My CAD / CAM research

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24 Dec 2020 00:32 #193048 by JackW327
Maybe this will save someone a few hours. I've been using Sketchup and it's not cutting it. So I looked around a few places and came up with a list of programs and some basics. I tried Fusion 360 earlier today and I'm working on FreeCAD now. Fusion 360 was easier to get going on. FreeCAD is a little harder but I'm liking that it gives you pretty easy access to all the constraint values. I use Macs for personal stuff (Parallels for Win there if needed). Windows at work. Linux is now going to be the CNC environment. Anyway, here/s the list. Hope this is the right place for the post. Sorry if this is OT.

Fusion 360 (Autodesk)
Mac & Windows
3D CAM
3 axis in free version, 5 axis in full version
Free for qualified hobbyists (<$1K revenue/yr.)
$495/year

FreeCAD
Windows, Linux, Mac
3d CAD / CAM (Path Workbench)
2.5D 3 axis
3D paths experimental (11/20)
Free

LibreCAD
Windows, Linux, Mac
2d CAD
Free

Sheetcam
Windows & Linux
CAM only
2.5D 3Axis (I think …)
£110.00

Visual CAD/CAM (Mechsoft)
Windows
CAD & CAM
2.5D 3 axis to advanced 5 axis
$595 - $10000
$1000/yr - $5000/yr
Pretty complex licensing model -w- Rhino

BobCAD-CAM
Windows (did not see anything else)
CAD & CAM
3 Axis
$250/yr - $550/yr

dxf2gcode
Supplied as Python project so can be made for Windows, Linux, or Mac
CAM
2.5D 3 axis
Free
Project is pretty active

CamBam
Windows
CAM
2.5D 3 axis
$149 (cripple ware enforcement)

Estlcam
Windows
3D 3axis
$59

Others I did not get to:
*
Pycam
* Heeks cam
* Gmax with cnc toolkit
* Vectric
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24 Dec 2020 08:33 - 24 Dec 2020 08:37 #193074 by jbraun
Replied by jbraun on topic My CAD / CAM research
my 2 cents
CamBam has a Linux download available.
LibreCAD looks less capable than the QCAD community (free) edition.
Fusion 360 is good but I don't trust AutoDesk. I hate myself a bit for using it.
I'm mostly using FreeCad recently. If a user wants free and runs on Linux, learning FreeCad is time well spent.

Adding to the list Camotics, it's not CAD or CAM but it has saved me from making scrap a few times.
Also everything from ScorchWorks, especially for artsy stuff.
Last edit: 24 Dec 2020 08:37 by jbraun.
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24 Dec 2020 12:12 #193099 by tommylight
Replied by tommylight on topic My CAD / CAM research
Nice, thank you both.
Will make it a sticky so people can find it easy.
BTW, Blender is missing, it has BlendeCAM that can do a lot of stuff and if i remember correctly it can do 5 Axis stuff, but i never had enough time to give it a run, so if anyone here has any experience with it, please feel free to voice your findings.
blendercam.blogspot.com/p/download-and-installation.html
www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&...cWq0SAPAea6FRlptTtCh
It might need 2 more dependencies installed, they are mentioned down in the chat section on the download link.
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24 Dec 2020 18:35 #193139 by Muzzer
Replied by Muzzer on topic My CAD / CAM research
I think you would need to buy the "extensions" to use true multi-axis in Fusion and the cost per month for that is eye watering ($250/mo?). The paid for version has very limited 4th axis unless I misunderstand.

I'd be very pleased if somebody could tell me otherwise. It meant my 4th axis was pretty much stillborn.
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24 Dec 2020 19:30 #193143 by JackW327
Replied by JackW327 on topic My CAD / CAM research
Yeah ... sorry, didn't scroll all the way down to the extensions and click through to the Milling Extension. They imply that you can "Create indexed or wrapped toolpaths using the rotary axis of your machine" in the $495 plan. Sounds pretty limited and slow. Yep, the Machining extension is $200 / mo or $1600 / yr. 3X the basic cost ... Sigh ... I'm digging into FreeCAD now.

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29 Dec 2020 15:56 - 29 Dec 2020 16:23 #193429 by robertspark
Replied by robertspark on topic My CAD / CAM research
SimplyCAM
Windows
Mill Plasma Lathe
https://www.mr-soft.net/en/scam.htmlhttps://www.mr-soft.net/en/scam.html
One-year of free upgrades
$60 / 49 Euro

GrblGru
Windows (+linux via PlayOnWindows / Wine, instructions on site)
GrblGru is ...
• a 3D simulator for milling and lathe
• a GCode Sender forr Grbl, TinyG, Mega-5X and g2core
• a CAM program for milling and lathe work
• a Tool for learning CNC technology without needing a ’real’ ’Machine
https://www.grblgru.com/
Free

GstarCAD
Windows (only it appears)
Alternative to Autodesk AutoCAD
CAD only
https://www.gstarcad.uk/
Lite 495 Euro + VAT, Professional 595 Euro + (EU VAT if applicable)
Ongoing 195 / 245 + VAT per annum

QCAD / QCAM
Windows / MacOS / Linux
available as a CAD or CAD+CAM package
2.5D CAM (mills, routers, plasma, laser etc)
https://www.qcad.org/en/
QCAD - 33 Euro + EU VAT if applicable (12m of updates)
QCAD/CAM = 89 Euro + EU VAT if applicable (12m of updates)

Inkscape
Windows / MacOS / Linux
Drawing package + plugin / extension to convert to gcode (gcodePlot) + many other useful plugins
https://inkscape.org/
FREE

GIMP / GNU Image Manipulation Program
Windows / MacOS / Linux
Drawing package + a laser gcode plugin
https://www.gimp.org/
FREE
Last edit: 29 Dec 2020 16:23 by robertspark.
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29 Dec 2020 16:21 - 29 Dec 2020 16:38 #193436 by robertspark
Replied by robertspark on topic My CAD / CAM research
LightBurn
Windows / MacOS / Linux
Laser CAM (actually very good at vectorising images and export to DXF too for secondary use i.e. sheetcam)
https://lightburnsoftware.com/
30 day full feature Trial
$40 (includes 12m of updates, but licenced perpetually)
$30 to extend for next 12m of updates
Last edit: 29 Dec 2020 16:38 by robertspark.
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13 Feb 2021 04:01 #198648 by persei8
Replied by persei8 on topic My CAD / CAM research
Fusion360 is now limited to 10 editable documents for hobby users. Time to figure out how to export my f3d designs to another package. Life just can't be that simple. :dry:

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13 Feb 2021 06:06 #198653 by robertspark
Replied by robertspark on topic My CAD / CAM research

persei8 wrote: Fusion360 is now limited to 10 editable documents for hobby users. Time to figure out how to export my f3d designs to another package. Life just can't be that simple. :dry:


could see that change coming.... onshape all over again.....

I'm slowly trying to learn freecad (I come from a 20year autocad day job background)

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