CAM recommendations, needs to be very simple
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  1. #1
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    Default CAM recommendations, needs to be very simple

    Hi everyone,

    I'm looking to replace two Mitsubishi TC8 lathes with Meldas 300 controls. They're only used for very simple turning work. Looking for recommendations on a CAM software to pair with the 2 new lathes that is extremely quick, intuitive, and simple. Hopefully similar to the current Meldas controls, if that's even possible.

    Currently I have GibbsCAM that I use for more complicated machining, but I don't think that's a good fit for the guy who runs these mitsubushi lathes. I'm willing to buy new CAM software if it's a good fit for the type of work we do on these lathes.

    Thanks in advance!

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    this is the cheapest and simplest cam system I've come across,

    36746751692_f2c332191c_z.jpg


    Your Welcome.

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    Machine doesn't have conversational programming?

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    with a couple days working with the canned cycles you well find out that finger cam is easy and fast for simple lathe parts ... I write a cheat sheet for the programs and just cut and copy then change parts of the program you need for the new parts... most of a lathe program is just start safety lines , tool call and RPM lines , ETC

    So once you get most of the G&M codes set for a tool its just changing the X and Z numbers to what you need .. The first program you write by hand well take a few hours but after you see how to build a program it goes faster and best of all you can change code your self once you get it made ,,, that's the pain with Cam ,, you can kinda get stuck running what the cam software gives you ,,

    Well most controls run G & M code it changes with controller's and machine builders ,, but Haas write a lot of great training manuals you can learn from then just change the few codes for what ever control you end up getting ,,,

    Trust me hand programming is faster to learn than operating and learning a Fanuc control ..

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    I use OneCNC lathe expert. I like it's template system for remembering and applying a previously used machining strategy and tool. Just pick the new part profile and bam, the code is ready.

    Finger coding probably makes the most concise code, but also contains the most dumb blunders of obvious stuff that you simply overlook. With a good post, you'd get pretty safe output right from the CAM.

    I don't create enough new lathe programs to really call myself proficient with it. I usually might have to run through an operation a few times to add this or that to it and to get the toolpath to go far enough, or retract far enough (or stop it from retracting too far) but I think that is just par for the course until they make computers smarter than we are.

    I prefer the 'long code' method for lathe. But OneCNC does have input for some common cycles as well. 'Long code' takes up a lot more machine memory, so if you want to keep a lot of programs onboard the controller, then consider that.

    Because OneCNC treats each lathe operation as a standalone, this permits you to drag and drop operations into any order you like. I often do this, particularly if I am reusing an old program. But be aware that the luxury of drag and drop operations means additional safety lines and safety movements between each operation, so as to avoid inter-op crashes. This can take the annoying form of 3 or 4 extra small movements in the code where the tool retracts in two moves, then comes back in two more moves, where those extra moves could be edited out. So I either choose to do that, or just ignore it if the program will only be run a few times. So while I do not write much lathe code, I do have to carefully understand and read CAM output, to edit out the superfluous moves. It makes me nervous Direct code editing also cannot be 'saved' within CAM in the sense that reposting the program is going to lose the intricate text editing. But you can of course, save the actual edited NC file for permanent usage.

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    Thanks for the replies! I'll definitely take a look at OneCNC.

    I guess I should have clarified, that this CAM wouldn't be for me - I use a combination of g code and gibbscam, depending on the complexity of the part - it's for the guy who runs the two Mitsubishi lathes. He only ever ran conversational lathes, so if I replace the lathes with something that only has g code, I want to pair it with a simple CAM software, or just get 2 lathes with conversational programming. Exploring my options.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bowmaod View Post
    Thanks for the replies! I'll definitely take a look at OneCNC.

    I guess I should have clarified, that this CAM wouldn't be for me - I use a combination of g code and gibbscam, depending on the complexity of the part - it's for the guy who runs the two Mitsubishi lathes. He only ever ran conversational lathes, so if I replace the lathes with something that only has g code, I want to pair it with a simple CAM software, or just get 2 lathes with conversational programming. Exploring my options.
    If you look at Siemens 828 shopturn control, you won't need a cam system.
    Look at youtube for vids (also the previous 810 shopturn control).
    But you would need operator who is willing to learn something new...

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    Another satisfied user of OneCNC. We use XR7 Pro and XR7 Lathe. If you are interested I highly recommend contacting Patrick at OneCNC West. He is extremely knowledgeable and fair.

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    sounds like fusion 360 would be a good match for this. 500/yr

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    I hate to even say this since I am a steadfast cad/cam guy programmer, setup, etc... If you really intend for it just to be simple (no 'short/partial' radii into curves/angles, tapers, spline like forms, etc) why not look at Mazak lathes? No cam needed, might need cad for some endpoints if it is not defined on the print though.

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    There is no need for cam software for simple 2X turning. Notepad and a calculator is all you need. Conversational would be ideal.

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    You can try a fusion 360 trial free, but it it really is simple turning ops, CAM won't help if you can't write the G code by hand, because you'll have no idea if the post is correct when you read through it. No matter what CAM software I'm using at the time, I scroll through the post and picture the moves in my head to make sure they make sense. The only time I don't is on some of my milling programs that exceed a few hundred thousand lines. But, even then I'll search the post for rapids, tool changes, stuff like that, and read several lines above and below. For simple turning, write it out and cut air away from the chuck and see how it looks.

    ETA: Esprit CAM is one of the few I haven't tried, but I think they offer a short free trial as well. I plan on checking it out, if I ever find the time. If anyone has experience with it, I'd like to hear it!


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