Tormach 1100 CNC software suggestions

Discussion in 'CNC Machines and Conversions' started by Cessnadriver, Dec 4, 2018.

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  1. Dec 4, 2018 #1

    Cessnadriver

    Cessnadriver

    Cessnadriver

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    I am hoping someone here with experience can guide me. I have recently purchased a used Tormach 1100 series 3 with Path Pilot.

    What I am looking to purchase is software to design my own parts or implement those from plans I have purchased etc.

    I have been hand machining parts for a number of years and I am very green to the CNC world.

    Since I mostly making model engines what software is a good choice that is user friendly and can work with the Path Pilot.

    Maybe down the road possibly use to design and make Homebuilt aircraft parts.

    Any suggestions greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Dec 4, 2018 #2

    stevehuckss396

    stevehuckss396

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    Says its compatable with standard G-code so about anything should work

    From what I'm reading it sounds like you need two programs, one to draw the parts and pieces and one to use what you have drawn to create the G-code

    Fusion 360 does both and is easy to find on the internet and is also the most affordable.
     
  3. Dec 4, 2018 #3

    stevehuckss396

    stevehuckss396

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    I have been using Alibre to draw and CamBam to create the Gcode. If Fusion doesnt work out for you I would highly recommend CamBam for Gcode
     
  4. Dec 4, 2018 #4

    Cessnadriver

    Cessnadriver

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    Steve,
    Thanks for the feedback! You are correct on the two programs. It sounds like I need to look into the Fusion 360. This unit did come with 4th axis and I would like to be able to use that as well. I will look into the Fusion 360 as I had seen that mentioned many times throughout some of the posts. I am hoping that I can pick this up without having to take a class somewhere. But than I maybe better off in the long run.

    Thanks again for the Demon parts! Getting closer to finishing the blower version. Hoping by spring to have a running engine.
     
  5. Dec 4, 2018 #5

    ruzzie

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  6. Dec 4, 2018 #6

    vederstein

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    From what I understand, Path Pilot is a thinly veiled version of LinuxCNC which is open source. Tormach just added a proprietary front end on it and hid the obvious LinuxCNC stuff. When I learned of this, I was quite put off because it completely goes against the vision of open source.

    ...Ved.
     
  7. Dec 4, 2018 #7

    Cessnadriver

    Cessnadriver

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    Thanks for the responses here. After doing the research on Fusion 360 I have decided to go that route. It looks like an all in one package which is what I was looking for.
     
  8. Dec 4, 2018 #8

    Contract_Pilot

    Contract_Pilot

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    I also have a Tormach 1100.. Fusion 360 is free and widely used by tormach users.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Dec 4, 2018 #9

    Cessnadriver

    Cessnadriver

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    Steven
    Nice shop!! Thanks for the added input! Hands down Fusion 360 is where I’m heading. From your name here looks like we are in the same field of work. I’m an A&P IA, multi/instrument and Cessna 310 owner
     
  10. Dec 4, 2018 #10

    Contract_Pilot

    Contract_Pilot

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    CessnaDriver You need to post some photos..

    I am a Simi-Retired Trans Oceanic Ferry Pilot, Hold a Commercial Single & Multi Engine Instrument and Cessna 150M Owner.

    www.internationalferryflights.com
     
  11. Dec 4, 2018 #11

    crec

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    I mentor a high school robotics team. FIRST Robotics Competition level. We use Fusion 360 to produce our gcode for our tormach 770. I would recommend it.
     
  12. Dec 4, 2018 #12

    Mike Henry

    Mike Henry

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    From what I understand, Tormach also paid someone to write an improved motion planner and donated that code to the community. Non-Tormach owners can get a copy of PathPilot to modify for their own CNC mills and several Novakon owners have successfully done that.
     
  13. Dec 4, 2018 #13

    Mike Henry

    Mike Henry

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    I tried F360 but didn't like the way they do CAD. I started with Alibre about 12 years ago and still use but have now gone mostly to the free version of Onshape for non-proprietary work. Alibre is starting to sell a hobby version again that you may want to look into. I use SprutCAM for the CAM work with my Tormach mill and lathe but that can be a bit eccentric and I will eventually see if F360 CAM is better.

    I'd suggest trying at least a couple trial versions of CAD and CAM software and see what works best for you. You'll be much happier and more productive with software that "thinks" the way you do and trying is the best way to find that out.
     
  14. Dec 4, 2018 #14

    giel

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    Have you tried sinumeric?? You can follow the training program sinutrain in advance,its a menu controlled environment and the output is in g code but it has a grapic interface.. if you follow the sinutrain tutorials you can machine almost everything.. i have done this in a course of 10 days,had absolutely no experience in cnc programming milling or turning and now i am a cnc programmer/operator.
     
  15. Dec 5, 2018 #15

    TimTaylor

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    Mike,

    Good info!

    I downloaded the Alibre trial and tutorial, and the interface looked strikingly familiar. I have been using Cubify Invent for several years to design parts for 3D printing, which from all appearances is just a stripped down version of Alibre Atom 3D with a proprietary file format (.FUN) and limited export capabilities (.STL only). Makes me wonder if I can change the extension of my existing designs and open them with Atom 3D....will check that out.....

    Given that I am very familiar with the CAD user interface, I will probably go this route, pending a review of the trial version.

    My mill is a Grizzly G0704 that has been converted to CNC, and I am using using Mach3 software. Most of the stuff I do is fairly simple and I mostly use the Mach3 Wizards, so I will probably try Cambam first, but will look at the other options.

    Tim
     
  16. Dec 5, 2018 #16

    TimTaylor

    TimTaylor

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    As it turns out you can't use Invent files in Alibre......I tried it and it didn't work, then confirmed with tech support. FYI, Alibre was acquired by 3D systems back in 2010 or 2011, then this spring the principals bought it back from 3D systems, so now it is it's own company again.

    I'm going to play with the trial version for a few days, but almost sure I'm going ahead with Alibre Atom 3D. Most of my Invent files are pretty simple, so redoing any I might want to convert won't be a big deal....

    Tim
     
  17. Dec 23, 2018 #17

    TimTaylor

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    Just a follow-up,,,,,

    After working with the trial for a week or so, I decided to go ahead and go with Alibre Atom 3D. In the 10 days since, I have used it for a number of small projects ranging from limit switch fixturing to flywheels. - so far, so good.

    Currently I am designing a rotary adapter for my fly tying vise - this will be my first shot at creating an assembly from individual parts.
     
  18. Dec 24, 2018 #18

    Mike Henry

    Mike Henry

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  19. Dec 25, 2018 #19

    TimTaylor

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    Mike,

    Good recommendation - one of the first things I did was register for the forum. I'm fairly familiar with the interface, as I have been using 3D Systems basic version "3D Invent" for a while, designing parts for 3D printing - that's one of the reasons I decided to go with Atom 3D.

    That said, Atom 3D has a lot more functionality than Invent. Alibre has a pretty good tutorial for getting started, but I have also found several other tutorials that cover some of the more esoteric functions, such as spiral extrude. I also like that they continue to make improvements - for example, rumor has it the next upgrade of Atom 3D is going to have Python script capability as well as some other features.

    Right now I'm using relatively simple designs to learn the ins and outs of the software and building on that - "eating the elephant a fork full at a time", if you will. Down the road a ways I have a couple more complex designs planned - scale models of a steam turbine and triple expansion marine engine..........
     
  20. Jan 9, 2019 #20

    Wizard69

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    A few suggestions:

    1. If you are entirely new to this don’t commit to one CAD/CAM package immediately. Try a few instead as they all are slightly different and as a result may fit your needs better or your work habits.

    2. Sometimes it can be worthwhile to use process specific software. Engraving/sign making or year making come to mind here.

    3. No matter what learn G-Code! There are a number of reasons for this but to highlight a couple: First; the CAM software doesn’t always get it right! This isn’t as significant as in the past but does happen. Second; being able to write very specific G-code programs can help with machine diagnostics and maintenance. CAM software can often take the easy route using the most generic code . The code can be functional but might not be optimal for your machine. Often this is not a problem in a home shop, especially doing one offs, however you may be able to and optimize for repeated tasks.

    4. Consider taking a class! Yeah I know expensive but often a quicker way to expose yourself to different programs and you get to use the knowledge of others.
     

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