Novice Attempting Belt Buckle Design...have ?'s. All  1-13  14-15

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 From:  BurrMan
2349.14 In reply to 2349.13 
Hi Paul,
>>>> was thinking of starting with LazyCAM as it is included with MACH3 which I'm using to control the X3 CNC mill that I just completed. I checked LazyCAM and they support only round and rectangular pocketing, their wasn't any mention of islands. I hear the terms pocketing and islands on CNCzone.com and know what they are.>>>>

I noticed in lazy cam in the pocket menu there is a checkmark to "create islands". If you have a circle and put a circle inside of it, then your software should be able to designate that as an "Island". Basically means "dont cut this". So in your model I posted a picture earlier of, The inner circle I told to be a pocket and the "GOT" letters I told to be Islands and it cut around them.

Basically the more you pay for your software the more features you'll get. So like doing a basic pocket with some islands with lazycam, its a one shot deal, with little control of the toolpath and how/where it goes. Higher end stuff can allow you to set different heights for different islands and choose different types of entry for the toolpath and control which way it goes.

Lazycam will be a nice free start. after that I'd find some inexpensive stuff to move up to first until you know more of exactly what you need. The higher end stuff gets expensive and no need to pay for features you just dont need.
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 From:  BurrMan
2349.15 In reply to 2349.14 
Oh Yeah,
If you want to practice doing 3d toolpaths also, you could go to mecsoft.com who make visualmill and look for the link to "FreeMill". It will do 3dm files and has a simple wizard driven interface thats a great place to start and generate code to send to your machine. It may be a little buggy as it is a very simple version so if you dont set things up right it crashes. (At least for me) but that is also a great learning tool.

They also have some higher end stuff to move to later. I havnt used it but they have been around they even have a rhino plugin for cam.
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