Tool Paths

Software

Tool Paths — Introduction

Computer-aided manufacturing ( CAM ) programs analyze your models or drawings, creating toolpaths from them that represent the motion of a cutting tool as it cuts the part. This is then processed into a set of instructions specific to your CNC machine, telling it exactly how and where to move in order to cut out your part. Typically written in a language called “G-code”, they are the bridge between a part created in a modeling program (or an unaltered 3D scan) and your mill or lathe. The CAM…

VisualMill 2020 ME

MecSoft Corporation has made it their mission to bring high-end machining capability to the world, at a price point far below other programs in the same league. The whole suite of programs they offer is called VisualCAD/CAM. It includes Computer Aided Design ( CAD ) programs including the free VisualCAD, that allows the creation and editing of curves, meshes, and solids, and VisualArt, which facilitates the creation of carveable geometry models from 2D bitmaps (and is now included in all…

VisualCAM—Mill for Rhino

RhinoCAM 2020

MecSoft Corporation’s plug-in to McNeel’s Rhino 6.0 3D modeling software brings VisualMill’s functionality into the Rhino environment. RhinoCAM 2020 does everything that VisualMill 2020 does, while RhinoCAM 2020 Expert includes all the functions of VisualMill 2020 Expert and RhinoCAM Pro offers the full functionality of VisualMill 2020 Pro , from within the Rhino workspace. For someone who likes Rhino , wants to develop CNC toolpaths for their Rhino models, and wishes…

VisualCAM—Mill For SolidWorks

For a user of SolidWorks, with its powerful parametric design capabilities, the addition of VisualMill’s palette of machining operations is a natural expansion, made seamless by its integration into the SolidWorks workspace. Machining regions can be defined using SolidWorks’ familiar tools, and small changes don’t require file export, switching programs, and reimportation. Updating your files and toolpaths after making changes is simple, and the G-code is rewritten to reflect them. As with the…

VisualCAM—Turn

VisualTURN 2020 from MecSoft

MecSoft Corporation has done it again. VisualTURN is a program that automates lathe operations in the same graphic way that VisualMill has automated milling operations. You can start with a linear plot or a 3D model and work your way through a series of templates which enable you to generate accurate toolpaths in standard G-code adapted to the requirements of your particular CNC lathe. Features include roughing, finishing, groove roughing, groove finishing, threading, curve following…

DeskProto 7.0

Three-axis and Multi-axis

While it’s not intended for machining mechanical-type parts, DeskProto is an excellent choice for producing artistic, decorative or jewelry items as well as concept models. Unfazed by mesh files running into hundreds—even thousands—of megabytes, it generates toolpaths and the G-code that drives your router or mill very quickly, and boasts a range of powerful machining strategies utilizing 3, 4 or even 5 axes of your CNC machine. With various “wizards” to guide you in setting up such things as…

DeskProto 123

Wax Ring Kit and Fixture

If you want to take full advantage of the 123 Wax Ring Wizard that comes with the DeskProto 7.0 Multi-axis Edition , there is now a kit with cutters, pre-formed wax discs (you can make your own if you want), a fixture for the rotary table, and an adapter to the Sherline rotary table ( Roland rotary tables don’t need an adapter). This solid little fixture holds the wax firmly in three positions, so it can cut a ring along its periphery, and then cut to the inside of the ring from two sides…