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what SW is needed for CNC mill
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* July 06, 2009, 07:42:36 PM
We are about to purchase a CNC mill (ToolMac X4). They recommended using the Mach3 CNC software to go with it. As we are using TC prof 15, do I still need to purchase the CAM plugin for Turbocad? What does the CAM plugin do that the Mach3 doesn't?
Thanks

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Vista Business SP 2
Turbocad Prof V15.2
Turbocad CAM V3.5


July 07, 2009, 05:21:31 PM
#1
Yes, you will need a CAM package. Mach3 comes with some wizards & a basic cam program, LazyCAM, but neither the wizards or LazyCAM are comparable to TurboCAD/CAM.

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* July 07, 2009, 05:46:42 PM
#2
Thanks for your reply - I couldn't get even this basic information from the (admittedly) little research I did - any recommendations where I can find some good basic information on this topic, i.e. the transition between CAD->CAM->CNC?

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Vista Business SP 2
Turbocad Prof V15.2
Turbocad CAM V3.5


July 07, 2009, 06:51:59 PM
#3
Download the demo of Mach3 from http://www.machsupport.com/. It is fully functional with no time limit, but it is limited to 10000 lines of code. Next get the TurboCAM plugin & start playing around before you get your machine. That way you are somewhat familiar with the two applications.

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* July 08, 2009, 01:50:07 PM
#4
Can you provide me with a link to the CNC mill that you're getting?  A Google search came up with nothing and I've never heard of ToolMac (did you mean Tormach?).

If the mill you are purchasing is already CNC'ed and comes with Mach3, chances are the vendor is also going to provide you with a licensed copy of one of the hundreds of CAM programs out there.  Mach3 is simply a machine controller and, like kmartin mentioned, will provide you with some basic CAM functions (CAM is a program dedicated to creating toolpaths commands for Mach3 to send to the machine).  Depending on what you are planning on machining, some CAM packages may be way more than you need.  There are some decent freebie CAM packages out there that perform quite well.  Take a look at: http://www.machsupport.com/forum/index.php?action=links;cat=7

I've only used SheetCAM, which is for 2D and 2.5D profiling as I have a CNC plasma cutter and only need to use the 3rd (Z) axis for torch height control so I cannot comment on any other CAM packages.  I do have a licensed copy of BobCAD-CAM, but I haven't needed to use it yet.

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* July 09, 2009, 01:13:10 AM
#5
Sorry, I meant ToolMach CNC mill.
Fooled around a bit with Mach3's lazycam and looks like I can't import dxf files that have 3D information, but the 2D drawings worked.
Also downloaded TurboCad 15's CAM plugin, but not activated it yet since I'm waiting till we get the mill. Though at an additional cost of soime AUD300 (if I remember right) it will have to make life considerably simpler.
Thanks for your input

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Vista Business SP 2
Turbocad Prof V15.2
Turbocad CAM V3.5


* July 09, 2009, 01:16:02 AM
#6

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Vista Business SP 2
Turbocad Prof V15.2
Turbocad CAM V3.5