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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2004

    Help me select a cam package

    I am a hobby machinist for more than 10 years now, having built a couple routers and a retrofit. I use Mach3 with Sheetcam at home. For work I ran a few drawing though it for engraving and now they want to buy a cam package. Sheetcam falls a bit short for my work use in the following. We use Inventor and models have to be saved to views in dxf format and then features all need their own layer. We can do this and have done it but it is a hassle. Most of what we make is 2.5 d work but some 3d would open doors up. The 2.5 d stuffs needs to have pocketing with both roughing and finish passes for both the profile and depth. We are also doing a lot more engraving, a simple way to add text for engraving directly in the cam package would be great. I can get most of this stuff done with what we have but it is no benefit if the machist can run though a conversational programming routine on the machine faster that producing the cam output from a cam package. We have some money to spend but would like to keep to around 1k or less. We are an educational institution so we may be able to get a discount, but we would be using the cam software for research related projects in our lab. I know this is opinion based but I am open to suggestions. Thanks.
    Everything in moderation, including moderation.

  2. #2
    Registered andre-dolphin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Have a look at Dolphin PartMaster, this will do exactly what you want.

    The latest version will import IGES solid models and allow you to choose the features you wish to machine.

    As well as Milling, there are modules for Turning and Wire EDM, even if you don't have these machines it can be useful to see how they are programmed.

    Our website is Dolphin CAD/CAM CNC Software or you can contact rodney@dolphincadcamusa.com

    Educational pricing is available.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Take a look at the Vectric line of software. You can download a trial version and see how it works on your machine. Also they are do not push you by calling and Emailing you like some of the other software companues do You don't even have to give your Email address if you do not want to it is optional

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Dolphin is a nice package and certainly worth checking out.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Take a look at directMILL (modules from 2 to 5 axis), I'm confident you'll be surprised at how easy it is. It's fully integrated within Rhino which reads 3D files from Inventor.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    I have been using the Cut2D from Vectric for the past couple of weeks. Very easy to use and has alot of features. For the cost I'd recommend it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Chiming in with the DolphinCAM users.
    I use it everyday for 2.5d and I love how easily I get correct, consistant toolpaths.
    No 3d though, unless you count the "Merge" features and whatnot. These are great for certain applications but if you are doing mold & die 3d work, I'm not sure if you can get away with 1k.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Take a look at CamBam Members Projects It's 2d/3d, it's productive, it's pretty well bomb-proof, it's easy to use and it's great value for money.

    I'm not connected, just a happy customer. Oh and don't forget the free updates and the author's ability to listen to his customer requests and implement them if practical.


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