Help! Shop trying to bring cad/cam inhouse
Close
Login to Your Account
Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 70
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Missouri
    Posts
    1
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    0

    Default Help! Shop trying to bring cad/cam inhouse

    I was recently hired by a CNC shop to bring Cad/Cam in house. For my background I'm an mechanical engineering student with 3d modeling/printing experience. So far the shop has tried bobcad but no other program. The owner of the company wants to use the software for 2.5 and 3 axis A-00 brother machines. We have several brother 321n machines and a few of the speedios. The owner wants the cad/cam software to take a pdf and vectorize it straight into a geometry and then into the post with very little hand writing of code. Is this feasible? So far i've used bobcad to write one program and it was a hassle. I'm used to fusion 360 and autodesk products which might be why bobcad is giving me such a hard time. Any advice for a noobie like me is much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    California
    Posts
    2
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    0

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mawgs View Post
    The owner wants the cad/cam software to take a pdf and vectorize it straight into a geometry and then into the post with very little hand writing of code. Is this feasible?
    PDF files can be comprised of vector, bitmap and ASCII elements. Anything in the pdf that is vector based can be made into a cad (dxf,dwg) file which can then be used in a cam program to create your g-code. Naturally this only applies to 2.5D.

    I'd used pdf2cad for years and recommend it. Fast and easy to use.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Minnesota
    Posts
    686
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    590
    Likes (Received)
    359

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mawgs View Post
    I was recently hired by a CNC shop to bring Cad/Cam in house. For my background I'm an mechanical engineering student with 3d modeling/printing experience. So far the shop has tried bobcad but no other program. The owner of the company wants to use the software for 2.5 and 3 axis A-00 brother machines. We have several brother 321n machines and a few of the speedios. The owner wants the cad/cam software to take a pdf and vectorize it straight into a geometry and then into the post with very little hand writing of code. Is this feasible? So far i've used bobcad to write one program and it was a hassle. I'm used to fusion 360 and autodesk products which might be why bobcad is giving me such a hard time. Any advice for a noobie like me is much appreciated.
    Bwahahahaha!

    Sorry, but no. What you need is an experienced CADCAM guy and/or serious training. Being a CNC programmer isn't something you just pick up overnight, and it won't be automated any time soon. I've been doing it since '95 and I'm still learning.

    The customer should be supplying complete and toleranced prints, along with 3D part models that are accurately modeled at the midpoint of the tolerance zone. If they don't, you have to do the customers work for them and make that model from the print, hoping you didn't miss or misinterpret anything, and for anything more complicated than a rectangular plate with four 1/4-20 holes in the corners this should add an engineering charge to the job.

    In rare cases of families of very similar 2.5 axis parts you could have automatic toolpathing work from accurate DXF files with a little manual massaging, but it takes a lot of setup and trial and error even in those cases, and the moment it sees something new it blows up.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Idaho
    Posts
    3,086
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1704
    Likes (Received)
    2028

    Default

    There is a little more to that game

    Read above post again

    If tolerances don't matter,than ignore

    But then again,I rarely get a real print,usually something on a napkin over a beer in the bar,,but at least I have a meeting of the minds

    Real World,get real prints or you are bound to take in the ....... sooner or later,,probably sooner

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Country
    CANADA
    State/Province
    British Columbia
    Posts
    1,228
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    350
    Likes (Received)
    566

    Default

    The only feasible way to do something like you're thinking of is to leverage feature based programming and programming families of parts based on their features and regenerating with new models as required but you will still be programming the parts at least manually once. Edgecam and others have the ability to fill in a toolcrib and assign rules and speeds and feeds to the crib allowing you to leverage "automatic" programming but it is hard to beat an experienced CADCAM guy.

    You said that you programmed one part with BobCAM and it was a hassle but that is not a very fair review of any CAM programs and I'd hazard a guess that everyone has their own quirks and unintuitive UI elements. Most CAM systems are using the exact same backend (literally it's one company) and the rest is all window dressing.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Oregon
    Posts
    1,639
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    692
    Likes (Received)
    1874

    Default

    I think you're getting a lot of pushback because folks are indexing on your line "straight into a geometry and then into the post with very little hand writing of code." What they think you are asking for is a magical machine that takes in PDFs and spits out ready to run G-code for your machines. This would be a tremendous technical challenge that needs kinda expert CAD/CAM levels of judo.

    From what I gather, this shop primarily uses FingerCAM to process relatively simple parts (2.5D, the kinda stuff folks send over prints for in PDFs). What you're looking for is a workflow to make this process more efficient than 1982 levels manual hand coding... This is easy.

    1- Use a PDF to DWG/DXF converter, and import it into Fusion as a sketch.
    2- Clean up the geometry and extrude 2D profiles into solids you can program off of.
    3- Throw down tool path, which is crazy easy in Fusion, especially if we're talking 2.5D and simple 3D work.
    4- Post it and run. You shouldn't need a lick of hand code to do any of this.

    The only complicating factor here is that PDFs of geometry are often complete shit. You get a crappily formed sketch where circles are busted into arcs (and won't make proper holes), end points don't match up, so you don't get profiles to extrude, etc etc. If you do a LOT of this kind of work, NX has a boatload of quite amazing Synchronous 2D tools that can do simply bonkers stuff to files like this.

    YouTube

    NX sells these tools in their NX CAM Foundation package for about $1k. If your shop is doing a lot of this kind of work, it might be totally worth it to get that purely for cleaning up geometry very quickly.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    canada
    Posts
    654
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    78
    Likes (Received)
    325

    Default

    OPs expectation.....


  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    1,099
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    8
    Likes (Received)
    274

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mawgs View Post
    ... The owner wants the cad/cam software to take a pdf and vectorize it straight into a geometry and then into the post with very little hand writing of code.

    Some good ideas kicked out by all the people here, but seriously??....

    - Learn how to model parts

    - Learn how to machine parts (since it's near impossible to create good/solid G-code for a machine if actual machining is not understood)

    - Learn how to use the CAM side of whatever program ends up getting used to create the code to run the parts


    Your best bet might be to either go to class, or hire someone experienced at the above to come in for a week and demonstrate the process. No software is magically going to do what is being asked.

    PM

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    5,620
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    6893
    Likes (Received)
    7046

    Default

    I don't understand why everybody needs a solid to program stuff? Doesn't anybody use simple geometry anymore? (its soo easy!)
    Somebody gives me a sketch, or PDF, there isn't, and never will be a solid. For 2.5D its just not necessary.
    If you get supplied a solid great! It can streamline the workflow immensely, no doubt.
    But, if you get handed a print (PDF), it is an unnecessary step, and waste of time.

    Maybe they need the cartoon to understand what they are making? IDFGI?

  10. Likes Dualkit, greggv liked this post
  11. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Country
    CANADA
    State/Province
    British Columbia
    Posts
    1,228
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    350
    Likes (Received)
    566

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wheelieking71 View Post
    I don't understand why everybody needs a solid to program stuff? Doesn't anybody use simple geometry anymore? (its soo easy!)
    Somebody gives me a sketch, or PDF, there isn't, and never will be a solid. For 2.5D its just not necessary.
    If you get supplied a solid great! It can streamline the workflow immensely, no doubt.
    But, if you get handed a print (PDF), it is an unnecessary step, and waste of time.

    Maybe they need the cartoon to understand what they are making? IDFGI?
    If a customer models something incorrectly and I make it to their model/drawing it's their mistake and they pay for it. If I model or draw something incorrectly to their drawing it's my problem and I hate paying for mistakes.

  12. Likes SRT Mike liked this post
  13. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    5,620
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    6893
    Likes (Received)
    7046

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hazzert View Post
    If a customer models something incorrectly and I make it to their model/drawing it's their mistake and they pay for it. If I model or draw something incorrectly to their drawing it's my problem and I hate paying for mistakes.
    That is what I am saying! That is what prints and tolerances are for. There is absolutely no need for solids doing 2.5D work, other than a visual.
    The print rules ALL!

  14. Likes Chazsani liked this post
  15. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Country
    CANADA
    State/Province
    British Columbia
    Posts
    1,228
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    350
    Likes (Received)
    566

    Default

    If they provide a drawing where is the geometry coming from? Assuming you aren't using finger CAM. I will draw a part based on a drawing to get the PO rolling but will always check my work against theirs. You'd be surprised how often either I missed a small detail or the print is rounded etc.

  16. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    5,620
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    6893
    Likes (Received)
    7046

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hazzert View Post
    If they provide a drawing where is the geometry coming from? Assuming you aren't using finger CAM. I will draw a part based on a drawing to get the PO rolling but will always check my work against theirs. You'd be surprised how often either I missed a small detail or the print is rounded etc.
    The geometry is coming from the paper I print the PDF of the drawing on, DUH

    I have hundreds, maybe thousands, or CAM part files that never ever saw CAD software.

    The OP stated he has a CAD (3D printing) background. The answer to his question is very simple: go take some CAM classes.

  17. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Oregon
    Posts
    1,639
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    692
    Likes (Received)
    1874

    Default

    Again, you guys are totally misinterpreting what the OP is trying to do.

    He isn't looking for magic software to reliably convert a PDF into G-code; he is looking for a more efficient (and in-house) process to go from PDF to CAD to CAM to code. The current process seems to be 100% hand written G-code off of PDF prints. I'm guessing this is pretty inefficient (totally cutting edge in 1989!) and they are starting to run low on dudes who are comfortable/good using FingerCAM.

    What he is trying to do is easy, and totally in the wheel-house of basic 3D CAD/CAM. Why the hell do machinists always need to make what they do sound like super hard bullshit? Stop inflating your own bullshit egos and realize that the work here is easy; it is the hustle that's hard.

  18. Likes wheelieking71 liked this post
  19. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Country
    CANADA
    State/Province
    British Columbia
    Posts
    1,228
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    350
    Likes (Received)
    566

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gkoenig View Post
    Again, you guys are totally misinterpreting what the OP is trying to do.

    He isn't looking for magic software to reliably convert a PDF into G-code; he is looking for a more efficient (and in-house) process to go from PDF to CAD to CAM to code. The current process seems to be 100% hand written G-code off of PDF prints. I'm guessing this is pretty inefficient (totally cutting edge in 1989!) and they are starting to run low on dudes who are comfortable/good using FingerCAM.

    What he is trying to do is easy, and totally in the wheel-house of basic 3D CAD/CAM. Why the hell do machinists always need to make what they do sound like super hard bullshit? Stop inflating your own bullshit egos and realize that the work here is easy; it is the hustle that's hard.
    Quote Originally Posted by mawgs View Post
    ... The owner wants the cad/cam software to take a pdf and vectorize it straight into a geometry and then into the post with very little hand writing of code.
    You sure about that dude? Either something is getting lost in translation or Goose had the right idea.

  20. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    5,620
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    6893
    Likes (Received)
    7046

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gkoenig View Post
    Again, you guys are totally misinterpreting what the OP is trying to do.

    He isn't looking for magic software to reliably convert a PDF into G-code; he is looking for a more efficient (and in-house) process to go from PDF to CAD to CAM to code. The current process seems to be 100% hand written G-code off of PDF prints. I'm guessing this is pretty inefficient (totally cutting edge in 1989!) and they are starting to run low on dudes who are comfortable/good using FingerCAM.

    What he is trying to do is easy, and totally in the wheel-house of basic 3D CAD/CAM. Why the hell do machinists always need to make what they do sound like super hard bullshit? Stop inflating your own bullshit egos and realize that the work here is easy; it is the hustle that's hard.
    I hope that wasn't directed at me. Because, in essence, it is exactly what I was saying!

  21. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Florida
    Posts
    2,698
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1295
    Likes (Received)
    1293

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wheelieking71 View Post
    I don't understand why everybody needs a solid to program stuff? Doesn't anybody use simple geometry anymore? (its soo easy!)
    Somebody gives me a sketch, or PDF, there isn't, and never will be a solid. For 2.5D its just not necessary.
    If you get supplied a solid great! It can streamline the workflow immensely, no doubt.
    But, if you get handed a print (PDF), it is an unnecessary step, and waste of time.

    Maybe they need the cartoon to understand what they are making? IDFGI?
    Depends on how fast you are!?

    I like having a solid, and I can model simple/medium things pretty damn fast, even if I don't "need" it. It's great for a visual reference, great for checking fits, I can use stock model verify when I have a solid, I can import it into solidworks (and lots of other systems using a step or parasolid file), which in turn lets other people (engineers etc) have the opportunity to check it and/or look at it....

  22. Likes Hazzert, mhajicek, [email protected] liked this post
  23. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Florida
    Posts
    2,698
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1295
    Likes (Received)
    1293

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gkoenig View Post
    Again, you guys are totally misinterpreting what the OP is trying to do.

    He isn't looking for magic software to reliably convert a PDF into G-code; he is looking for a more efficient (and in-house) process to go from PDF to CAD to CAM to code. The current process seems to be 100% hand written G-code off of PDF prints. I'm guessing this is pretty inefficient (totally cutting edge in 1989!) and they are starting to run low on dudes who are comfortable/good using FingerCAM.

    What he is trying to do is easy, and totally in the wheel-house of basic 3D CAD/CAM. Why the hell do machinists always need to make what they do sound like super hard bullshit? Stop inflating your own bullshit egos and realize that the work here is easy; it is the hustle that's hard.

    Ya? That is why we have a weekly thread about not finding qualified people, or retaining people, or horror stories of people loading parts wrong and scrapping hundreds/thousands in parts and materials...

    I agree from my perspective it is easy. But I hate when some shit that doesn't know machining thinks it's "easy".
    If it was easy everyone would be a programmer/designer/setup guy/moldmaker and/or run his own shop.

  24. Likes goooose, wheelieking71, Chris59 liked this post
  25. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    canada
    Posts
    654
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    78
    Likes (Received)
    325

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gkoenig View Post
    What he is trying to do is easy, and totally in the wheel-house of basic 3D CAD/CAM. Why the hell do machinists always need to make what they do sound like super hard bullshit? Stop inflating your own bullshit egos and realize that the work here is easy; it is the hustle that's hard.
    Making a 2.5D cam program IS easy. Making one that cuts correctly and efficiently is where the tricky part comes in. I've seen first hand an experiment that was taking an engineering student and having him program parts because...well, machining is easy and engineers as soooo smart. It ended exactly the way you would expect

    I would still be slightly weary of the pdf conversion as well. If, for whatever reason, the pdf contains an image of the part drawing and you try to vector that you will get massive inaccuracies in those lines, to the point where your lines will probably vary by more than your machining tolerance. Unlikely, sure, but possible. And who wants to run 10k worth of parts and then find out their pdf wasn't clean enough.

  26. Likes Mike1974, Billetgrip, mhajicek liked this post
  27. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Florida
    Posts
    2,698
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1295
    Likes (Received)
    1293

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by goooose View Post
    Making a 2.5D cam program IS easy. Making one that cuts correctly and efficiently is where the tricky part comes in. I've seen first hand an experiment that was taking an engineering student and having him program parts because...well, machining is easy and engineers as soooo smart. It ended exactly the way you would expect

    I would still be slightly weary of the pdf conversion as well. If, for whatever reason, the pdf contains an image of the part drawing and you try to vector that you will get massive inaccuracies in those lines, to the point where your lines will probably vary by more than your machining tolerance. Unlikely, sure, but possible. And who wants to run 10k worth of parts and then find out their pdf wasn't clean enough.
    That's grreat! I was just telling someone this the other day!!. IMO, it is fairly easy to get code from Mastercam, pick some lines/arcs, select a tool and BAM! G-code!. Whether it cuts for shit, or slams into the vise, or cuts at 1ipm is another thing.

  28. Likes sorsa38ca liked this post

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •