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Thread: CNC Zyto + Raspberry Pi

  1. #21
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    I'll finish the computery softwary bit with a a few comments and suggestions for CAD / CAM software that will run or complement a small CNC setup such as this Raspberry Pi one I'm babbling on about.
    So first up with CAD.
    Well everybody has particular preferences and opinions about what is the best to use. There are plenty to choose from, some free, some not. I won't bother listing them all, just a couple of interest for reasons stated with each.
    First up:
    Librecad. Why, well it is free, it runs on a Raspberry Pi. It also runs on Windows, Mac, and most mainstream Linux systems. Does most general 2D CAD stuff. Here is a link for it.
    http://librecad.org/cms/home.html

    Second up:
    Heeks CAD/CAM. (3D) This one looks V interesting but I really have not spent enough time on it to make any objective comment. If anyone out there has had a good go on it, then please do let us know what it is good for. I might make further comment myself as, if and when...
    Link Here
    https://sites.google.com/site/heekscad/home/Details

    Third up:
    Inkscape. Well its not CAD. It is a vector drawing system, which is CAD capable to a point. It can output in .DXF format and plain .SVG formats which makes it a handy editor / originator for all sorts of non technical drawings, pictures, photographs, sketches. So once a picture sketch etc has been imported at can be vectorised, stretched, squashed , resized. Whatever you like really. but the output is in a format that good CAM system can deal with. It also has limited ability to do a bit of CAM as well using a tool called "GcodeTools" I had pleasing but limited sucess with this. It can only realistically do outline or trace cuts. Gcode Tools is supposed to be able to do area cuts, but I did not have any joy with that.
    So, it's good for more arty farty shapes and forms than the usual 2D CAD. It runs on a Raspberry Pi and Windows, Mac, mainstream Linux and is free.
    Main Inkscape link here:
    https://inkscape.org/en/

    Quick "How to" Vectorise here:
    http://goinkscape.com/how-to-vectorize-in-inkscape/

    Bit on Gcode Tools for Inkscape here:
    https://www.norwegiancreations.com/2...sing-inkscape/

    Lastly, couldn't find anything remotely CAM useful to run on the Raspberry Pi. Couldn't find anything useful that would run on Linux ( Perhaps Heeks CAD/CAM....could do it?)

    Did find this though.
    http://www.estlcam.com/

    You can take it for a test run for free. I was quite impressed with. So I bought a licence for it. Its Windows only. Full licence is $59
    The bit that sold it for me which may interest the patten making casting fraternity is the ability to do good carves with a V bits so draft is created by the carve and also there is a text generator and a modest set of fonts that it will draw for you, even round curves. I think it is a rather good piece of software for the price. It can do all sorts of other things which I've not tried yet.
    Take a look at the video manual, especially the ones on Carving and Texts
    http://www.estlcam.com/anleitung.php

    I'm now done on the software thing. I'll cover the mechanicals in the next exciting installment

    Cheers
    MrGreg

  2. #22
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    Great thread Mr G. My CNC desires have been wetted again. As a complete ignoramous with this arena how would I deal with CAD produced in Solidworks? I can obviously output a variety of file types but how much would a CAM program then do for me (I assume the 'final' drive is a G-code type affair)

    I need to do more research I fear!

  3. #23
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    I've not been on Solidworks for many years now. I guess it has its own native CAM. ( Both of them well above my "Pay Grade")
    Anyways the .STL format is common and usual for 3D to CAM. The above Estlcam can deal with .STL . Take it for a free test drive!
    I've not tried Estlcams 3D capability as I have only had the CNC operational for a few weeks.

    MrGreg

  4. #24
    I usually use freecad, which I think is much easier to use and I can do almost everything I could want on it. I really like the scripting in it because you can write custom scripts to do anything, and I have a few that sends it to my 3d printer software, cam software, or pepakura, I just save the file and click the button, and it pops up in whatever you needed it to open in, then you can click slice or unfold, and your set.

  5. #25
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    Thanks for that! A very worthy addition. Sort of just about works on a Raspberry Pi if you are patient. I only had the briefest of plays with it. Seems there is a CAM tool in the making as well. Will give it a go on something a bit quicker when I have a mo. Looks like it is going to be a very nice bit of software.
    Here's the link for completeness

    http://www.freecadweb.org/

    Cheers & Thanks again
    MrGreg

  6. #26
    Senior Member caster's Avatar
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    I have been using Autodesk Fusion 360. Nice program lets you design and outputs g-code and its free.

    Caster

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by caster View Post
    I have been using Autodesk Fusion 360. Nice program lets you design and outputs g-code and its free.

    Caster
    Free for a certain amount of time. ??
    Gets you using it, hooked on it, then comes the bill for it....if you want to keep using it...
    A calm sea does not make a skilled sailor...
    http://thehomefoundry.org

  8. #28
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    And here is another doody piece of software that works with Fusion360.

    http://www.123dapp.com/catch

    Watch the vid !

    123D is apparently for replicating children. I prefer the old fashioned method myself.
    No, really they are great pieces of software. Enjoy the while they are free ( & stop when you have had enough )

    I digress, must stay on topic
    CNC Zyto Mechanicals.
    Following on from here:
    http://www.alloyavenue.com/vb/showth...highlight=zyto

    Wondering what to do with it? Originally I had intended to build a vanilla gantry type machine, but this seemed a better plan as previously mentioned. The main missing piece was the cross slide. I bought a slab of cast iron some 250 x 100 x 40mm with a view to having a new one made for it. Perhaps a bit extravagant, but simple enough, square it up - a dovetail and some T slots. I wasted a deal of time trying to find a local engineering company to do it for me. The last attempt gave a quote and promised it in 3 weeks. I picked up my lump of iron 3 months later in the same condition as I had left it.
    Thinks.... Bollox to this I'll make it myself.
    I have a robust is bench drill with a 2 axis table. You can just about get away with milling Alu with a small cutter and fine cuts, but it can handle composites with care and patience. Cast iron dovetails & T slots... No way.
    So, I bought another slab of cast iron, this time pre machined square complete with T slots. I then set about making a pair of custom dovetail guides out of SRBF. ( Tufnol UK brand name). It is an excellent bearing material, resilient & readily machineable. The fixed dovetail is screwed and dowled to one side. The adjustable one is threaded and top screwed. Adjustment by a further 12 x12 bar screwed to the far edge of the iron plate with clamping screws bearing on the back of the dovetail.
    Like so:


    100_1943small.jpg


    Slightly different view:


    100_1944small.jpg

    Well that took quite a bit of time. Further complicated by a problem that the SRBF dovetails turned out to have a slight thickness taper. ( despite my personal mantra of measure twice, cut once. fell on my own sword). I nice chap that I know came to my rescue and surface ground them back to flat for me.
    The other bits in the pic are an extension piece, bearing carrier, the original Zyto saddle, stepper motor and mounting attachment, various sundries & stuff.
    I'll follow on with a bit more shortly.
    Cheers
    MrGreg

  9. #29
    I wonder if they ever came up with something for cnc routers and such that is like octoprint for 3d printers? Its a webpage that runs on the rpi and you upload the gcode to it, just click print, and it prints out the parts for you. I havnt found anything like that for the cnc stuff. I wish there was, that would be awesome to just set up the gcode, zero out everything, then click cut, and you dont have to sit there with the laptop or need a screen, keyboard, and mouse to run the stuff, just hide the little rpi case inside of the cnc itself and plug it into the network.

  10. #30
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    A couple more pics of the mechanicals of the cross slide

    First the cutting of the SRBF dovetails. This was done on the previously mentioned drill/mill thing.


    100_1801small.jpg


    These were then drilled and tapped as previously described and shown in a dismantled state.
    The following pic shows the cross slide semi assembled.

    100_1945small.jpg

    The slide centre, The bearing and stepper carrier left and the leadscrew right.

    Cheers
    MrGreg

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