View Full Version : pinging Evan,(all) Cam programs?

sid pileski
12-23-2009, 05:00 PM
Evan, all- This year I would like to learn a CAM program.
I use ProE for my Cad work all the time, that's how I make my regular living.
So, out put to a Cam progam is not an issue.
I mave a Prototrak k3 mill with 2.5 axis controller, that will import G code.
I believe the controller behind the conversational screen is a Fanuc?
I'm quite good at programing from the screen at the machine, but I would like to be able to do more at my desk.
Manily profiling and islands, bolt holes, as this machine is only 2.5 axis.
While I use computers all day and my Cad package is top line, I don't know much about computers. So making or setting up a post for this machine is not something I could do (or know how).
Could you recomend a program that you hve used that might be helpful and easy to use?
Free would be nice, but not essential to a degree!

I'm sure I'll have more questions.
Thanks in advance.


12-23-2009, 05:33 PM
Is that Wildfire Pro engineer? Don't they have something called CAM Lite?

12-23-2009, 05:56 PM
I use DeskCNC.

Here is a link to an old thread about DeskCNC


12-23-2009, 06:40 PM
I use CamBam which is written by a fellow in the UK. I have been beta testing it for him for quite a while now and it is miles ahead of where it was when I started. There is a free version but it is frozen at a pretty early stage and isn't representative of what the full version can do or even how the user interface works any more. You can trial the full version for a limited number of uses with full functionality.

I don't get paid to say this but I do get a free copy of the pro version for testing purposes. Believe me when I say that beta testing early version software can be rather frustrating at times when all your work goes poof. Andy has that pretty well nailed down now and most of the bugs I find are very minor. Whether you will like it or not is hard to tell. It suits me because the way it is run is by exposing the internal settings for the user to change.

Andy is a really top programmer and the best thing about the program is that if you have a problem you can go on the forum and get an answer from him directly. If it is a problem with the program he will fix it in short order or even just incorporate a suggestion if it makes sense. CamBam Plus isn't expensive, around $149 USD.

It isn't just a CAM program, it is also a limited CAD environment. It is extensible with a variety of plugins and scripts including one I wrote that greatly expands the possiblities.

As an example if you need to machine something like a velocity stack my script can generate a tool path for that in a minute or two.

This took all of 60 seconds to do including starting up the software and running my script for spiral toolpaths. There are plenty of other scripts and plugins available too.



12-23-2009, 06:50 PM
I tried CamBam (plus) a while back and was pretty disappointed.
First, I really couldn't find any instructions. Seriously.
Second, it seems to make some lousy toolpaths for simple objects.
Tried making a triangular pocket, and it make a bunch of equally offset triangles with a plunge between each operation (if I remember correctly).
In the end, I gave up and wrote the g code by hand.

12-23-2009, 06:53 PM
Try it again. Those routines have been completely rewritten in the latest release. It doesn't get confused any more and it will even allow you to specify a tool that is the exact same size as the cut to be made with no roughing allowance.

Full docs are now available on the web site.


Tried making a triangular pocket, and it make a bunch of equally offset triangles with a plunge between each operation (if I remember correctly).

It now has a setting where you may specify how far it is allowed to move without retracting the tool to pick up the next part of the path. Your choice.