Any way to trick sheetcam?

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Any way to trick sheetcam?

Post by ssutton » Mon Oct 10, 2011 8:01 am

I love sheetcam on my CNC router, does everything that I ask it to and more. But, I am now wanting to build a CNC hot wire machine. It will consist of 4 stepper motors moving a hot wire along a cutting path. Could it be possible to make sheet cam drive a device like this? Basically, ignoring the Z axes should do it I think? I want to build a machine like the one at the top of this link;

I will slave the X axes together and slave the Y axis together. Some move each tower individually to get contoured shapes, I just want each tower to follow the same path. I will use separate electronics to drive the wire temperature that will be apart from Sheetcam/Mach3.



Post by kencam » Mon Feb 17, 2014 1:54 pm

Helo SSutton
solved the reverse of that problem using MS Excel. My problem (before I discovered Sheetcam) was that I only had foam cutter software.
I have been using Foamworks 3 which generates cutting files for the two sets of xy towers from dxf files and outputs these straight to your stepper driver from the 25way Paralle port. Foamworks 4 however generates a Gcode to run the two towers from a dxf file but needs something like EMC2 to drive the stepper driver. The advantage of both these packages is that you can size each tower independantly like for instance a tapered aircraft wingg or say a truncated cone. Prociding that each side has the same number of entities. in from the same firm - Foamworks - I am using Cadworks whic is very useful for drawing and checking out dxf files for cutting. FW4. You can evaluate all three packages for 30 days and then purchase them if you find them OK.

My problem that I didn;t have a dxxf to Gcode converter so I built a MS Excel spreadsheet which cherry picked the relevant columns and concatenated them into a working XZ lathe cutting gcode. I am sure that MS Excel will also do the reverse. I would suggest having a look at the Foamworks website which may well get you out of trouible. The option you outline may however, unless you are a dab hand at Excel, limit you to identical sizes at each tower. If I get time I will have a look at it. but I am still trying to get sheetcam to work for me. I aam very interested in how you get on.
Cheers Ken
PS I use Foamworks to build large RC Flying machines from Maily Dow Floormate blue foam. Brilliant once you get thew hang of it.

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