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shapr3d to toolpaths

rimcanyon

Diamond
Joined
Sep 28, 2002
Location
Salinas, CA USA
Is anyone here using Shapr3d? I started using the demo version yesterday and completed a couple designs I would like to generate tool paths for, just so I have a proof of concept. This is my first foray into CAD/CAM, so zero prior experience going from design to toolpath. I have been programming in g-code for several years, but for this project I need to have some parts fabricated (I'm not setup to handle 12' long work pieces) and the company wants a CAD file.

Shapr3D has a lot of options for output files:
X_T,X_B,STEP,IGES,STL,3MF,OBJ,USDZ,DWG,DXF,PDF,SVG,JPEG,PNG and SHAPR

so looking for recommendations for CAM software that runs on MacOS.

So it looks like these three are possible (all have a free trial available): DeskProto, Bantam Tools, MeshCAM, Carbide Create Pro
 
If the company wants a CAD file won't they handle the CAM portion?

Either way the only *decent* CAM program I know of for a Mac is Fusion 360.
 
Rim
I think things will go a lot smoother and you'll have a lot of community support it you go with Fusion360 for CAD/CAM on a Mac. Fusion can spit out STEP files for your fabricator, too. I use Fusion on a Mac practically every day, and have done so for years by now.
RKlopp
 
I'm not willing to spend $hundreds per year for a Fusion 360 subscription. That model just does not work for me, based on the number of projects I do that are complicated enough I can't just program in G-code.

The real reason I want a CAM is so that I don't end up sending the company a worthless CAD file. i.e. by going through code generation I think I will have a better understanding of what needs to be in the CAD file, and what should not. e.g. do the edges of the material need to be in the CAD file, even though they will not be cut, or just the machinable bodies?

I did try and get Fusion 360 working, but was not successful. The licensing never worked and I gave up. Besides, after a day using Shapr3D I really like its capabilities and its approach to object modelling. So the question comes down to how to go from a Shapr3d project to G-code. I can't find any good examples on-line.
 
Is Fusion no longer free to small entities? It was at one point. My employer pays for a full-on account, but I also have a free account associated with the local high school robotics team. The full-on account is worth every penny.

I don't quite understand your question about edges of the material? Are you talking about the raw stock? Typically, raw stock is up to the fabrication vendor. You just need to send them a solid model of whatever it is you want cut. If there's features like tapped holes, you might need to communicate that via a 2D auxiliary drawing in case your solid model only outputs smooth holes. It's good to model the holes in the tap drill size so the fabricator does not get confused and drill your tapped holes at the screw nominal OD size.
 
Rich, that pretty much what I expected, but going through the code generation would make it all clear. e.g. I want holes and some slots to go through the raw material (so the cut would be somewhat deeper than the raw material) while other slots need to be exact depth. Not sure how to specify that in CAD, so I want to actually go through the CAM process. I learn by doing mostly.
 
After a quick google search, it appears that Shapr3D is only a CAD system, and is used largely by folds with hobby style cnc routers, and general inventors. The folks that dont like Fusion seem to be exporting a .stl file out of Shapr, and importing into MeshCam. MeshCam is geared towards the same crowd that uses Shapr.

So I would say download a trial version of MeshCam, write your toolpaths and export your gcode. See if it gives you what you are really looking for.

I would recommend taking some time to look for classes or youtube videos on engineering drafting. Learn how to make a functional engineering print for your designs. Per what rkloop was trying to get at, you dont usually want to tell a shop or machinist how to make your part. Let their expertise handle those detials. You just want to have an intelligently designed part, and clear print to clarify anything the model doesnt show.
 
I looked into those CAM packages you listed and the issue is that they are all very low end/ hobby packages. They generally are targeting desktop CNCs / Routers. They likely work just fine for that, and would let. you learn a little about the CAM process, but it's going to pretty substantially different compared to want the machine shop will be using. Meshcam looks by far the best of them, and its free for 15 days so you wouldn't lose anything by giving it a shot.
 
Per what rkloop was trying to get at, you dont usually want to tell a shop or machinist how to make your part.
1. Standard shop rates.
I do the job $120/hr
2. You tell me how to do the job $0/hr because I tell you to f*** off.
3. You help me do the job refer to shop rate 2
 
CAD and CAM are two different things.
2nd this!

If you like shaper for cad, use shaper for cad. Cad programs offer various tools, some more than others. How they feel and work is personal preference. I can not stand fusion cad- cam side is fine. Autocad was great for Henry ford, maybe.

Ain’t lying, desktop proto is a tool to use for cam when then model is complex mesh. Fusion’s free version cam gives the same tool paths as the basic level does, with no rapids- no rapids is a really big deal.

That said, programming is up to shop with the machine.
 
Design your part exactly like you want it, and don't concern yourself with the CAM side of things. Like Memphisjed sorta said, the shop doing the work will not be interested in your CAM file, at all, unless it's insanely complex and you've been running it for years on a similar machine.

You want to do someone a favor, design the part like a machinist would. With things like...

1) Keeping inside corner radii generously oversize form off the shelf nominal cutter sizes.
2) Keeping OAL's undersized from off the shelf nominal raw stock. (if you want machined all around)
3) Keeping holes and other part features away from tall walls,where the only thing that can get to them is a pencil.
4) You've got a grid off holes spaced 3/16". Make it 0.200 and the manual guys will love you.
5) Machinists like bass 100 numbers more so than base 16/32/64. Meaing stick to the back side of what I think is a 5R ruler.

Of course all this is if the design will allow.
 
@mneuro: thanks for the suggestion. I will give meshcam a try.

@CarbideBob: thanks for stating the obvious.

@memphisjed, ??? and 13engines: the reason for wanting CAM is not to send it to the shop, its to better understand what needs to be in the CAD file and what gets corrected during CAM.
 
@memphisjed, ??? and 13engines: the reason for wanting CAM is not to send it to the shop, its to better understand what needs to be in the CAD file and what gets corrected during CAM.
Nothing gets corrected in CAM. CAM is not a correction tool but a machine tool code generator. That can be off a 2D multi-view CAD (dxf) file fully dimensioned, or a 3D (step file) (dimensioned and/or toleranced where needed)

In an earlier post you said - "I want holes and some slots to go through the raw material (so the cut would be somewhat deeper than the raw material) while other slots need to be exact depth. Not sure how to specify that in CAD..."

You don't specify that. This is not at all a concern. You do not supply a CAD drawing that includes the raw stock it's made from. You want thru holes or slots and also blind holes and slots, make then exactly so in your CAD model. The machine shop does not care about the raw material you're dreaming it will be made from. (Generally) Not your concern. The machine shop will do as they please.

Any correction you get from a machine shop may be something like this. Hey... if you move this feature a little bit or make this hole a little different, it will save you a bunch of money and us a bunch of headaches. Stuff like that. All the CAM-ing in the world isn't going to help you any more than that.

It's enough to create a proper drawing and/or 3D model. Be happy that's all you really need. The errors in design will show themselves soon enough when you try to use or assemble you parts. CAM will not have helped that situation either. It will be because of something your missed or didn't see all the way through in CAD.
 
You say you will not be making the parts.
Ask about a program that outputs vector or solid files.
Then you ask for CAM software which makes toolpaths from the above files.
I am confused as to your end goal.
The CAD model is the finish part model. Nothing more or less.
The maker decides how it will be cut. If you are going to start telling them how to machine it the price will go up or you will get a "no quote".
For sure if you told me how you wanted your milling cutter pockets cut or how you wanted the grind direction or other on a endmill I'd walk away fast.
In fact this has happened.
I know how to do my job.
 
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@13engines: of course CAM corrects CAD. Otherwise you would not be able to machine anything. That is its whole purpose, to supply reality to a pure design.

@CarbideBob: thanks for the comment. I did not know that vector vs. solid was a factor to keep in mind when going from CAD to CAM. But can you expand a bit?

RE: end goal, it is understanding how to go from shapr3D to g-code. That is why I want to run a CAM program, to see how it works.
 
@13engines: of course CAM corrects CAD. Otherwise you would not be able to machine anything. That is its whole purpose, to supply reality to a pure design.
What? Could you please explain and give example(s) of how CAM "corrects" CAD? I'm at a loss here.
RE: end goal, it is understanding how to go from shapr3D to g-code. That is why I want to run a CAM program, to see how it works.

Good plan. Yes, run a CAM program for your design. Create the G-code. Then come back and explain how it "corrected" things for you.
 
I followed Rich's suggestion and got Fusion 360 personal edition working. The problem was the use of two factor ID and probably intentional barriers to getting around it. Can't say I like the user interface. But I went through a lot of the training including CAM, so I got my answers. The examples in the Fusion 360 training use a CAD file that models the rough stock as well as the finished project. Through holes were extended by .050 compared to the depth in the model.

Simulation was run and it showed a number of artifacts that needed to be corrected. Here is a link to the training:

 
I think you’re missing that a 3D CAD file needs a print to go with it. That’s how the shop knows what you expect them to produce, even if you give them a CAD file to start with. Sometimes complex shapes are under-defined on the print but it should be still be form or profile toleranced and any holes or specific features need GD&T.

Often the customer supplied model needs modifications so that the CAM program gets the size correct based on the print tolerances and using whatever tools the shop intends to use.

I think running CAM on a part that’s getting outsourced is a complete waste of time unless you are trying to quote the part yourself to estimate the part cost and compare to your vendor prices. But if you don’t know what you’re doing that’s a waste of time too.
 








 
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