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  #1  
Old Thu 31 March 2011, 13:04
aldepoalo
Just call me: I work for BobCAD CAM
 
Clearwater FL
United States of America
Talk to Al of BobCAD CAM

Is anyone using BobCAD CAM to program their cnc machine? I am looking for user feed back.

Thanks

Al
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  #2  
Old Thu 31 March 2011, 14:09
MetalHead
Just call me: Mike
 
Columbiana AL
United States of America
Fill us in on who you are so everyone knows the source of the question.

Do you work for BobCAD?
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  #3  
Old Thu 31 March 2011, 14:15
aldepoalo
Just call me: I work for BobCAD CAM
 
Clearwater FL
United States of America
Yes I do work for BobCAD. I am the OEM / Dealer Account Manager. I work with OEM's around the world and have supported BobCAD-CAM software for 13+ years.

I found this community, and was amazed at the resources that is in it. I was curious if there were any BobCAD users in it.

If there were I was interested in their feed back, user experiences, things they liked about the software or things they didn't like.

I have not intention on spamming, trolling or degrading this community in any way. Just looking for feed back, and are hear as a means of support to any of those BobCAD users that may be here.

Al
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  #4  
Old Thu 31 March 2011, 20:21
MetalHead
Just call me: Mike
 
Columbiana AL
United States of America
No problem - We are just a picky bunch and always check up on new members.

I just wanted everyone to know who they are talking to.
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  #5  
Old Sat 30 April 2011, 23:08
guido666
Just call me: Guido
 
Firestone, Colorado
United States of America
I use BobCAD v24, and am happy to share my feedback.

Overall, it functions well. I'd rate it 6-7 out of 10. It can be purchased at a very reasonable price for hobbyists (a couple hundred dollars), which makes it a very good bang for the buck. It performs better than cheaper $150-ish software, though not nearly as well as true $3000-class software, without naming any names.

Pros:
  • New v24 interface has a nice "modern" feel. It feels more 2005 than most competitors (which scream 1995).
  • Fast, accurate toolpath generation.
  • Now Vista/Win7 compatible.
  • Variety of toolpaths, and more in Pro (I had Std, and now have Pro.).

Cons:
- Software is not 64-bit, and toolpath generation routines are very memory inefficient (especially Pro toolpaths). This means that many toolpaths you want to generate when doing 3D cuts simply will not complete. Period. I run BobCAD out of memory daily (32-bit processes can only access 2GB of RAM). It's time to make the move to 64-bit.
- Software is a bit "clunky", and lacks little features that you would use constantly, if it had them. For example...
+ It lacks AutoCAD-style snaps
+ It lacks the ability to create a toolpath in the region between two nested shapes (e.g. if you wanted to machine a donut shape without touching the donut hole)
+ Every time you create a new toolpath it defaults to the same pointless 1/2in "system tool" which it insists on adding to your tool DB, even if you remove it.
+ You are not able to specify defaults for almost anything, so if you are going to make 20 different toolpaths of the same type you have to manually enter every setting every time (e.g. stepover, tool to use, depth per pass, etc.).
+ While it can technically open and generate toolpaths for mesh-based .STL files, almost none of BobCAD's functions work on them (e.g. you can't dimension, move, measure, etc. on them at all or easily).
+ I could go on and on.
I probably have to work around a new one of these little problems daily. Many of these contribute not only to a lack of user friendliness, but also to needless repetition that leads to human error.
- BobCAD salesmen are RIDICULOUSLY pushy.
- You get the runaround from support. For example, when I confronted support about the memory allocation problems (see 64-bit, above), they kept trying to tell me that my machine could not provide BobCAD the resources it needs. (My workstation is used for 3D rendering, and has two 6-core processors and 32GB of RAM.) They claimed these were not limitations of their software, and would not own the problem (which leads to no solution to the problem either).

Overall, as I said at the beginning of my post, it works "well", 6-7 stars out of 10. I consider it the "lesser of evils" of available options, and not really a shining example of superior anything. I don't mean that to sound harsh, though it is a rather blunt opinion. In any case, dealing with the software [and its flaws] is generally preferable to dealing with most of the people at BobCAD. I share these opinions with anyone looking to get CAM software, and several have bought BobCAD on my recommendation.

My opinion is that the CNC industry has large areas that haven't really kept up as technology advanced. In industry this may have been more acceptable, but as CNC increasingly reaches the hands of hobbyists and consumers, it's entering a technological arena where the bar is raised. I'm not sure how CAM companies are addressing this, but a lot of the software out there looks, feels, and acts very archaically. I'll just continue to use the 64-bit thing as an example, because for less than the cost of this software (e.g. $300) I can build a computer with more resources than BobCAD can use. I do applaud the newly styled interface, because v23 still felt very 1990's.

Guido

Last edited by guido666; Sat 30 April 2011 at 23:36..
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  #6  
Old Sun 01 May 2011, 08:09
smreish
Just call me: Sean - #5, 28, 58 and others
 
Orlando, Florida
United States of America
Note to users - if you feel your going to be doing A LOT of 3d work and your modeling files have a large number of polygon (faces), be mindful of the limitations.

A few years ago you all may remember pictures of the statue's in fabrication on the BBQ pit 4th axis under my machine? Well, I had to upgrade and learn RHINO w/ 4th axis module in about a week to meet the deadline of the project. The complexity of the laser scans provided from client were huge and required 10-12 GB of local RAM to load on their own - before pathing. I was able to break the mesh's into smaller chunks for tool pathing, but still required the program to open them first.

If your in the market for software - try to ask the right questions before committing to a package.

Personally, I like ALL of the vectric products, Rhino w 4th axis and lazycam.

best,
Sean
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  #7  
Old Mon 02 May 2011, 09:09
aldepoalo
Just call me: I work for BobCAD CAM
 
Clearwater FL
United States of America
Cons:
- Software is not 64-bit, and toolpath generation routines are very memory inefficient (especially Pro toolpaths). This means that many toolpaths you want to generate when doing 3D cuts simply will not complete. Period. I run BobCAD out of memory daily (32-bit processes can only access 2GB of RAM). It's time to make the move to 64-bit.

This is something we are working on but it does take time to restructure the software. Depending on the type of work you are doing you can speed up your tool path processing times by reducing the tool path tolerance. Our default tolerance is very accurate and much higher then most CAM systems defaults.

Use this video link to learn more:
http://screencast.com/t/6s2CwyLoU



- Software is a bit "clunky", and lacks little features that you would use constantly, if it had them. For example...
+ It lacks AutoCAD-style snaps
BobCAD does offer snaps just not as many as auotcad. We snap to end middle of a line arc center, 0,45,90... intersection and a few others. When selecting you can use your shift click to show the available snap points on the geometry you are working with. I do agree this area could use some improvements, but we do have the common snaps that designers use.


+ It lacks the ability to create a toolpath in the region between two nested shapes (e.g. if you wanted to machine a donut shape without touching the donut hole)

You do have boundary control on surface machining, and you can use surfaces or solids as "check surfaces " which will block the tool path from going in areas you don't want. Also for many of the tool paths you can use inside and outside boundaries to control cutting areas.


+ Every time you create a new toolpath it defaults to the same pointless 1/2in "system tool" which it insists on adding to your tool DB, even if you remove it.

The software does pick a default tool, this is done for feature recognition and will be useful in the future, for now in the V24 you should always use your tool database. New improvements are coming for this area.

+ You are not able to specify defaults for almost anything, so if you are going to make 20 different toolpaths of the same type you have to manually enter every setting every time (e.g. stepover, tool to use, depth per pass, etc.).

You can set your default tool path settings using the save and load feature. Any tool path feature can be saved and loaded latter with the defaults you established. If you are not using this option, then yes you'll constantly be setting up DOC and WOC and other tool path settings for every tool path feature. Try the save and load and you can build a library of default settings that you can call up as needed.

+ While it can technically open and generate toolpaths for mesh-based .STL files, almost none of BobCAD's functions work on them (e.g. you can't dimension, move, measure, etc. on them at all or easily).

This is true, you can only scale and translate abs on STL files
+ I could go on and on.
I probably have to work around a new one of these little problems daily. Many of these contribute not only to a lack of user friendliness, but also to needless repetition that leads to human error.
- BobCAD salesmen are RIDICULOUSLY pushy.

This is true our sales team are very aggressive to earn you business and at times can take it too far. They are commission only reps and sink or swim each week based on their weekly sales. You can use this to your advantage to get the best deal on the software

- You get the runaround from support. For example, when I confronted support about the memory allocation problems (see 64-bit, above), they kept trying to tell me that my machine could not provide BobCAD the resources it needs. (My workstation is used for 3D rendering, and has two 6-core processors and 32GB of RAM.) They claimed these were not limitations of their software, and would not own the problem (which leads to no solution to the problem either).

We now have a feature / bug reporting area on our website which is great to document issues like this. Please use this link to report your issue and get it resolved

http://www.bobcad.com/help/issue-feature-request

Overall, as I said at the beginning of my post, it works "well", 6-7 stars out of 10. I consider it the "lesser of evils" of available options, and not really a shining example of superior anything. I don't mean that to sound harsh, though it is a rather blunt opinion. In any case, dealing with the software [and its flaws] is generally preferable to dealing with most of the people at BobCAD. I share these opinions with anyone looking to get CAM software, and several have bought BobCAD on my recommendation.

My opinion is that the CNC industry has large areas that haven't really kept up as technology advanced. In industry this may have been more acceptable, but as CNC increasingly reaches the hands of hobbyists and consumers, it's entering a technological arena where the bar is raised. I'm not sure how CAM companies are addressing this, but a lot of the software out there looks, feels, and acts very archaically. I'll just continue to use the 64-bit thing as an example, because for less than the cost of this software (e.g. $300) I can build a computer with more resources than BobCAD can use. I do applaud the newly styled interface, because v23 still felt very 1990's.

Guido[/QUOTE]


Guide Thank you very much for your feed back. I think it's more than fair and I hope some of my imput help is learning so of the features in the software you might not have known where there.

I am the OEM DEALER ACCOUNT MANAGER for BobCAD and anything BobCAD you need help with please contact me directly.

Al DePoalo
BobCAD CAM
877-262-2231 X147
al@bobcad.com
www.bobcad.com
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  #8  
Old Thu 05 May 2011, 10:21
Jersey Bill
Just call me: Bill
 
Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey
United States of America
I also use V23 Bob Cad/Cam and found that I had to purchase Rhino to take advantage of improved Cad features. I then use the toolpathing features in Bob. The unfortunate fact about Cad/Cam is that there is no perfect software and the more features you want, the more its going to cost. If you are working on the low budget end of the specturm, like me, you will have to choose between purchasing tooling or tooling software. Bob Cad/Cam is not so bad for the money. The sales practices at Bob are unfriendly to say the least. I would rather pay a fair price for software than to argue with a sales rep for a good price and find later that others are paying hundreds less than I did.
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  #9  
Old Thu 05 May 2011, 11:14
aldepoalo
Just call me: I work for BobCAD CAM
 
Clearwater FL
United States of America
Jersey,

BobCAD's prices can be all over the place. So you are right, the best thing to do is use this to your advantage.

Al
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  #10  
Old Thu 02 June 2011, 06:49
aldepoalo
Just call me: I work for BobCAD CAM
 
Clearwater FL
United States of America
Setting Part Zero: Basic V Carve

The other day I worked on a simple engraving project for a client. From that experience I wanted to share some how to's for shops just getting started with CAD CAM for engraving.


Stock:

I used an oval wood plaque from Joann's. This was cheap to buy and already had a beveled edge. Really you could use any stock, this is just what I used. The plaque cost me about $3

http://www.joann.com/joann/catalog/p...DID=xprd561193


Tool:

I used a Amana Tool Carbide Tipped Router Bit. #45716: V Groove 3/4 Dial 1/2 Shank. The tool cost about $25

http://www.toolstoday.com/nsearch.as...=45716&x=0&y=0


CAD Layout

Watch this video to see the CAD lay out of the part:

http://screencast.com/t/Q4liLXYhy

What I show you how to do is draw you stock, create text, bend text to a curve.

The real trick to setting your zero, is having the part drawn on X0 Y0, creating a sketch with a cross hair on zero and printing out the drawing at a scale of 1 to 1.

You will tape the drawing to the stock and use the cross hair to line the work offset up at the machine. This is a very simple trick for setting the part zero and making sure the engraving will fit on the part and cut where you want to.

CAM, creating tool path.

In this video I talk about creating tools and saving them in the tool library. Loading tool path features that you have previously setup with working settings.

http://screencast.com/t/Nwz2Wbzhm


This information is geared toward guys just getting started. Please let me know if more information is needed or any questions that you might have.

Al
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  #11  
Old Thu 02 June 2011, 07:12
sailfl
Just call me: Nils #12
 
Winter Park, FL
United States of America
Al,

You are the same guy that is pushing BobCad-CAM on this site and others.

I think you should identify yourself as a representative of the software. It is nice that you seem to want to help but you goal is to sell the software.

There is better stuff out there and they have tutorials available.

This should be posted under the maket place.
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  #12  
Old Thu 02 June 2011, 07:28
aldepoalo
Just call me: I work for BobCAD CAM
 
Clearwater FL
United States of America
Al DePoalo : BobCAD CAM

Well I don't think that I am pushing anything but information on what BobCAD can do and how it works.

I do make it clear that I work for BobCAD and yes I am on many forums. I would put it as a signature but some forums don't like it that way and I can't keep up with all the rules on all the forums.

Just because I work at BobCAD doesn't mean I don't use the software and cut parts just like everyone else.

My goal is to provide useful information and how to's. BobCAD is just software like all the systems are, the fun stuff is knowing how to use them and showing off what you've done and tips and tricks you've learned along the way.

If you don't find this information useful, I will stop posting.

Al
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  #13  
Old Thu 02 June 2011, 07:42
KenC
Just call me: Ken
 
Klang
Malaysia
I'm interested if BobCad can process point cloud & turn it into relief style.
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  #14  
Old Thu 02 June 2011, 07:46
aldepoalo
Just call me: I work for BobCAD CAM
 
Clearwater FL
United States of America
Point Cloud

Kenc,

All I can provide you with is information. I do not sell the software direct to end users. I work with OEM's and Dealers.

But to answer you question, I have a questions. Where is this point cloud coming from, Next Engine maybe, or did your run a probe over the part and you have an x Y Z file?

Al
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  #15  
Old Thu 02 June 2011, 07:49
KenC
Just call me: Ken
 
Klang
Malaysia
Most probably from DAVID scanner or any other open source 3D scanners.
Probe is not considered for the time being...
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  #16  
Old Thu 02 June 2011, 08:03
aldepoalo
Just call me: I work for BobCAD CAM
 
Clearwater FL
United States of America
David Scanner / 3D Scanners

Ken,

What I am reading about a David Scanner is they will export

http://www.david-laserscanner.com/?section=Features

Feature
File export:
Save your scanned object as Alias Wavefront OBJ file. The OBJ-format is an well-established plain text format for triangle meshes and is supported by many 3d applications. (Further file formats can be exported with DAVID-Shapefusion.)


If you are getting an STL file from the scanner then BobCAD can work with that file for 3D machining.

The thing about point cloud files are they are just points. Programs like Rhino offer plug in's for convert the point could files to surfaces, but for your application your most likely would only need an STL .

The down fall of working with STL files with BobCAD would be not being able to manipulate the file like you could in Rhino.

http://www.rhino3d.com/

Rhino will let you "pull and tug" on mesh files, and would be a better design solution for you. They also offer a CAM system Rhino CAM ( Visual Mill )
So you can work with one product line for the design and programming needs.

So to answer you question no BobCAD does not work directly with point cloud files. We would import DXF, DWG, IGES, STEP, STL SAT, 3DM, x_t, x_B and SLDPRT files.

Many scanners that you can get will offer either and STL export or a software upgrade to convert the point cloud to surface files.

Next engine would be my first choice due to the cost of the unit and the software tool they offer to enhance the scanned object.

http://www.nextengine.com/

I would prefer to work with surface files when machining in 3D but it all depends on what you want to do.

Care to share what kind of projects you want to work on?

Al
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  #17  
Old Thu 02 June 2011, 08:07
aldepoalo
Just call me: I work for BobCAD CAM
 
Clearwater FL
United States of America
Free Software

http://www.meshmixer.com/index.html

This looks like it would be a good tool for adjusting the point clouds and it's free. Just need to find out if it will export and STL, which I think it would.

I agree that if you could do everything in one package that would be great, but some of this stuff is specialized and working with point clouds is.

Al
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  #18  
Old Thu 02 June 2011, 10:55
aldepoalo
Just call me: I work for BobCAD CAM
 
Clearwater FL
United States of America
Textures with BobART

I wanted to show how you can use the BobART emboss model tools to create a texture.

The way textures work with BobART is you create an embossed model. This emboss model is the texture, once you have the result you are looking for your apply 3D tool path to it. Using this method give you a continuous cut eliminating "air time" and unnecessary rapid moves.

What this short video on how to create a texture with BobART

http://screencast.com/t/eM32r3Du4Wey


If you have any questions or comments please let me know.

Al
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  #19  
Old Thu 02 June 2011, 11:01
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
I have have merged your 3 threads into one and put it in the Market Place
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  #20  
Old Fri 03 June 2011, 10:07
aldepoalo
Just call me: I work for BobCAD CAM
 
Clearwater FL
United States of America
My own Thread

Nice! Now I have a place of my own.

I understand BobCAD for some doesn't have the best name due to our pesky direct sales team. So everyone knows I have worked with BobCAD for over 10 years I know the software well and are very passionate about anything cnc. I just want to help people know more about BobCAD and what it really does.

I have some topics that I want to review like 4 axis wrapping, posting with inverse time, more BobART stuff, posting stuff ect....

If there any any topics that you want to review please just let me know I would be more than willing to cover them.



Al
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  #21  
Old Fri 03 June 2011, 18:44
Regnar
Just call me: Russell #69
 
Mobile, Alabama
United States of America
Al,

Until the other day I didnt have a clue where your office was. I noticed you where located in Clearwater. Scratched my head and said "Probably in Downtown". Then today as I was driving to work I noticed your sign off of US19. Been making that same trip for 8 years now and just noticed it.
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  #22  
Old Mon 06 June 2011, 10:51
aldepoalo
Just call me: I work for BobCAD CAM
 
Clearwater FL
United States of America
Stop in any time it would be great to meet your face to face.
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  #23  
Old Mon 06 June 2011, 10:53
aldepoalo
Just call me: I work for BobCAD CAM
 
Clearwater FL
United States of America
Point Cloud update

This is the information I got back from meshmixer, so it looks like that free software would be a vialble solution for working with point clouds to get an STL for machining in V carve pro or BobCAD>


currently exports OBJ, DAE, and STL mesh formats.
You can use the free software 'meshlab' to convert
the exported OBJ to many other formats.

cheers,
-RMS
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  #24  
Old Wed 08 June 2011, 08:29
aldepoalo
Just call me: I work for BobCAD CAM
 
Clearwater FL
United States of America
Raised Panel

This is a video link showing how to create a raised panel with the BobART Software.

http://screencast.com/t/qnt6iK9c4byO

Al
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  #25  
Old Wed 08 June 2011, 17:01
aldepoalo
Just call me: I work for BobCAD CAM
 
Clearwater FL
United States of America
Raised Panel: Design to CAM

The following Videos show the steps to design and machine a raised panel.
Please review and provide any feed back on additional subjects to be covered for this topic.



Re CAP

http://screencast.com/t/wn74ZZJgLi

PART 1:

http://screencast.com/t/Chsg6zBB5Vea

PART 2:

http://screencast.com/t/52UEpIhPPWUj

PART 3:

http://screencast.com/t/lPC5RMqp

Thanks

Al DePoalo
BobCAD CAM
877-262-2231 X147
al@bobcad.com
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  #26  
Old Sat 08 October 2011, 14:06
aldepoalo
Just call me: I work for BobCAD CAM
 
Clearwater FL
United States of America
Mech Mate Users in FLA

Recently I had some Mech Mate users stop by our shop in Clearwater FLA.

I am excited to work on some of the projects with Monopoli. If anyone ever needs help with BobCAD-CAM products and the Mechmate machine please let me know.

Posts:

The Mechmate uses a mach 3 controller right?


Al
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  #27  
Old Sat 08 October 2011, 21:30
domino11
Just call me: Heath
 
Cornwall, Ontario
Canada
Al,
Yes Mach 3 is the most popular, but some do also use EMC with linux.
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  #28  
Old Thu 03 November 2011, 13:10
aldepoalo
Just call me: I work for BobCAD CAM
 
Clearwater FL
United States of America
Free BobCAD Holiday Files

These are BobCAD files for the Holiday Season.

Enjoy!

Al
Attached Files
File Type: zip Free BobCAD Holiday 1.zip (422.2 KB, 58 views)
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  #29  
Old Mon 28 November 2011, 10:39
aldepoalo
Just call me: I work for BobCAD CAM
 
Clearwater FL
United States of America
SolidWorks World 2012

Hello Everyone!

I just wanted to let this community know that BobCAM will be attending SolidWorks World 2012. If you would like to stop by and meet our team we will be at Booth # 102

Thanks!

Al DePoalo
BobCAM Team Leader

SolidWorks World 2012

February 12-15, 2012
San Diego Convention Center – San Diego, CA
Booth #102
Website: http://www.solidworks.com/sww/
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  #30  
Old Wed 28 December 2011, 14:34
aldepoalo
Just call me: I work for BobCAD CAM
 
Clearwater FL
United States of America
Getting Started with DXF Files

This video walks through the steps of opening a DXF file and moving the part to zero.

http://screencast.com/t/gsp2dmGlrW


This video walks you through the steps of cleaning up geometry and using layers to organize your part.

http://screencast.com/t/DmCb37GxcKne


This video walks you through the steps of drilling and tapping the holes for this sample drawing.

http://screencast.com/t/MobJSgYy


This video walks you through the steps of cutting the slots for this drawing. We are using the profile feature and contour ramping, which will ramp down to cut the slot out.

http://screencast.com/t/5nAZynCXsLj


This video walks through the steps of cutting the pockets. I show how you can use top of job to change where the tool starts cutting from. Using top of part settings is great for when you are cutting a pocket inside a pocket. This way you don’t cut air.

http://screencast.com/t/2f5ygHtwNAV


This video walks through the steps of cleaning up the walls of the pockets. I use the profile feature with side roughing. This allows the tool to walk into the wall and clear any extra stock that might have been left over.

http://screencast.com/t/Gs1OOnJGLE


This video walks through the steps of simulating your program and posting code.

http://screencast.com/t/8XhegHm5p8u


Question: If my simulation show the tools cutting in the wrong order, how do I change that?

Answer: The machining order can be set to ” individual tool ” or ” individual Feature”
Watch this video to learn more: http://screencast.com/t/PA4z4205


Question: Why does the software call more than one tool when drilling a hole. What if I only want to call a drill, instead of a center drill, a drill and a chamfer tool?

Answer: We use tool patters to optimize hole making processes. The idea is to call and program all the tools need to make the kind of hole you want to make. You can customize the patters to fit your needs. Watch this video to learn how: http://screencast.com/t/0vkwZ8WgFd


Please let me know if anyone has questions or comments.

Al DePoalo
BobCAM Team Leader
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