Why does CAM software feel very manual & labour intensive

CAM software may output gcode your machine controller might not fully understand.
My original CNC build (2006) runs on WinCNC and Windows XT.
It only operates on very basic gcode.
A more recent CNC build runs on Mach3 which has it’s own slightly different gcode requirement.
In a work environment I ran HAAS machines using complex gcode which generally won’t function on either of the home machines.

It takes time to understand what each machine needs.
CAM gcode often needs to be altered to suit the individual machine.
Notepad is your friend … Often it’s the header in the code that needs to be changed.
When you discover what works save the portion of the code to copy / paste into the next project.
Notepad ++ is a bit more powerful / useful for this task.
I prefer CAM software that resides on the computer rather than cloud based.
Why ? … Once it’s understood what each machine needs the CAM post processor can be altered to output the code your machine is happy with.
Path to the post processor files will look something like this:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Cut3D\PostP

Other tools to have on hand :
Magnifier to inspect the tool bit for a bad cutting edge.
Laser thermometer to keep an eye on tool temp.
Feeds and Speeds Wizard

And don’t forget, you can always change out the machine controller hardware to allow you to use different CAM software since we do spend lots of time with the software.

With Mesa hardware, Remora firmware and tons of 3D printer boards(and firmware) and drivers on the market, picking the CNC machine hardware and firmware options has never been so plentiful.

What machine pathing format should I use ?
Inside to outside circular ?
Outside to inside circular ?
Streamlined ?
There is really no shortcut for experience.
Sometimes experience comes by working with others in a shop setting.
Sometimes it’s trial and error on your home machine.
If the material is expensive then do a test run on something cheaper … foam, wood etc.

And of course … YouTube

HSM Works owned by Autodesk
V Carve

This thread made me wonder if any of you have used CNC Cookbook’s G-Wizard?
I’ve been aware of the name for years but haven’t had a need for such a calculator. Supposedly it caters to hobby machines/hobbyist.


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