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In the thick of it

Discussion in 'CNC Mills/Routers' started by Fabian68, Dec 10, 2014.

  1. Fabian68

    Fabian68 New
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    Hi all.
    I'm Michael and I live in the UK. I've now purchased all my parts for the OX build and looking forward to setting things up over the Christmas Holiday, that's if everything gets delivered by then. Christmas time for parcels isn't the best time to have deliveries.

    I've watched and downloaded Mark Carew's excellent video's. Without these I doubt weather I would have dared start this build in the first place. I particularly liked the end part of Vid 2 about using Sketchup to get the G codes for the projects you want to try. I did look for more info on the SketchUcam Parameters Window as I haven't done any cad or G coding in the past, but was unable to find any.

    I'd be grateful if any body has a few screen shots of this window so I can get some idea as to how its set up. I have a copy of OPENSCAM to see how the G code works once you have it produced. I wondered if there were other free G code simulators out their that board members use instead of this one.

    I've asked Ben to put me on his list for the Gantry Plates but not knowing when this will happen I'm inclined to look nearer home for them. I can imagine my self on Christmas day surrounded by everything else and no plates.

    One question before I finish and that is, when you have a project that has more than 1 piece on the cutting area how does the router know when its cut the first piece and then go to the next part to start again. (All the pieces are the same size)

    (Definitely a NOOB question)

    Probably be back to ask more Noob type questions,

    Many thanks

    Michael.
     
  2. Joe Santarsiero

    Joe Santarsiero OB addict
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    Hey Mike. Congrats on the dive. When you use sketchucam you have an option to use gplot simulator. It'll do a simulation of the cut too. I use cimco edit and MasterCam for a lot of work so I don't have much experience with other freeware. You could try fusion 360 for a year free. Hit up Autodesk for that.

    Good question about multiple pieces. When you have multiple work pieces, and you assign everything correctly, the software will generate code that tells the cutter (z axis) to raise above the stock thickness after a piece has been cut. Then it will move to the next piece to start work in that area. The size and shape of each piece can be different.
    Hope that clears some stuff up.

    I can't post sketchucam parameters atm cause I'm on my phone, but I think it is best that you figure these out for yourself because they will change from job to job. Each has a pop up that explains them. If you need further explanation of each then feel free to post those questions and I'll help to the best of my ability.
     
  3. Fabian68

    Fabian68 New
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    Hello Joe
    Thanks for the reply.

    I must agree with you about the Sketchucam window. Its fullish to ask that question when commonsense tells me to figure it out for my self. Then I'll know what to do in future. It was a bit daunting at first glance though. I don't know that congrats are in order just yet if you could see my attempt at Meccano when I was a kid. My favourite tool was a hammer. We'll soon find out if there has been any improvement in the last 60yrs.

    It just goes to show you how much I have to learn regarding G code. I thought you would have to watch the router do the first cut and count the number of passes it made to finish the first piece so you could tell the machine when to move to the next one. I'm glad there's a simpler way. I'll have a look at the software you pointed out to see if there's anything useful there.

    Thanks again.

    Michael.
     
  4. GrayUK

    GrayUK Master
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    Hi Michael
    There are loads of Sketchup Videos on "you-tube". Plus loads of training vids.
    If you can get your search phrase right, you should be able to find what you are looking for.
    The trouble with Sketchup is that it can do soooo much, that it seems to loose it's sense of easy appeal.

    Gray
     
  5. pmany

    pmany Journeyman
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    I have spent over 100 hours (kept track on all projects) and I still have to look up how to do some things, or look for a better way to do something if it seems to be taking to long to do.
     
  6. GrayUK

    GrayUK Master
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    Absolutely, that's what it is all about! :thumbsup:
    The trouble is, that in the beginning, you don't know if there is a better way, or even if it is taking too long! :banghead: :D

    Gray
     
  7. pmany

    pmany Journeyman
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    I spend many hours just watching how-to videos before I even install Sketchup. and then kept watching them as soon as I got stuck again. Stuck was spending more than a few minutes trying to figure something out.
     
  8. Fabian68

    Fabian68 New
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    I'm not completely lost. I have 'Google Sketchup 8 for Dummies' and like many here, I'm a frequent visitor to YouTube to watch video's on Sketchup. As Gray says you don't know if there's a better way when you first start something new like I've done here.

    I can't praise Mark's 2 video's enough as they cover every aspect of the OX build and the use of Sketchup and SketchUcam. Unfortunately, there is very little tutorials on the latter and I'm having to study the last part of Vid 2 to get a handle on SketchUcam. I was watching it so many times I ended up editing it into a 14 minute video and stuck it on my phone.

    I'll get there eventually.

    Michael.
     
  9. pmany

    pmany Journeyman
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    I have not even looked at the SketchUcam yet, as I am trying to absorb all the CNC related stuff now. Still in planning phase. I was happy to see that something like it existed though.
     
  10. Joe Santarsiero

    Joe Santarsiero OB addict
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    It's foolish to think it was a foolish question :)

    "It was a bit daunting at first glance though."
    Next time something makes you feel like that .. you face it head on.

    "It just goes to show you how much I have to learn regarding G code. I thought you would have to watch the router do the first cut and count the number of passes it made to finish the first piece so you could tell the machine when to move to the next one."

    Nope. It all gets controlled by the code. Adding, multi-passes are generated by the program used to generate the code and this is something you control (Skecthucam parameters). FYI, you can add stops to the g-code to get it to hold and wait for a response from you before moving on to the next piece or you could split the work into separate programs for each piece.
    There are a lot of options and knowing those options comes with a well grounded understanding of programming in G.
    A good start is to grab a list of code that has short explanations and a few simple example programs. Read through the programs line by line while comparing it to the code list. A nice way to do this for you would be to generate a rectangle with sketchucam (That you set up), output the code to desktop, then change the file extension to .txt.

    There are tons of videos and books around the web to help you learn code. One text book I own and recommend (if you can afford it or find a good used copy) is Computer Numerical Control: Machining and Turning Centers.
    https://www.google.com/shopping/pro...s6Ug&ei=u06MVPVfy6rIBIWVgqAM&ved=0CIACEKYrMAc
    It's clear and concise, easy for anyone to read (Large font too!), and put into a logical structure. The book is a wealth of knowledge and is just about a one stop source for not just programming in G, but work holding and machine set-up, tool I.D. and selection, machine types, system designs, feeds and speeds, etc.

    "I'll have a look at the software you pointed out to see if there's anything useful there."
    Don't worry about it. Sounds like you have enough on your plate with sketchup, G, and machine building.
    I have extensive training with a number of professional CAD/CAM software packages and do CAD for a living. I find Sketchup perplexing.
    I would like to see a decent series of videos on SketchUcam just because there aren't any.

    Also, I found the sketchup OX models very helpful with understanding the OX design.

    60yrs! wow. You're up there! I'll bet you have some good stories. You definitely picked a great hobby. It'll help keep you busy and sharp.
    What do you want to do with your machine once it is complete?
     

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