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January 24, 2018, 01:25:21 am

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1  Support / Installation Help / Re: Old pc is dying, trying to set up CamBam on new pc on: Today at 00:29:12
I thought the pre installation was not required with the latest release of 1.0 alpha.  

FYI:  I have been using 1.0 Alpha exclusively for a while now.  I didn't even install 98 on my new design computer. 
2  Made by CamBam / Members Projects / Re: Tapping tiny threads on: Yesterday at 20:54:30
I do not have to tap such tiny holes often, but I like the way Joe Pi does it in his video.  Looks like he just positions the spring loaded guide in his CNC mill for each hole and then taps by hand with his little knurled tap holders.  I think its neat that it can also work as a depth stop.  I plan to add those to the list of tools I need to make.  Well, and a spring loaded tap guide like his.  Looks like it has a cupped end to be able to hold the smaller taps in position that do not have a center hole like larger taps. 
3  Support / CamBam help (General usage) / Re: Corner Round Over Problem on: Yesterday at 20:43:56
That is very good to know.  A ball nose would certainly leave a better finish. I never even tried for the reasons I mentioned above. 
4  Made by CamBam / Members Projects / Re: Tapping tiny threads on: Yesterday at 20:33:43  

Just watched this yesterday.  

Nitric acid might work, but I think you need to scratch at the part and circulate the acid as a sludge coating may form preventing further work of the acid.  I seem to recall hat was the case with saturated alum solution as well. 
5  Support / CamBam help (General usage) / Re: Corner Round Over Problem on: Yesterday at 17:45:56
I've never done it with a ball mil.  On hinge bosses on molds I use an end mill at .001 depth of cut, and hit it with a sanding block when I take it off the machine.  Most machine shops would use a round over mill, but I've found they are not consistent and need to be measured by hand before using.  I also prefer to eliminate the tool change and use the same end mill for the hinge bosses that I used for roughing and surfacing.  It takes longer on the machine, but takes me personally less time standing over it waiting to make the tool change. 

I do not know how to make it work with a ball mill except by using 3D with an STL surface.  I would still need to finish inside corners with a square end mill. 
6  Support / Related Softwares / Re: Fusion 360 on: Yesterday at 16:21:05
The modern solid state drives while not paradigm shifting are very nearly so.  What is paradigm shifting is the shorter and shorter pathways in microprocessors.  Literally the the whole rest of the computer is what slows it down.  

Quantum computing is no-longer science fiction. 
7  Support / Related Softwares / Re: Fusion 360 on: Yesterday at 15:46:06
I brought up the slow load and render times because its a significant difference in similar size code files.  300K lines is not a large file for me.  Typical jobs run from 300K to 850K lines.  Code files over a million lines while not common are not uncommon.  Anyway, with 300-400K code file from Fusion I have enough time to walk away and turn a part on the lathe depending on the part. I am doing modestly complex 3D machining with it.  With similar size code files from CamBam, I might have enough time to put away a tool or wipe down the front of the machine, but that is it.  On the other hand a Fusion file that size does more and executes in less time usually.  Based on what I can see its spending more of that code engaged with the work piece and using more efficient code, although the spiral starts way above the work piece for 3D adapative wastes a lot of code and machine time IMO. 

My main three machine computers are relatively modern and relatively fast multi cores compared to the computers I started running Mach3 on originally.  When I first started using them I was impressed at how much faster they rendered code files over some of my older computers. 

I do have one older single core computer running XP on my big mill, but it doesn't tend to see the really large code files the little high speed mills see.

Sorry, I never used Mach2 or Mach1.  I only started learning to be a hack button pusher about 11-12 years ago.

FYI:  Path Pilot is LinuxCNC at its core. 

I still find CamBam to be much easier to use.  Maybe just because I have been using it so long, but I've been playing with Fusion for a while now too.  I just don't actually use it to cut very often.  If CamBam had a few advanced 3D HSM strategies and a real 3D REST based on previous operations I'd never have a need to use anything else.  I definitely see the ability to use STEP files in the future as a step in the right direction.  Having all that source geometry available in a single file would change my design process dramatically.  I think I would do more of the supplemental machining based on a 3D model, and my 3D models would be more complete before going to CAM. 
8  Support / Related Softwares / Re: Fusion 360 on: January 22, 2018, 14:22:02 pm
I did run into some substantial time lag to generate tool paths, and for some reason Mach 3 took a very long time to "render" when the code was loaded on the machines doing the cutting even though the code was only a few hundred thousand lines.

In such cases I usually turn Mach3 path display off. The load on the CPU becomes high and I have had cases when it affected the Mach3 kernel timing causing an internal 'reset'.

I have done that as well.  In this case since I was using unknown and less trusted CAM and POST I wanted to see the results.  Supposedly that is not an issue with Mach 4.  Since I have (4) Mach 3 licenses and I don't have excess cash flowing out of a barrel to replace them I'll keep what I have until I need to license another machine.

Seeing the results was a little scary.  There were a couple of "rapid" moves that are not marked as rapids, but as control moves.  Until you rotate the display you do not realize they are not going to destroy your work. 
9  Support / Related Softwares / Re: Fusion 360 on: January 22, 2018, 14:11:01 pm
Iíve looked at Fusion 360 after having experience with Rhino, SolidEdge, and SolidWorks and it is quite different in a number of ways but actually is quite good. I donít care for the cloud based part of it. Mostly because this is Autodesk, a company well known for not keeping their promises. They have burned me twice in the past so I have a difficult time overlooking that. Fusion is clearly bait with a huge hook buried inside. As long as you are good with that youíll likely find it very useful.

That's one of the reasons I've worked so hard to make CamBam meet all my needs.  Still its pretty hard to beat the efficiency of the 3D Adaptive clearing of Fusion.  Last week was the second time I took jobs to the machine from it.  It was the first time I used their REST option, and I had to admit I was not convinced it did that well.  I was using some fairly complex 3D STL shapes, and Fusion would really prefer clean STEP format for 3D. Still it did them. 

I did run into some substantial time lag to generate tool paths, and for some reason Mach 3 took a very long time to "render" when the code was loaded on the machines doing the cutting even though the code was only a few hundred thousand lines. 
10  Support / Related Softwares / Re: Another mach 3 question and xp mode on: January 19, 2018, 17:45:48 pm
I'm sorry.  I do not know.  I thought all the 64bit W-OS dropped support for LPT and RS232 hardware.  I do have three machines running W7-64 Pro with Ethernet Smooth Steppers.   I imagine a USB device like the UC100 would also work. 

11  Support / Related Softwares / Other Post Processors - But Not Directly About CamBam on: January 19, 2018, 15:47:03 pm
I recently have been fighting with some steel press dies.  Small details.  Difficult machining.  I've been working on it for weeks.  One of the other members here did the 3D work for me.  He's very good at it.  I paid him for the work, and feel it was worth every penny.  You are welcome to plug yourself if you like, but please do not post the images. 

Anyway, I tackled the smallest ones first and CamBam kind of choked on it.  There are three main issues. 

1.  CB does not do any kind of HSM or constant engagement strategies in 3D.  I broke a few hundred dollars worth of cutters trying to get something that would work.  Not to worry.  Its a hard material.  I planned for that, but after days (weeks) of trying I felt I was getting nowhere.  My only success was to use speeds and feeds that were calculated based on 100% engagement at full depth.  It sort of worked for roughing.  Ultimately the job would have taken about 9.5 hrs for the fastest die.  I tried it anyway.  I still broke cutters on finish passes. 

2.  Boundary limitations are inside boundary only.  Ok, a negative boundary margin of the cutter radius sort of works, but the tool path does not seem to actually account properly for being able to cut at the contact point.  Only at the tip and only if there is clearance.  Not if there is clearance for the diameter of the tool at THAT depth.  I could have played with it some more, but I butted up against so many other problems I didn't have the time to spend with it.  I have used plane slice only to overcut parts before, but this would not have worked here. 

3.  There is no real rest machining operation.  None at all.  This meant with CamBam every successive operations had to be treated like 100% engagement at full depth, and since CB doesn't differentiate between vertical and horizontal in 3D this meant operations that were mostly a skim cut still had to be set for speeds to match full depth at 100% engagement to prevent breaking a cutter every time it came to a corner. 

This lead me to look at Fusion360 again.  Its not perfect.  I ran into plenty of issues.  Not the least of which is that REST is not 100% perfect, and its only available with some types of operations.  Ultimately I had to accept that I could not machine with the smallest cutter I wanted to use for my finish pass.  I never came up with a strategy that didn't break it repeatedly.  It might be runout.  It might be machining tool paths.  It might simply be a limitation of the fact that the material can work harden, and the finish pass with the smallest cutter wasn't going through the work hardened area of the previous operation. 

Anyway... this brings me to my point.  The default Mach3 post processor. It inserts extra code.  Specifically it inserts optional stops and tool change position moves (M1 and G28) at the end and beginning of operations respectively.  This could be both a help and a hinderance to beginners.  An optional stop seems like it might be ok, but sometimes it seems to prevent operator input and Mach3 can already be set to stop when it receives a tool change command.  Its sort of redundant.  You have to press start to get to the tool change command.  Then the G28 takes it to the tool change position, which I no longer use.  I actually use G53 moves in my tool change macro.  Its only a minor inconvenience since my G28 position has been set to something safe on all my machines, but if I recall it was not set to anything useful when I first started CNC machining.  It could confuse the heck out of a new user.  Maybe its safer sometimes, but if safe Z moves is not turned on and a safe z height set you could have a crash caused by this. 

I actually use the default Mach3 Post processor exactly as it comes from CamBam.  My machines are setup so they control their own safe moves for tool changes, and they account for the fact that by default doesn't put out all axis coordinates after a tool change by saving the current position as part of my tool change macros.  I felt like I had to modify the Mach3 post processor from Fusion360 right out of the gate.  Worse, when I installed Fusion on a new computer my modified post was not installed with it even though Fusion is supposedly a cloud based application. 

Be aware if you use it for collaboration that the person working with you is NOT using the same post as you are.  Its ok if they have it setup to be cut on their machine, and you have it setup to be cut on your machines, AND you only run your own code.  If they send you code it may be no good.  I really like to try to setup my machines so that except for feeds and speeds capability all the code is cross compatible.  At this point that is true for my machines.  The last thing I need is another level of confusion. 

12  Made by CamBam / Members Projects / Re: Inlaying objects into Pistol Grips on: January 18, 2018, 15:06:58 pm
Yep, and polyurethane resin tends to be much more UV resistant than Epoxy resin.  Epoxy resin has the edge for strength and being waterproof.  It also tends to be easy to work with if you don't try to pour it to thick, but urethane resin will hold up to the sun a lot better.  Polyester and vynilester resins are basically polyurethanes. 

13  Support / CamBam help (General usage) / Re: Tool changing on: January 16, 2018, 18:51:27 pm
So you just output an M6 and all is good eh? 
14  Resources / Scripts and Plugins / Re: Trochoidal Pocket & Profile MOPs plugin (HSM) on: January 16, 2018, 17:17:42 pm
I have recently been doing quite a bit of deep pocketing and profiling in aluminum.  Most recent was .35" DOC with 1/4" endmill at 4000 rpm.  I'm babying the tool with a .1 stepover since I don't have any spare stock in case of fubar.

Deep DOC with small stepover and high feed is the current preference in high speed machining.  You can remove a lot of material quite fast, and your tool lasts longer because you are using more of it.  The trochoidal milling plugin really lends itself to that.  Its FAST when employed properly.  

I'm seriously considering switching all my pocketing roughing styles to be used with (and named for) trochoidal pockets. 
15  Support / CamBam help (General usage) / Re: Organizing Tools & Styles on: January 16, 2018, 17:14:08 pm
That is entirely possible.  Thank you.  I'll try it today since I have most of my styles named already by machine I should be able to cut and paste quickly. 
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