My Top 3 Suggestions / Requests.

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My Top 3 Suggestions / Requests.

Postby RobertCNC » Mon Feb 17, 2014 4:11 pm

To all:

Feel free to add your top 3 wish list with the most important feature at top.

My request:

First of all, I’m very happy with MeshCAM. But I think it can use a few features which would strongly improve the program and it’s G-code. Because most of us are hobby or semiprofessional users, most of us don’t have the sturdiest machines to mill things like aluminum in an efficient manner. I think the following will improve that…

1) Ramping. This means plunging is combined with XY movement. Most end mills work better this way and thus it will lower stress levels on the machine.
2) Full slot speed. I also really would like to see an option to do a full slot at a percentage of the set feed rate. This would make it possible to machine at higher speeds when the router isn’t milling a full slot.
3) Plunge safety distance. This would make plunges so much faster because you can plunge full speed until the safety distance and continue at the set plunge rate.

And yes, secretly I have a 4th wish although less important:

4) Tool names. Until now I’ve worked with tool codes instead of tool names and a separate text file which explained the tool names. So it’s doable, but it can be easier.

Thank you for the good work! ;)
Robert
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Re: My Top 3 Suggestions / Requests.

Postby tgdavies » Thu Feb 20, 2014 1:22 pm

I think ramping would be good -- I wonder if it would help with the problem I have, where repeated vertical movement at the same point on the perimeter of a 2.5D piece leaves marks, e.g. https://plus.google.com/110500854135480 ... hLpccmXGJP
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Re: My Top 3 Suggestions / Requests.

Postby RobertCNC » Sun Feb 23, 2014 2:50 am

@tgdavies... I'm not sure if ramping would help here. I've the same problem as you when using supports. Although the degree in which it happens varies. It helps to use supports on the axis where the machine is sturdier. For me that’s along the Y-axis. It also helps to use a really sharp bit. Bit deflection is also an issue here, so a wider diameter bit is advised in these cases. However I think MeshCAMs algorithm could be improved in this area. In a lot of cases it's not necessary to plunge directly against the work piece because there's room to spare. And parallel finishing on the supports adds to the problem while totally unnecessary if you ask me.
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Re: My Top 3 Suggestions / Requests.

Postby Randy » Fri Feb 28, 2014 5:03 am

Robert, hello and a belated welcome to the forum. Thank you for your inputs.

My own requests at this point (and they are a moving target, depending on what I am trying to accomplish at any time) would probably be:

1. Access the tool table without setting up a dummy run (currenlty the only way to access tools is through the Toolpath Parameters dialog).

2. Be able to machine a shape imported from a bitmap without needing to trace the whole rectangular area (i.e. similar to "geometry +"). I have suggested a possible way to do this to Robert.

3. Similar to others' desire, and now that i am about to move into 4-axis machining, being able to define a cylindrical stock for 4-axis work.

I did have a big desire for variable maximum depth limit, on pieces that don't have a horizontal parting line, but that is pretty well taken care of by using "geometry +" with a "+" of just a smidge less than the cutter radius. The cutter won't "fall off the edge" of the part, but there will be a slight cusp at the parting line that needs to be hand-finished.

Randy
All opinions in this post are mine alone. I am not a MeshCAM employee, I do not have a financial interest in MeshCAM, nor do I speak for MeshCAM. MeshCAM user since Beta 5 in 2003. viewtopic.php?f=11&t=15333 :ugeek:
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Re: My Top 3 Suggestions / Requests.

Postby Gerry » Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:59 pm

1) Operation Tree or Manager, allowing the combining and ordering of multiple operations.

2) Continuous 4th axis (like DeskProto has).
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Re: My Top 3 Suggestions / Requests.

Postby darren » Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:57 am

I've been using MeshCAM for about a year, and i have a few things i'd like to see:

  1. A more robust tool database. This includes a couple of sub-requests:
    1. It would be great if the tool list were available anywhere, preferably as a menu item
    2. Make it possible to re-order the tools in the list. I just created a new numbering scheme for my tools, and now the tool list is totally out of order... i can't seem to fix the tool order without deleting all the tools and re-creating them from scratch
    3. Add additional data to the tool list; e.g. names, materials, roughing/finishing, etc.
    4. Include this tool metadata as comment lines in the GCode. Other apps i use do this, and it's really helpful when you get to a tool change instruction, and instead of a tool number, you can see more descriptive tool information
    5. The ability to export the tool list would be very handy. This would allow me to synchronize my tool lists between my Mac and Windows installations of MeshCAM
  2. Keyboard shortcuts! When i'm doing CAD work, i'm almost always using keyboard commands. Having to click buttons or menu items for every function in MeshCAM, even as simple as opening and saving files, is a little frustrating.
  3. Save the tool parameters with the .mcf file. It seems like it saves everything BUT the tools i've chosen to run a particular file. It would be nice if all of the tool settings were saved, so if i need to make changes later, i know what i'm changing them from.

Those are the first three things that come to mind. I'm sure i'll think of more. ;) But overall, i'm really happy with the way MeshCAM works, and i use it a LOT. I've also recommended it to others. Thanks for a remarkably robust and affordable piece of software!
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Re: My Top 3 Suggestions / Requests.

Postby Magweb » Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:00 pm

To add my Top 3 wishlist - based on the things I do (know, everybody does different things):


- Improved generation of supports (placed at the silouhette's max.Z value, supports to keep inner islands of material, supports perpendicular to the object's surface, possiibility to add a STL as support structure),
- Possibility to restrict the SurfaceAngleLimit to one axis (contrary to the selected Cut Along direction). This would be great for 4-axis machining to avoid double-milled areas.
- Possibility to save only selected indexies to the toolpath file (e.g to mill only the upper half)

Gerry wrote:2) Continuous 4th axis (like DeskProto has).

Just a side note:
AFAIK Deskproto's simultanious 4th axis support cuts along the rotation axis. This is basically nothing else than a fine indexed machining. You can do this in current MeshCam with a few tricks as well:
- Set the 4th Axis job to calculate the wished number of sides (e.g. 360 which will be 1°)
- Restrict calculation to machine only a slim rectangle centered just on the A-axis. Set the toolpath generator to cut along X. If the selected rectangle is slim enough in Y, MeshCam will only calculate a path forwards and backwards.
(calculation may last a while)
- MeshCam "marks" the different "Sides" with a doubled line to go to the RetractHeight:
e.g.:
.....
X25.1616Z12.2368
X25.0324Z11.9809
X24.1008Z9.9295
X20.2076
G0Z53.8912
G0Z53.8912

G1A1.000F3000.0
G0X19.6767Y-0.7442
G1Z9.9701F3000.0
G1F6000.0
X23.8032
X24.4909Z11.4838
X24.7703Z12.0478
.....

You may consider to search and erase those marked lines (both) by "search and replace" with "" in an editor for finishing to speed up things...

This works just fine and the path meanders nicely around.
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Re: My Top 3 Suggestions / Requests.

Postby Gerry » Mon Mar 10, 2014 6:11 pm

Deskproto's website specifies both continuous and indexed 4th axis, and has images showing toolpaths with continuous rotation.
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Re: My Top 3 Suggestions / Requests.

Postby Magweb » Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:23 pm

Yes, both ways, sure.
But their way to define the continous toolpaths is ( if the piece is rotated along X ) with constant Y.
This is the same as I described above: basically a fine indexing (which is possible in MeshCam too).
This way you'll never get the inner hole of a donut milled all over. Real continous 4Th axis milling would mean that the software would detect future undercuts if the piece is turned around. That would mean a simultanious controll on the Y axis too.
In this concern, compared to current MC, the only advantage of Deskproto is that you can decide whether to mill along X or around A. In puncto milling undercuts you'll get the same result in both ways along X or around A.
Attachments
DP_4th_cont.jpg
DP_4th_cont.jpg (150.65 KiB) Viewed 4151 times
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Re: My Top 3 Suggestions / Requests.

Postby Gerry » Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:27 pm

If you're doing more cylindrically shaped objects, then cutting with the axis spinning is much better than indexing the A axis.

I guess that I should rephrase what I originally said, and say that I want continuous 4th axis that's better than DeskProto's. I was just using Deskproto as a reference, as it's really the only affordable software that comes close to this.
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