2014. május 9., péntek

CNC Starting

I'm working on the setup of my CNC router for a while.
The whole story is not so easy, especially if we add that I have no clue about the 3D machining.
For today I collected lots of information to be able to handle it.
The planed setup is the following:
  • I'm designing on my Windows machine
  • There is an additional machine (to be precise my previous desktop PC) what controls the CNC router and the 3D printer.
For the things to run I need a software toolchain. Precisely toolchains for the various different tasks.
Any 3D designing/manufacturing process contains the following:
  • Some modelling program to draw the plans. It's called CAD-nek (Computer Aided Design)
  • Something what is able to translate the design into the machines language (gcode). It's called CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing)
  • Finally a software is able to directly control the machine, send the commands created by the CAM with the required precise timing. It's called Machine Controller.
The idea that my own machine will act as CAD/CAM and on the controller machine the Machine Controller.
Let see the toolchains.
This is the base where I starting:
The CAD for the time being is the OpenSCAD. It is free, absolute precise, but it's philosophy is more for programers than designers. It is suits to me.
The other CAD to be precise EDA is the KiCAD what I'm using for designing PCBs.
The CAM if we are talking about the CNC is unknown. There are not to much free or low cost solution exists. I should test them, and it should evolve to a usable solution.
The CAM if we are talking about the 3D Printer is the Repetier Host (to be precise the Slic3r what is integrated into the Repetier Host).
The Machine Controller is the Mach3 for the CNC by the manufacturer's recommendation. For the 3D Printer is it is the Repetier Host itself.

 Most of the article above was written weeks ago. Since than the situation changed much. The toolchains and the various tools in it are getting evolved. This post is just a prequel for the continuation.

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