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  1. #1

    What now? (g-code generation/creation)

    Hi there, I am new to CAD/CAM and I have been teaching my self how to create parts in different software.

    I have been creating a part with the intention of using 'EXTRUDED POLYSTYRENE' as the material. Now most software costs so at the moment I have settled with using FreeCAD.

    Now part I have designed requires more than a 3axis machine, so I am using a 4 axis, 8 bit tool changer, 5 inch gantry CNC machine.
    Unfortunately FreeCAD does not support 4axis machine g-code generation.


    The designs are 3D and the files are saved as .FCStd, so I do not think I can upload them here.


    I need to create the g-code or at least generate it quite soon but I have no idea how to or what to use.

    Can I have some advice or help please?

    Thank you

  2. #2

    Re: What now? (g-code generation/creation)

    Fusion 360, full professional CAD/CAM software. It's free to hobbyists and supports up to 5 axis.
    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA

  3. #3
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    Re: What now? (g-code generation/creation)

    Last time I tried a 4 axis tool path with Fusion 360 I learned it's 3 axis +1, meaning 3 axis plus indexing. I was hoping for 4 axis simultaneous.
    That leads to the suspicion 5 axis is 3axis +2 indexing. If that describes the type of tool path you need try Fusion, you'll learn to like it.
    Anyone who says "It only goes together one way" has no imagination.

  4. #4

    Re: What now? (g-code generation/creation)

    Quote Originally Posted by cyclestart View Post
    Last time I tried a 4 axis tool path with Fusion 360 I learned it's 3 axis +1, meaning 3 axis plus indexing. I was hoping for 4 axis simultaneous.
    That leads to the suspicion 5 axis is 3axis +2 indexing. If that describes the type of tool path you need try Fusion, you'll learn to like it.
    Check this out, all done in Fusion, full 5 axis. The 5 axis stuff starts at about 00:05:40 in the video.

    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA

  5. #5
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    Re: What now? (g-code generation/creation)

    I don't know 5 axis. Is it possible it does in 5 what it doesn't do in 4 ? He has a video on creating the design, for sure he knows some tricks I haven't learned.

    As of December Fusion does wraps and indexing on 4th axis, not what I think of as continuous. If that's been updated I missed it.
    https://forums.autodesk.com/t5/fusio...r/td-p/7683984
    https://forums.autodesk.com/t5/fusio...es/m-p/8178929
    In the 2nd link: "Fusion currently only supports 4th-Axis indexing and wrap toolpaths" and that's from an Autodesk employee.

    A few months ago I designed something similar to a herringbone gear. It was only when the cutting started I realized it was shifting Y instead of rotating A.
    No doubt there's ways to bend it to your will but it shouldn't need to be tricked into doing what software as basic as Gearotic 'just does'.
    **End of my pointless insomniac rant**
    Anyone who says "It only goes together one way" has no imagination.

  6. #6
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    Re: What now? (g-code generation/creation)

    If you would like to upload a file of your part here,can you export it as a STEP or .igs file?It will be easier to see what you are intending.As for 4 axis in Freecad,sliptonic is experimenting with that sort of thing and you might soon be able to find something.Do you have a functional 4 axis setup yet?

  7. #7
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    Re: What now? (g-code generation/creation)

    hello, i believe that a cam should be easy to use, so to generate shortest positioning & toolpaths segments, with minimal keystrokes

    also, it should allow postprocessor customizing, so to take advantage of full cnc potential

    is good to experiment with different cam's and cnc's, so to have a clue

    in depth learning of a machine takes time

    so far, i have used only 4 real axis, and on a recent setup, that was on the machine for a few months, i have generated a program that performs with 20% faster, comparing to another one generated by a cam, without using higer specs ( thus same rpm, feed & doc ); well, i am still learning, but for me it was a small victory

    Check this out, all done in Fusion, full 5 axis. The 5 axis stuff starts at about 00:05:40 in the video
    going on 5 axis requires a few things :
    ... program resolution should be adapted to cnc resolution, otherwise, the machine may get succumb ( unable to keep up ), or the machine may finish to fast ( because the machine is capable of moving with same speed on a higher resolution toolpath ); this adaptation is hard to guess, because same program will perform differently on different machines, and also, on same machine, it will perform differently when feeds are changed
    ... a cnc controller capable of adapting it's toolpath, so to perform almost the same, within a given tolerance, regardless of program resolution ( eq nurbs function )
    ... a cnc controller capable of ignoring some points from within the program, within a given tolerance, without altering the final product ( eq hyper surface function )

    at this moment i can not imagine a function for boosting 5axis machining, that does not allready exist / kindly
    Ladyhawke - My Delirium, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_bFO1SNRZg

  8. #8
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
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    Re: What now? (g-code generation/creation)

    Afaik, Fusion 360 is still indexed 4 axis only.
    It can do continuous 5 axis, but not 4 axis.
    Gerry

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  9. #9

    Re: What now? (g-code generation/creation)

    Thank you all for your responses.


    The current file save is .FCstd, (from FreeCAD) and this forum does not support .STEP or .igs files (although I can export from FreeCAD to those file types.
    From what I have seen, people are saying Fusion360 is not what I am looking for because of its 4 axis indexing/wrapping.


    I cannot manually write g-code, so what exactly are my options?

  10. #10
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    Re: What now? (g-code generation/creation)

    Quote Originally Posted by ger21 View Post
    Afaik, Fusion 360 is still indexed 4 axis only.
    It can do continuous 5 axis, but not 4 axis.
    A bit of web surfing confirms Autodesk added to the 5 axis strategies without including them for 4 axis. To someone with no clue how cam modules are made it seems like hardest part was done first.
    NYCNC has a workaround on youtube that almost works depending on what you're expecting.

    alexcottle
    Try Fusion 360, it may do exactly what you need.
    btw: If this forum complains about uploading a file format try uploading a zip.
    Anyone who says "It only goes together one way" has no imagination.

  11. #11
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    Re: What now? (g-code generation/creation)

    Try Fusion 360, it may do exactly what you need
    hello, i don't have experience with fushion, but maybe there is a chance to generate a 5 axis code, by keeping the 5th axis steady, so to get a 4th axis code ? i don't know if this is possible, but i believe that is worth trying ?!

    somehow, maybe there is a chance to control the angle between the tool and the part, so to disable the tilting of the 5th axis ? in such a case, a 4th axis code should be obtained

    i don't know if it works, but it just crossed my mind / kindly
    Ladyhawke - My Delirium, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_bFO1SNRZg

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    Re: What now? (g-code generation/creation)

    I've done 4 axis continuous on Fusion. Hint - you need to select a strategy (I believe they're only some of the 2D ones) which support the "wrap" feature. The lack of 4A support on any of the 3D strategies is frustrating, depends on what you need to achieve. For me it was routing shapes in tube wall and it worked beautifully. Not sure how I'd go trying to do full contoured geometry though :/

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