam(easy to use but odd on the cad end). All three are expensive 13-18k. visualMill (rhinocam pro) is much more reasonable...full 3d for 4.5k. If cost were no object I would also have Mastercam. its ability to create the perfect toolpath for what you need on a particular job is excellent.

    hope this helps.....

  3. #3
    AlexKu is offline Member
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    This is a sample of what I want to be able to mill.
    What would be the least expensive package that can do this kind of 3D milling?



  4. #4
    moldcore is offline Cast Iron
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    BobCad should do it and doesn't cost much. If you're going to do hundreds of different shapes then you may want to consider something more sophisticated ($). Another route would be to pay to have it programmed if you’re only doing a few shapes.

  5. #5
    AlexKu is offline Member
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    I want to be able to mill different shapes and do modifications to current shapes without reworking the whole thing.

    Thanks,
    Alex

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    NW Ohio, USA
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    OneCNCXR2 Mill Advantage and SolidWorks work great for us.

  7. #7
    wiz
    wiz is offline Cast Iron
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    Oct 2004
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    blackstone. ma
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    If you have a machine that can read a dxf file, you could save a solidworks drawing file as a dxf. Hurco, milpower these work great for 2-2.5 d work.
    from a solidworks part file you can save as an iges file. then send that to a cam program for 3d.

    Wiz

  8. #8
    Jeepster is offline Member
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    SolidCam. There are some simple packages out there and you will work with the native SolidWorks file within it. It has been pretty stellar software for us - we use the Lathe, Mill 2D + 3D + 3D engraving.

    The knife looks like a pretty good challenge. I am no pro on machining cutlery, but it seems that you would be building some jigs and fixtures and doing multiple sides. I would not rely much on doing 3D machining on this on a production scale.

    Good luck.

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