CAD/CAM software & post processors

I recently followed a link to the SHAPEOKO forum and was surprised by the number of BobCAD users of which I’m one. I also finally found a post processor that works with my Longmill on this forum that DOESN’T change arcs to lines and pauses for tool changes (the pause is really a G-code error but so what). I initially used Fusion 360 as a hobbyist until they wanted a yearly subscription (so much for free). I decided to purchased BobCAD/CAM mill version during one of their many sales events (which I’m aware is overkill) because I wanted to acquire a thorough knowledge of CNC milling from a very capable software provider that has great tech support. The support package they thru in has over 300 videos that cover just about everything and are indispensable to shorten one’s learning curve. With so much CAD/CAM software available today it’s a great time to be alive! Happy New Year.

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That’s great to hear @SDS, Happy New Year! What was the name of the post-processor?

Chris, the post processor isn’t available on BobCAD’s download page but it will be soon I expect. I’ll email a copy on request. Also I spoke to soon, the post processor works great except on holes which I just discovered. I’m sure BobCAM’s tech support can fix it. A question for you about the Universal G-code sender, How do you close out a file? When you exit and reopen the NC file is still there. Also where can I find a list of G-codes NOT supported by GRBL?

I’m interested as well - But curious as to why you can’t use fusion anymore? Should still be free.

Mike

True. Fusion 360 is free for hobbyists. They created a separate licensing scheme that broke out hobbyists from the startup group. It’s still free; you just have to “reauthenticate” under the hobbyist license.

BobCAD has finally come thru on a post processor that works and stops for tool changes without any errors. If you use BobCAD I’ll be glad to send you a copy so you don’t have to go thru what I did. Best for the New Year to all.

Can anyone share what BobCad costs? in CAD or USD$?

I cannot locate any pricing on their webpage.

Lumpy, BobCAD has sales on all the time and do not post their prices. I purchased the 2 axis standard Mill version for $395 US which includes 6 months of great tech support. As I became more familiar with the software I upgraded to the 3 axis Mill version for $595 during their Xmas special. This included a support package worth $400 (303 videos) and BobCAD Art worth $295. Good software isn’t cheap and will make you a better draftsman and mill operator. For comparison my architectural software, Vectorworks, is now running somewhere around $5000. All the best with your endeavors Lumpy.

Thanks @SDS,

Ouch, That’ll have to be possibly a down the road upgrade.

$400USD is about $550CAD.

I’ll stick with Carbide Create, Easle and anything else I can get
away with for free. I’m just a lowly home hobbyist.

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Lumpy, I get it. My software purchases cost me more than my Longmill, OUCH! It was a tough decision.

I keep toying with buying software as well - The free stuff works but is certainly a bigger pain to do certain more complex things - some projects I know would e pretty easy in Vcarve are possible in f-engrave, just a lot more tricky to set up or require more than one software package to complete.

I am using Easel Pro and would like to use my touch probe to set XY & Z but can’t seem to figure it out. @chrismakesstuff

I am waiting on my new 30x30 where do I begin, I do have sketch up will that work. Or what should I do to start?

@Baggerh Welcome to the group, Harold.

That’s a big question.

The developers of the Mill have put together a good staring list of software that works well with the Mill. You will find it here:

https://sienci.com/longmill-category/software/

In short, you need applications to design your projects, convert your design to gcode, and then send the gcode to the Mill. I don’t believe that there is any one program that does all three. There are many, though, that will handle the design and the gcode creation. The lists in that link will get you started. Then, you can read this forum to learn of other options.

Much depends on if you want to stay with free software or if you are open to buying it. That, of course, brings in your budget.

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