Which CAD/CAM/Controller?

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wheezer
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Which CAD/CAM/Controller?

Post by wheezer » Sat Jan 08, 2022 9:22 am

Hello, new to CNC plasma and have zero experience with CAD/CAM.

My question(s) might be better over a few threads, if so let me know.What programs are the easiest to use, with the most flexibilty? Not that handy with programs but can learn.

Havn't seen much of Design Edge in use yet on youtube but FlashCut looks good to me and a vendor sent me a link to try a demo out - cant get it yet as we have very poor internet out here on the lake.

Is PlasmaCams Design Edge easy to use? Demo video on the way.

Which systems are least likely to crash?

I need THC, the ability to import images and also ability to "smooth" them out for use etc.Oh yeah, round holes are needed.
Thanks, Gerry

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acourtjester
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Re: Which CAD/CAM/Controller?

Post by acourtjester » Sat Jan 08, 2022 11:10 am

Not an expert but here are some observations I have, Design Edge is a nice software package,(check out some of the work done by David {adbuch} shown as tutorials) but I think you can only get it with their table. It may also limit the input or export of file (david can clear that up if I'm wrong)
It is hard to say which tables crashes most as many things can be caused by the operator or noise in the environment.
Now as to learning software, ( again IMHO) I learn quicker if I can see the bigger picture (functions,operations) and then work on the finer details.
There are many packages that have so many options, or refinements in their operations, that require more time to learn.
I use a very simple 3-D program to develop my 3-D printer projects that has done 98% or what I want to do. :HaHa
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wheezer
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Re: Which CAD/CAM/Controller?

Post by wheezer » Sat Jan 08, 2022 11:43 am

Learning the program will be fun but in reality I have a whole bunch of stuff I want to do now lol! Yes, the ability to import files (images) in particular is important to me as is the ability to "smooth" them out for use as a cut file.

I just mailed Star Lab and got a prompt reply- I wonder how their own program is? Up in Canada here and they are not that far, maybe 350 miles or so which is handy.

More info on Design Edge would be great too.

Buddy stopped by just now for a sled flywheel puller- I said if I had the CNC mschine we could cut one in minutes... (lent my puller out, you know how that goes).

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djreiswig
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Re: Which CAD/CAM/Controller?

Post by djreiswig » Sat Jan 08, 2022 9:39 pm

I'm not sure what starlab uses for cad software. My table came with bobcad, which I tried but didn't really like. The cam is probably still sheetcam which is a great program and really simple to use.
The machine control is most likely going to be commandcnc from candcnc. I have not used it, but it looks pretty straightforward.
All of these companies have sites and forums that you can check out.
Unless you buy a PlasmaCam table, you're probably looking at a 3 program setup. I like the flexibility this allows, some people want a single program that does everything.
I'm very happy with my starlab table. It is built very solidly and Matt is very helpful if you have questions. He posts here frequently.
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wheezer
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Re: Which CAD/CAM/Controller?

Post by wheezer » Sat Jan 08, 2022 10:37 pm

djreiswig wrote:
Sat Jan 08, 2022 9:39 pm
I'm not sure what starlab uses for cad software. My table came with bobcad, which I tried but didn't really like. The cam is probably still sheetcam which is a great program and really simple to use.
The machine control is most likely going to be commandcnc from candcnc. I have not used it, but it looks pretty straightforward.
All of these companies have sites and forums that you can check out.
Unless you buy a PlasmaCam table, you're probably looking at a 3 program setup. I like the flexibility this allows, some people want a single program that does everything.
I'm very happy with my starlab table. It is built very solidly and Matt is very helpful if you have questions. He posts here frequently.
Thanks for the info- they do look really solid and there seems to be some vg manufacturing in Mn- I have some accsy's built there for my Deere 319 track loader and they are top quality.
Ok, Bobcad- I presume you use a different program now? If so which one?

Yes they mention Sheetcam/CanCNC on their site as well as Flashcut for an option ($5200 extra) but I dont really want to spend the extra.

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Re: Which CAD/CAM/Controller?

Post by adbuch » Sat Jan 08, 2022 10:48 pm

wheezer wrote:
Sat Jan 08, 2022 11:43 am


More info on Design Edge would be great too.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... lOZa4JtX8C
I purchased my first Plasmacam table after discovering these Keith Fenner videos. In fact, I patterned my water tray/draft system from the system Keith built for his own Plasmacam table.
David

wheezer
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Re: Which CAD/CAM/Controller?

Post by wheezer » Sat Jan 08, 2022 10:50 pm

adbuch wrote:
Sat Jan 08, 2022 10:48 pm
wheezer wrote:
Sat Jan 08, 2022 11:43 am


More info on Design Edge would be great too.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... lOZa4JtX8C
I purchased my first Plasmacam table after discovering these Keith Fenner videos. In fact, I patterned my water tray/draft system from the system Keith built for his own Plasmacam table.
David
:Like

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djreiswig
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Re: Which CAD/CAM/Controller?

Post by djreiswig » Sun Jan 09, 2022 4:31 am

I've played around with several of the free cad programs. Haven't really found a favorite yet. I'd stay away from the 3d ones as they seem to be overly complicated for flat sheet cutting. Lightburn looks interesting, but I haven't tried it out yet. Used to use draftsight, but they discontinued their free version.
2014 Bulltear (StarLab) 4x8
C&CNC EtherCut
Mach3, SheetCam, Draftsight
Hypertherm PM65
Oxy/Acetylene Flame Torch
Pneumatic Plate Marker, Ohmic, 10 inch Rotary Chuck (in progress)

wheezer
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Re: Which CAD/CAM/Controller?

Post by wheezer » Sun Jan 09, 2022 9:57 am

djreiswig wrote:
Sun Jan 09, 2022 4:31 am
I've played around with several of the free cad programs. Haven't really found a favorite yet. I'd stay away from the 3d ones as they seem to be overly complicated for flat sheet cutting. Lightburn looks interesting, but I haven't tried it out yet. Used to use draftsight, but they discontinued their free version.
Thanks for the info! :Like

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Re: Which CAD/CAM/Controller?

Post by adbuch » Sun Jan 09, 2022 11:32 pm

I do use LightBurn occasionally and it is pretty handy, and does a pretty good job of auto-tracing as well. It can export as dxf, but you will still need SheetCam (or equivalent) to create your g-code to send to controller. If you go with Plasmacam/Design Edge - then all cad/cam/post/control functions can be accomplished from within a single program - so no need for SheetCam.
David

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