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  • LinuxCNC or GibbsCam?

    Total newbie to CNC, but I bought an Enco 9X42 mill several years ago. It was in the process of being converted to cnc, ball screws partially installed and wrong (still had backlash). I finally managed to get them installed correctly, then get the "break out board" functioning properly. CNCmasters wanted $100/hr for support, because I wasn't the original purchaser. I think it's why the first and second owners gave up.

    I don't know how to write G-code, my understanding is GibbsCam will write the code, if I do the drawing. Or should I just bite the bullet and learn to write G-code? If so, which version? The last one I down loaded was in 2013 to check the steppers etc for backlash.

    thanks,
    Ken

  • #2
    Linux CNC is a controller, GibbsCam is a CAM program, totally different animals.
    Does it have the CNCMasters controller on it ?
    .

    Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.



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    • #3
      Yes, it has the controller. I had to reconfigure it, but the gecko drives control the steppers, for the X, Y, and Z axis.

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      • #4
        I use LinuxCNC to control the hardware, Fusion 360 to design the parts and to create the toolpaths in gCode. What kind of computer are you using the drive the hardware?

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        • #5
          The old computer that was operating linuxCNC died. A friend had some parts, so I now have a pentium quad processor 2.6 ghz with 4 gig of DDR2 that I am going to upgrade to 8gig. (Recommended for GibbsCam) I ran a latency test and had #'s below 10,000, so should be good to go for linux. I didn't actually stress the system so I guess I need to do that. It's been 2 years since I've had time to play with this so I've forgotten a lot of what I learned, especially the problems I had with the break out board and the work around I did with it. But it works, when I was testing the X, Y, and Z axis's it would step the correct distances.

          So my understanding is use LinuxCNC as the controller, and either GibbsCam or manually write G-code.

          thanks,
          Ken

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          • #6
            I did quite a lot of manual G-code in my job, but don't much bother anymore since I got CamBam. Linux & Windows versions free use for 40 sessions, $149 to buy, fabulous user group, does basic Cad drawing so for many things I don't even use any of the 4 cad programs I own.

            If you want to learn G-code that is still a good idea, and the fastest way to learn it is by reading the output from a Cam program for your own parts.

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            • #7
              My 5 year old Tormach PCNC 1100 runs on Mach III within a Windows environment, and I use GibbsCam to both draw and generate Gcode.

              The only thing I see wrong with GibbsCam is the price. I have been using it since about 1998, and with all the upgrades I have done, I now have right around $18,000.00 in it. BUT, I can do full 4 axis milling, turning, mill/turn and wire EDM.

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              • #8
                Only if you have a milling machine, a lathe, a combined mill / turn and a wire EDM
                .

                Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.



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                • #9
                  custoncutter: I would recommend that if you are serious about this, that you learn G-code. It ain't rocket science if a bonehead like me could learn it from reading tapes back in the day when that is how NC (numerical control) machines got their instructions. At first it will seem a little daunting, but it will start to make sense. Good luck.

                  Sarge

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                  • #10
                    If you choose LinuxCNC for your system, Consider the adaptor cards from MESA. the use of which will make the "latency" performance a moot issue.
                    Even a slow PC is much faster that step and direction signals can be executed. The MESA card takes care of many issues associated with timings

                    http://www.mesanet.com/

                    ETA

                    Learn Gcode, write simple routines and edit them,observing the results. Without such experience, tool paths ad program execution will remain a mystery to you.
                    Last edited by CalM; 04-21-2016, 10:20 AM.

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                    • #11
                      When I bought my original seat of GibbsCam I paid around $5,000.00 for it. then as time went on, I bought a Fadal 3016 CNC machining center, then I bought a Haas with 4th axis, then I bought a CNC lathe, then I had to upgrade my GibbsCam again, now I have about $13,000.00 in it, then I got some work that required 5th axis and there went another $5,500.00. Then I had a heart attack in the shop and I decided I no longer needed the stress of ownership, so I sold the company and made a futile attempt at retirement. That lasted about 3 months before I bought my Tormach. My Tormach will do anything my Fadal or Haas would do, it just takes a little longer.The Fadal and the Haas each had 20 horsepower, but my Tormach has 1 1/2.

                      My Tormach is in my garage and I pretty much work when I want to. Hence the name Mid Day Machining. I seldom start before 11:00 AM,and I'm usually finished by 5:00 PM.

                      I spend Saturday getting ready to play on Sunday. I race gas powered remote control boats and trucks.
                      Last edited by Mid Day Machining; 07-25-2016, 06:53 PM.

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