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G Code Generator

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speediburns
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G Code Generator

Post by speediburns » Sat Jan 15, 2022 1:12 pm

So yeah, I searched, that's how I found this board. In many of the other threads the responses seemed to imply that the situation/table/skills would dictate the answer so I decided to get some feedback before I went forward.

I use Solidworks for all CAD design and I don't really plan to change though I have downloaded FreeCAD and want to try it out. I have an older Torchmate Growth Series with AVHC. I have been super happy with the Torchmate table, and even happier with TM service members, I mean super happy and I don't understand where all the hate comes from. The Torchmate CAD/CAM was reasonably easy to use with lots on video how to's and I only really use it for importing a DXF and generating G Code with lead ins/outs which is all I really need to do. However I need to order a new dongle so before spending money wanted to see if I should be going a different route.

I need the leadin/out ability and male/female kerf offset and see 2 leading options. torchmate dongle ($160) or SheetCAM for $140. Free options would be better, but I dont mind a reasonable fee.

Seems the leading alternative is SheetCAM and highly recommended on this site, and well supported here. Also seems to be a little finicky with the Torchmate, though better than almost anything else. And, when there are issues, SheetCAM reps seem to respond super quick with solutions.

I do nothing intricate, though gcode files do go over 250 lines and only use the table once or twice per month, never for revenue. It is just a nice solution to fab projects in my garage.

Soooo, suggestions?

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acourtjester
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Re: G Code Generator

Post by acourtjester » Sat Jan 15, 2022 7:57 pm

SheetCam is the way to go, the 250 lines is only with the Demo version. The options of offset is very straight forward as with other things. Here is a great site for SheetCam tutorials https://arclightcnc.com/support/support-videos
You can import both DXF and SVG files and this opens up other programs to use like Inkscape (free). I to want to learn FreeCad but only for 3-D file creations, not needed for SheetCam. I'm sure help is here for the Torchmate connections to make it less finicky. SheetCam really stays on top when questioned or a bug is found with auto updates. buy it once use it for life. :Like :Like
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djreiswig
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Re: G Code Generator

Post by djreiswig » Sat Jan 15, 2022 8:58 pm

SheetCam is all I've used, but I definitely recommend it. Very easy to learn to use, and support is top notch. Another nice thing is the posts are written in lua, and can be modified easily to create whatever gcode format you need.
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speediburns
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Re: G Code Generator

Post by speediburns » Sun Jan 16, 2022 2:16 am

Thanks for taking the time. Anyone running a TM that can comment?

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Re: G Code Generator

Post by adbuch » Sun Jan 16, 2022 4:25 am

Another option would be to use the free version of Fusion 360 to import your dxf files, run your tool paths with lead-ins, and post process from within
Fusion 360 to generate the g-code for your Torchmate table.
David

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FabLab
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Re: G Code Generator

Post by FabLab » Sun Jan 16, 2022 5:50 pm

speediburns wrote:
Sun Jan 16, 2022 2:16 am
Thanks for taking the time. Anyone running a TM that can comment?
I run TM at work and SheetCam at home, I would definitely recommend SheetCam

speediburns
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Re: G Code Generator

Post by speediburns » Tue Jan 18, 2022 11:39 am

FabLab wrote:
Sun Jan 16, 2022 5:50 pm
I run TM at work and SheetCam at home, I would definitely recommend SheetCam
Are you running SheetCam at home on a TM?

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FabLab
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Re: G Code Generator

Post by FabLab » Tue Jan 18, 2022 5:19 pm

speediburns wrote:
Tue Jan 18, 2022 11:39 am
FabLab wrote:
Sun Jan 16, 2022 5:50 pm
I run TM at work and SheetCam at home, I would definitely recommend SheetCam
Are you running SheetCam at home on a TM?
No, my plasma at home is a DIY machine

speediburns
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Re: G Code Generator

Post by speediburns » Wed Jan 19, 2022 5:05 pm

For those on the edge of their seat awaiting my decision, I wanted to close out the thread so others didnt waste time answering, or could see how it worked out.

I purchased a SheetCAM license after trying a few small parts. The one part I really needed to cut was more than 150 lines so I had to bite the bullet. It configured pretty easily to my TM machine though I had to try more than one post processor configuration. It had an odd M05 spindle stop at the end of the GCode, but Les answered my question with the fix in about 3 hours so as of now up and running with no known bugs. The only thing I would like to see is the ability to lead in at an angle. SheetCAM offers an arc or perpendicular but I became fond of 45 deg straight line lead ins.

The rest is up to me to learn I guess.

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djreiswig
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Re: G Code Generator

Post by djreiswig » Wed Jan 19, 2022 6:28 pm

I believe there is also a tangent leadin option.
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speediburns
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Re: G Code Generator

Post by speediburns » Wed Jan 19, 2022 7:42 pm

I should have specified "for holes"

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