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Thread: Cad cam

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    Full Member lizard's Avatar
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    Default Cad cam

    can anyone recomend a cheap or free cad program for a CNC milling machine, flow jet cutter or laser cutter please peoples ....

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    Regular Member SRiAden's Avatar
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    Dunno if this is much help but any CAD program that is capable of producing DXF files would do - .dxf, AutoCAD DXF (Drawing Exchange Format) which was developed by Autodesk and is compatible across several programs used with CNC machines. If you get hold of a copy of Autodesk Inventor, that would be ideal, but any CAD package, Pro Engineer, Solid Edge, Solid Works, FormZ etc. would do. All of these can be found for "free" online, if you look hard enough. Not that I would condone that sort of thing!! Hope this is of some help to you!

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    Regular Member Derek Mc's Avatar
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    The only free ones are a bit basic but if you can get a pass-key Caddit is a decent starting point?

    http://www.freedownloadmanager.org/d...tware_53204_p/

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    Regular Member Ste's Avatar
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    Personally, I would steer clear from the 3D solid modelling packages - unless you actually need that capability.

    There are plenty of 2D draughting packages about, eg AutoCad.

    You can get these for free if you look around. I'm not commenting on the legal / ethical position, just the facts of the matter.

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    Regular Member SRiAden's Avatar
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    From my experience, it's actually more advantageous to use a 3D CAD package for CNC milling for generating for tooling paths etc. in a 3D rather than 2D form, which, with laymen, can tend towards guess work and can be hugely complicated when generating 3D forms. Particularly when designing fixtures and work holding devices/webbing. Parametric solid modeling software makes CNC machining far more straightforward, especially for complex 3 or 4-axis parts etc. and in most cases will generate tooling paths. From experience, AutoCAD can be a bit of a nightmare when CNC machining, especially when it's being carried out by HP water or laser. CNC machining is by no means an accessible technology and it's important to choose a program which suits your individual needs. I would tend to say that Autodesk Inventor and AutoCAD are effectively industry standard and all CAM software is guaranteed to work with them, however my advice would be to take the plunge and opt for Inventor- it'll save you time and money in the long run!

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    Regular Member Ste's Avatar
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    You could be right Aden, but most 3D modellers are not exactly user friendly or intuitive for the occasional use. And if it's only profiles that need cutting, eg laser, HP water cutting etc, then developing profiles isn't difficult in a 2D draughter package. AutoCad can be obtained easily at no cost too... but it may not be the latest release.

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