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CNC: CAD/CAM software


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#1 Dennis David

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 10:04 PM

Every CNC project starts with a sketch.

Here is a 2D CAD program by Siemens PLM that is ($995)  is now free!!

Solid Edge 2D
https://www.plm.auto...are/free-2d-cad

https://youtu.be/VKwZ9fPle9M
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#2 Dennis David

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 10:31 PM

Intel Xeon Quad Core
32GB RAM
512GB Solid State Drive (SSD)
NVIDIA Quadro M620 Graphics
27in IPS Monitor

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#3 Gill A

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 04:50 AM

Where is the CAD program by Siemens PLM free, can't find it.


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#4 Dennis David

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 05:50 AM

I added the link above.

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#5 MarkH

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 07:21 AM

I have been using CAD systems for the past 28 years. I own a seat of Solidworks, used to own AutoCad but dumped it for DraftSight because it is free and I only use 2D for Air Logic, Electric and Building Layout drawings. I also tried SolidEdge for a while but found it to be way too much menu diving, strange explosions in the model and little to no support from the parent company Siemens. When I would call Tech Support they would bounce me around the office until someone there knew enough about SolidEdge to try and help. Mostly they just told me I need to dump SE and buy NX as everyone in the Tech office was well versed with that software. NX is way too expensive and high end for most individuals or small shops.

 

With the Siemens 2D being free it should be a good deal. I know DraftSight has a full support staff and can answer any questions.

 

It really does not make much difference what CAD program you use as long as you can use it well and there is good support for when you get stuck.

 

The computer listed above is over kill for a 2D cad system and near the top end for 3D CAD. Any decent machine with an i5 or i7 processor is all you need for 2D. There just is not any overhead the machine will struggle with. Most CAD software is LINEAR. That is they only use one core for most of their operations calculating the geometry from beginning to end. The best money is on the fastest clock speed 4 core chip. 

8 gig of ram will be more than enough for 2D. It is pretty cheap so 16gig if you are feeling so inclind.

SSDs will great speed up the machine overall and I would not use anything else at this time. 2D, 3D and most CNC files are not all that large. 512g SSD should be great.

The NVIDIA Quadro M620 Graphics card is not shown on New Egg but all the M series cards are high end professional cards and are extremely expensive. The K620 does show and it is probably not the type that would be specified for the above machine.

The Xeon processors are high end that allow for self checking/repairing RAM if you buy that type of RAM.

 

You can find mid-level CAD machine builds articles around the net. I have been through this several times and found most opinions and a CAD machine build are unreasonable for even the mid-level users. Keep in mind to extra cost for the TOP END machines today will take a long time before you can return that investment. As the new machine technology gets cheaper and cheaper, todays mid-level is a high end machine from a few years back at 25% the cost.

 

Sorry this became long but I would really hate to see you spend money on things you really don't need. That could be better spent on other machine tools, cutters, material etc and you would be a lot happier.

 

Good luck and have fun.


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#6 Mr. HP

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 08:07 AM

I use NX at work and have a seat of Solidworks at home and a very old copy of AutoCad for the occasional 2d stuff. And for hardware I just use a mid-level laptop, a Dell XPS 15, 32g, solid state hd, etc. it even does well with rendering and a little FEA work. My work machine is a different story, dual processor work station with 64g.
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#7 Dennis David

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 11:12 AM

Thanks, I was thinking I would do 3D at a later date. I will take a look at Draftsight but at some point you need to learn the software warts and all.

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#8 Dennis David

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 11:32 AM

Draftsight 2D CAD
https://www.3ds.com/.../free-download/

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#9 Dennis David

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 11:35 AM

Onshape 3D CAD
https://www.onshape.com

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#10 Dennis David

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 11:43 AM

ESTLCAM 2/D/3D CAM
http://www.estlcam.com

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#11 Dennis David

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 10:55 PM

Received my 27in Monitor and waiting for my CPU.
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#12 Dennis David

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 10:16 AM

Status update: Computer in place with Solid Edge installed. Took me forever to install the software. Set it up for ANSI Metric since thats what I am familiar with. Need to install ESTLCam and G-Code sender which will interface with the machine.

I am considering MeshCAM and wilt instal a trial version at a later stage.

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#13 Guillermo Suar

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 08:29 PM

I've been using AutoCAD since 1987. I find the 3D modeling easy to use. This is a cap to adapt HID lights to a Chevy Equinox I've designed and 3D printed for the wife's car.

 

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#14 Dennis David

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 11:03 PM

Too expensive for me but nice work Guillermo. What printer and what material did you use? 


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#15 Guillermo Suar

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 12:19 AM

Thank Dennis. I could not afford it either. I got it through my job. We have an Autodesk subscription and I'm not paying for it.

 

I started with a small Monoprice Select Mini and now have upgraded to a Prusa. The original one, not the knockoff from China. Mostly I have used PLA and did some tests with ABS. I'm just a beginner but I'm loving it.

 

This is a part I designed to hold 4 button switches and control the headlight of my bike. I really enjoy making these 3D models.

 

11hrrjm.jpg


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#16 Dennis David

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 12:57 AM

Fantastic, eventually I want to go to a 4th or 5th axis mill.


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