File type/ Software/Hardware info needed Groping in the dark for it...
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    Default File type/ Software/Hardware info needed Groping in the dark for it...

    Hello everyone.

    groping in the dark here a bit, and hoping some of you good people may either be able to help, or at least point me in the correct direction. I am looking for info on the machine pictured, its software and file types the software accepts. Sorry do not have name of machine to hand, Possible CamTech...though that could be software name.

    Sorry, I waffle on a bit here, but little blurb here first in way of "setting the scene"

    i will put my actual questions/requests at the end in a numbered list.


    Recently helped a very non-tech savvy friend to order and fit a new laser to the cutting / engraving table as pictured below. Original laser no longer available so a bit of a hack to get it firing with the new laser PSU and variable power control etc.

    It is now working fine, and he is up and running with his business again., using the software on the "built in" Win XP computer.

    But he uses it in the way your Grandmother might use a Video Cassette Recorder " A set of basic instructions, "do this do that, and it will work". He is not massively computer savvy,
    As an example, I sent him a dxf file the other day for laser cutting some thin ply as prototype cuts for some Custom motorcycle parts that will eventually be cut in 5mm. 318 stainless plate at local water jet cutter.
    I sent the file to two different water jet cutting companies to get idea of cost and , they both said, " Yes, file type is good, get back to us when you have final design complete"
    Yet my mate with the laser table, that specified dxf files, said the files I sent him were duff..they were wrong, did not load....I knew he was wrong, as the two other companies could see and load my files correctly. I went to see him. It turned out his computer did not like the non standard file names and characters in them. His machine would only accept the old DOS standard 8.3 format file names. As soon as I renamed the file , it worked fine. That conversation totally lost him. So that gives you an idea of his level at computing.


    It it has taken me maybe a month of pestering him to actually pry the info out of him, that it was a dxf file that I had to send him to load in to his machine. He kept telling me he needed bmp or jpg images. Someone else told me PDF.

    So with my dxf file not working (due long name ) I went to see what more info I could get. He is rather like the "Grandmother with the VCR " I mentioned earlier..."Don't change anything as he will be totally lost"

    Seems what he does is load the dxf file on to the WinXP machine on the laser table with a USB stick, Open it in Corel Draw, take the dimensions off that, Export the file as a .plt file from CorelDraw, then open the plt file in the CamTech software, manually setting dimensions and Home axis settings in Cam Tech from the dimensions he has read manually from CorelDraw. CamTech software then creates an .ncc file to do the cut,

    all seems bloody connvluted to me. And I am sure he is over complicated how he is doing it.

    I have reasonable idea of other hobby open source 3-d printer software, Cura, Slic3r, Repetier etc have been tinkering with home 3-d printers like Creality , MakerBot Prussia and various clones

    So, now to my questions.
    1), Does any one recognise the machine in the pictures
    2), Cam Tech Software, any one come across it ? Helpful links appreciated
    3) Ultimate goal..Fit new PC to it and upgrade software and add router/mill head. Wiring is already there's on the table for the extra axis.

    Any one up for the challenge of that lot ?


    Laser table — Postimage.org


    4-de9494-e-d0-bb-4-f18-aab7-2-af69-eda158-f.jpg

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    Google is your friend....... I feel like a parrot. Please, please , out of courteousness to all of us on this forum, use google first.
    Camtech Solutions | Home
    I'm pretty sure they can both identify your rig and update it for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NeilP View Post
    groping in the dark here a bit
    Blind leading the blind then ...

    A) Your friend is not dinosaur, you are a turkey. (Sorry) You can't expect older computers to understand newer features. If you want everyone to be able to share files, use DOS conventions. If it's yewnix, use underscores. Never any spaces under any circumstances. Don't use control characters. Basic computing 1A. And just to please me, do NOT use fucking docx. God I despise Bill Gates. That prick should be shot at dawn. Or hell, why wait until then ? Let's get the bastard up and do it now.

    B) This might help you understand the process. Actually, if you already have the dxf I think you can skip the Coreldraw portion and go direct to TPCWin (I am asuming that's what he has.)

    YouTube

    Also a manual is here. Reading it, depending on which version of control he has, it looks like there might be more direct approaches to getting him a part program. (Who came up with "toolpathing" ? Puh-lease, gag me with a spoon.)

    TPCWin Manual Part A - Cadserv21's blog

    You should probaly check tho ...

    C) This is partly why PM is not supposed to deal with "hobby" hardware. It's too flaky and unpredictable. This is also why the "pc controls" craze of some time back failed miserably. Peecees are not reliable over a long time span. Everything changes every week. Meanwhile, guys with real nc's can still use antique g-code. It may be antique but it still works, unlike most of the faddish stuff.

    D) About Camtech, as mentioned above, hmmm. They appear to be maybe not the best bet. Discussion here, I don't know if I'll get my peepee wacked for this or not but you seem genuine --

    https://www.*******.com/forums/machi...-software.html

    Ah. No peepee wacking, it just blocks out the name. Has to do with computer numerical control and an area of the earth's surface, 7 letters, hint hint.

    Maybe the wincnc guys are a better source for 'upgrades'.

    E) About "upgrading" the machine, this is a real-world device with motors and stuff. You don't just stick a CD in the slot and double-click "Install". If you try to "upgrade" to some other system there's an 80% chance the machine will never run again. A 10% chance that it will run but not correctly. And maybe a 10% chance that it will finally, after two years of hard work, be almost as useful as it was originally.

    Maybe those wincnc guys (if they still exist, I didn't look) will have a bolt-in newer system that's an improvement, but otherwise, if it works, no matter how cumbersome, just use that until it croaks. Then buy a new machine, preferably not a hobbyist type thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steve-l View Post
    Google is your friend....... I feel like a parrot. Please, please , out of courteousness to all of us on this forum, use google first.
    Camtech Solutions | Home
    I'm pretty sure they can both identify your rig and update it for you.
    Thank you for finding that for me.

    I must admit to not understanding how the hell Google works, in that case, because I have been looking for this on/off since July /August 2018, when I was laid up with broken leg. Tried Google, Bing etc many times. It was only this morning that I finally gave up and wrote this post.
    Searched the net, internal searches of this forum using Google Advanced tags “site:.....” search

    I had begun to think they were a defunct company and the only hope was finding archived and historic software

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    Hmmm
    Just followed your link...


    Their front page...

    Tech Solutions
    CAM Tech Solutions started in year 2013 with a goal to offer cost effective software with and latest technology


    2013..... hmmmm... this is going to be a company with the same name I fear

    WinXP had any support dropped in 2014, Even Win7 started in 2008-09. This machine and it’s software is way older than that, hence the 8.3 file naming issues

    Back to square one, I will fire them an e-mail, but I fear this is nothing to do with them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EmanuelGoldstein View Post
    Blind leading the blind then ... .
    Yes which is why I came here for help





    Quote Originally Posted by EmanuelGoldstein View Post
    You can't expect older computers to understand newer features. If you want everyone to be able to share files, use DOS conventions. If it's yewnix, use underscores. Never any spaces under any circumstances.
    I don' expect that, just forget really
    I use cmd line, SSH, terminal access to my headless systems in the home that run home lighting HA-Bridge and RTLSDR servers etc regularly. Understand about underscores or 'backslash Space" for non conventional file names when using CMD line etc. He has modern Apple Mac, I had not explored in any detail how he transferred his files from the Mac to the Win XP machine before . You get so used to using descriptive file names now.it just slipped my mind





    Quote Originally Posted by EmanuelGoldstein View Post
    And just to please me, do NOT use fucking docx. God I despise Bill Gates. That prick should be shot at dawn. Or hell, why wait until then ? Let's get the bastard up and do it now..
    I Don't have any modern Windows computers, certainly nothing running Word. last time i bought a Windows machine was a laptop in 2004 with MS Word. Every day home computing is done on Mac Pro Tower from 2008, a pair of headless RPi servers. and XigNAS box as a music server. Bill Gates. Steve Jobs...different sides of the same evil






    Quote Originally Posted by EmanuelGoldstein View Post
    B) This might help you understand the process. Actually, if you already have the dxf I think you can skip the Coreldraw portion and go direct to TPCWin (I am asuming that's what he has.)

    YouTube

    .
    This is what I was hoping for , thank you. Was hoping there must be a way to skip the Corel Draw process ...and this is potentially the sort of info I was trying to get. It did seem very convoluted the way he was doing it , but I have not had 'hands on with the machine.
    When we fitted the laser I just concentrated on the metal work side, modifying the mounting plates to fit the new laser and then the wiring to get the power level variable.
    He 'drove' the software, I just calibrated the laser power settings to the % figures he was setting on the software.

    I am still trying to stop him just pulling the plug out of the wall to shut the computer down! One day it will all go horribly wrong and as he has no installation media, it would not be pleasant. Disk Clones have been made!







    Quote Originally Posted by EmanuelGoldstein View Post
    Also a manual is here. Reading it, depending on which version of control he has, it looks like there might be more direct approaches to getting him a part program. (Who came up with "toolpathing" ? Puh-lease, gag me with a spoon.)

    TPCWin Manual Part A - Cadserv21's blog

    You should probaly check tho ....
    thanks for the lead I will review your links and compare to what is on his built in Win XP machine.







    Quote Originally Posted by EmanuelGoldstein View Post
    C) This is partly why PM is not supposed to deal with "hobby" hardware. It's too flaky and unpredictable. This is also why the "pc controls" craze of some time back failed miserably. Peecees are not reliable over a long time span. Everything changes every week. Meanwhile, guys with real nc's can still use antique g-code. It may be antique but it still works, unlike most of the faddish stuff..
    Did you check the picture of his machine ...not really in the Hobby league. I think your reference to Hobby stuff is in relation to my mention of the MakerBot Turdomatic machine I referred to the Hobby stuff, to indicate my low level basic knowledge of this stuff, . G-code etc I gave up on the Turdomatic and other shit Prussia clone machines last year.

    I was given two MakerBots and thought.. "Ah great..a useful small scale tool for making stuff" ...how bloody wrong i was, I then saw why I was given them ...spent more time tinkering with the dirty PoS than actually using them. They all got given away.

    His machine is far larger and more expensive than I would have considered a Hobby system... Maybe you only deal with huge industrial stuff and an approx 6ft by 14ft bed is still on the Hobby side to you

    Edit...just had a message from him
    It is a 3 meter by 1.4 meter bed
    Cam Tech Laser Master 130V








    Quote Originally Posted by EmanuelGoldstein View Post
    D) About Camtech, as mentioned above, ............ Has to do with computer numerical control and an area of the earth's surface, 7 letters, hint hint.
    Yes most useful, a thread like that. A good place to start






    Quote Originally Posted by EmanuelGoldstein View Post
    Maybe the wincnc guys are a better source for 'upgrades'.
    wincnc again thanks...a pointer in the correct direction







    Quote Originally Posted by EmanuelGoldstein View Post
    E) About "upgrading" the machine, this is a real-world device with motors and stuff. You don't just stick a CD in the slot and double-click "Install". If you try to "upgrade" to some other system there's an 80% chance the machine will never run again. A 10% chance that it will run but not correctly. And maybe a 10% chance that it will finally, after two years of hard work, be almost as useful as it was originally.
    The only thought of upgrading the control computer in the machine would be for the same reason as the guys mentioned in the cnc zone post you mentioned...the old Pentium or PII machine running it is possibly not long for this world ...especially if he keeps just pulling the f...ing plug from the wall to shut it down. grr.

    No, i was not even thinking along the lines of just 'sticking a CD in ' If we did try any new software it would be another computer completely with the original left un touched. At this point I can not remember how the built in PC interfaces with the stepper motor control boards......Might be OLD ISA boards in the PC...really cannot remember at this point. We did a stepper motor swap a few years back, in conjunction with another mate that is in to his robotics, the unit has XYZ outputs i believe plus ability for motor speed control, direction etc. only outputs currently in use on the hardware are X Y axis and laser power level.




    Quote Originally Posted by EmanuelGoldstein View Post
    Maybe those wincnc guys (if they still exist, I didn't look) will have a bolt-in newer system that's an improvement, but otherwise, if it works, no matter how cumbersome, just use that until it croaks. Then buy a new machine, preferably not a hobbyist type thing.




    Thanks for the links...most helpful, exactly what I was looking for.

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    Fond a video of one and some more leads

    YouTube

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    Quote Originally Posted by NeilP View Post
    We did a stepper motor swap a few years back, in conjunction with another mate that is in to his robotics, the unit has XYZ outputs i believe plus ability for motor speed control, direction etc. only outputs currently in use on the hardware are X Y axis and laser power level.
    That's pretty much what people here would call a hobby system. Home made, stepper motors, peecee control. Doesn't matter how big it is, no commercial support with all that entails.

    There was a peecee-control craze some years ago where pots computers were going to take over cnc. Didn't happen for just these reasons. Hell, even Loonix is not supportable over time but them old Fanucs just keep truckin'.

    Commercial grade would be an Amada or something, but that's okay, I isn't a muderator.

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    If the file the machine wants is .plt then it could be an older abb controller, the windows machine is just the hmi and drip feeder. Properly naming a file is on you, not him; tho he should be able to rename it as known issue. Some of our industrial machines have length restrictions .. not hard to fix. If his corel wont open the dxf then down version your export to v13 which is the universal accepted one, no splines or ellipses or you will get segemented curves from laser people.


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