View Full Version : Totally New
01-10-2010, 01:56 AM
I'm totally new to the machining part of CNC. I built and have operated a CNC plasma table for several years now. Now I'm preparing to build a CNC milling table and need some help with programs.
Currently I use FlashCuts for the plasma table and do quite well with it. Now I'd like some help in selecting the program for this new phase of CNC work. I currently have TurboCad 15 loaded on the computer but have no idea on how to conjure up a basic drawing to cut something as simple as a cube. So when I said totally new, I was not kidding!
I was thinking TurboCad and CAM then use Mach III, but I'd really like to hear some other suggestions about program selection and use. Remember, I new so user friendly is important.
01-10-2010, 06:25 AM
I'm having a bit of a problem understanding your post, you say you use Flashcut on your plasma table but you are asking how to conjure up a drawing ?
How do you get a drawing for your plasma / flashcut to understand ?
If you took one of your plasm drawings, just say as an example a circle, in Flashcut you can define the third dimension, the Z moves.
Flashcut could then produce the code and you could copy / paste this over to Mach 3.
You have everything you need unless it's the drawing you don't have in which case you need to learn a CAD package so you can export to Flashcut as a DXF file.
Am I reading this correctly ?
01-10-2010, 12:27 PM
I've been doing weather vanes and wall art for several years. See the below link, www.usm-c.com. What I don't understand is how to take the single surface .dxf drawing and produce for ease of conversation lets say a stepper motor support that has a shaft hole in the center and 4 bolt holes on the outside.
Making the initial drawing and exporting it to become a .fgc file is well within my grasp. Now, how do I carve that out of a 1/2" block of aluminum? On my cutting files I see the G code command lines that tell the stepper motors where to go. For the plasma cutter, that at a fixed heigth. Now. when it arrives at x 1.00 by y 1.00 how to I tell it to go to z -.5 then back to it's original heigth so that it can move without trying to go the the wall of aluminum?
Glen, AKA Aussie
01-10-2010, 01:10 PM
What version of Flashcut are you using ?
01-10-2010, 03:24 PM
I know the program is flash cuts by the owners manuals. However, when you start it on the computer it comes up as Torchmate CAD, so I can't really answer the question. I know that Torchmate sells a module for a Z axis if you need the plasma torch to be moving vertically. However, I don't have it.
I do have Turbo CAD 15.
01-10-2010, 03:40 PM
Sorry I think we are at crossed purposes here. When you said Flashcut I thought you meant the controller software called Flashcut, see here.
01-10-2010, 04:45 PM
The controller program is written by Flash Cut but is boxed with the Torchmate Plasma Table kit as Torchmate CAD and the controller side is Torchmate 2.1.4 which is also a Flash Cut Controller program. All of the manuals and the electronics are Flash Cut and Cad Link. 2.1.4 is a Flash Cut program, it's the middle in your link.
01-10-2010, 05:29 PM
OK think I can work with that but it will have to be tomorrow night as I need my beauty sleep,
Mind you in that case perhaps we better make it next month ? :D
01-10-2010, 05:48 PM
You can also reach me at usmc.maw@earthlink(dot)net, your choice.