Free CAM package (that works!)

Free CAM package (that works!)

Postby edwardrford » Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:06 am

All, I just put out a blog post on this, but wanted to start a discussion here, instead of in the comments of the post.

A few months ago I found an open source, web based (flash) CAM package. It's been abandoned, but was open sourced before being completely abandoned. I've taken the code base and put it in my github so we have a central place to start improving it. I am also hosting it on one of my instances in one of my domains: http://www.makercam.com.

The interesting part is that I bought makercam.com before I found Jack's PartKam! I had this dream of starting an open source simple (2.5D) web based CAM program. So when I found Jack's source, I figured that re-inventing the wheel wasn't necessary, and instead compiled and posted the flash file to my domain.

I've been using it for a while now and for the most part REALLY like makercam for an entry level, first blush, CAM package. There are some tediou things about the program, like the fact that the defaults (bit size, depth pass, stepover, plunge rate, etc) are not exactly shapeoko condusive, which means that each toolpath you create, you'll have to change those. It's not a dealbreaker, but it definitely slows things down. The other feature I'm really missing is the ability to save my nc files directly on the site. it's something that I'm working on now, and will *hopefully* have a solution for very soon.

Otherwise, it's great! I especially like that it imports SVGs. As you see in the video, you can find an SVG of pretty much anything via google images, so getting started cutting designs was pretty simple when I cut a coaster set. To overcome the "svg only" limitation, I've been keen on opening a dxf file in inkscape, then simply saving it as an SVG. Seems to work pretty well actually!

Anyway, like I said in the blog post: let me know what you think of the software and especially let me know if you have any flash experience and want to help make it better.

Take care,
Edward
Shapeoko 1 #0 - a couple of upgrades.
Shapeoko 2 #0 - a couple of upgrades.
Shapeoko 3 #2 - Stock
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Re: Free CAM package (that works!)

Postby bobt » Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:02 pm

Edward - What is the language that it is written in. Because I want to try and make this run on my Raspberry PI. I know from your info that it uses flash and I am going to try to use open source flash software (python based) to support it instead of flash itself then it will run on unix/linux systems without a problem.

Bob Teeter
"What Box???" ShapeOko #397
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Re: Free CAM package (that works!)

Postby edwardrford » Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:17 pm

Hi Bob, it's written in actionscript 3. I put the files up on github last night too: https://github.com/shapeoko/makercam

I want this to run on a Pi too Bob! Could you imagine...

-Edward
Shapeoko 1 #0 - a couple of upgrades.
Shapeoko 2 #0 - a couple of upgrades.
Shapeoko 3 #2 - Stock
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Re: Free CAM package (that works!)

Postby madmanmoe » Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:23 pm

I'm still haven't found a CAM package that I'm happy with for my mac. I tried using this, and the interface was nice and friendly, but LinuxCNC refuses to open the .nc file that is created.
I'm not sure what to try, there didn't seem to be any other export options.
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Re: Free CAM package (that works!)

Postby calica » Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:37 pm

What does LinuxCNC do? Be sure to list all extensions in the file dialog. I forget which is the default.
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Re: Free CAM package (that works!)

Postby edwardrford » Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:43 am

If you want linuxcnc to open the file, just change the extension to .ngc. I make the mistake about 50% of the time and have to either do a *.* feom the file criwser or change the extension.

-Edward
Shapeoko 1 #0 - a couple of upgrades.
Shapeoko 2 #0 - a couple of upgrades.
Shapeoko 3 #2 - Stock
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Re: Free CAM package (that works!)

Postby bobt » Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:12 am

Yes Edward I can imagine that and just think I might only use my windows box as a remote host display unit. Also with that tool working and some reasonable graphics (1080P) It just might get to be fun.

Source downloaded and I see what I can hack up.

Bob Teeter
"What Box???" ShapeOko #397
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Re: Free CAM package (that works!)

Postby madmanmoe » Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:38 pm

I tried both changing the file type to all files and then selecting the .nc file as well as changing the file extension on my gcode to .ngc and both times I'm aloud to select the file but then I get an error, -couldn't open the file.
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Re: Free CAM package (that works!)

Postby alpha » Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:26 pm

Looks like a nice CAM and easy to use as well! Thanks for doing this. I did start adding this to the wiki...
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Re: Free CAM package (that works!)

Postby madmanmoe » Sat Feb 09, 2013 10:16 pm

For some reason it didn't like Chrome.

i.e files exported from MakerCam running in Chrome, wouldn't open with LinuxCNC
exact same files exported from MakerCam running on Safari worked like a charm.

Anyone else have this problem?


Anyway, now that it's working, I love this program, definitely the best free application that I can use on my Mac.

I might still try and run CamBam on Ubuntu, but for now this is perfect.

Thanks,

- Tom
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