Cad/Cam for specific purpose, can Qcad do this?

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BigBangTheory
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Cad/Cam for specific purpose, can Qcad do this?

Postby BigBangTheory » Mon Mar 14, 2016 4:42 pm

Hello All,

May I first say a version of this was sent using the "contact us" form on the website, if the owner reads this please forget the online version, the forum is obviously better.

I write because I'm a newbie (to cad) and am really struggling with learning 3D CAD/CAM. I can follow tutorials but some of these program are so complicated. Basically I only wish to do one method of designing in 2D. Denford Ltd. make a CAD/CAM called QuickTurn 2D Design which has a demo but I can not try the CAM gcode to see if it works with my "new" refurbished CNC Lathe running on Mach3. However the CAD section is so easy to use (it's made for school kids), but it costs £168 + vat.

I have been watching some tutorials on Qcad and it looks much easier than say Solidworks or Fusion 360 etc.. but I haven't seen yet what I wish to do so I just thought if I could ask you about this point as follows...

Like in Denford's Quickturn, I wish to draw one half of a profile and the software mirrors the other half in real time to make a complete shape as one would use on a lathe ie: a rod profile. Can this be done in some version with Qcad? In other words does Qcad have a lathe/turning option?

The idea is to make these profiles and save them as .dxf files which I could then export to a program like Fusion 360 for the CAM/gcode. I know it is possible to also make the CAD in Fusion, but I have hit some walls and I don't know how to go forward, it's just to complicated.

***Since writing that I see that Qcad has a CAM option for the paid version. I don't mind paying but my two questions are whether I can use Qcad for the above purpose and does the CAM option work well with Mach3?

This is a steep learning curve for me, any help will be much appreciated. :)

Cheers
Rob (My forum name "The big bang theory" is the way I think about this lathe right now, just hit it and out will come the parts)


PS: I have tried to download Qcad but when I try to install it just keeps saying the destination folder already exists and it doesn't matter which folder I try it says the same thing ever time.

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Husky
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Re: Cad/Cam for specific purpose, can Qcad do this?

Postby Husky » Mon Mar 14, 2016 6:31 pm

Hello BigBangTheory - welcome to the forum!

BigBangTheory wrote:... I wish to draw one half of a profile and the software mirrors the other half in real time to make a complete shape as one would use on a lathe ie: a rod profile. Can this be done in some version with Qcad?

Sure - just draw the half profile (1) and then mirror it (2). Piece of a cake. :wink:

Husky-2016.03.14-01.png
Husky-2016.03.14-01.png (13.9 KiB) Viewed 4764 times
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BigBangTheory
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Re: Cad/Cam for specific purpose, can Qcad do this?

Postby BigBangTheory » Mon Mar 14, 2016 6:54 pm

Hi Husky, thanks for the welcome and the tip. I thought it would be possible to mirror and as you say it's easy I hope it's simple to understand for me also, lol.

The picture you provide is a perfect example of what I wish to do. Do you have any knowledge regarding the setting up of such a profile for turning on a lathe? I mean setting the dimensions of the bar stock, tool dimensions, axis orientation and getting the tool path worked out in the CAM option for Qcad? Does the CAM option work out/show a tool path?

Lastly, do you have any idea why the installation isn't working? It just keeps saying the destination folder already exists. I have tried wiping the download, re-downloading and making a new folder, tried other folders etc... Can't understand what it wants me to do. I am running win7 and have made sure I downloaded the correct version for 64bit

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Husky
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Re: Cad/Cam for specific purpose, can Qcad do this?

Postby Husky » Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:37 pm

BigBangTheory wrote:The picture you provide is a perfect example of what I wish to do. Do you have any knowledge regarding the setting up of such a profile for turning on a lathe? I mean setting the dimensions of the bar stock, tool dimensions, axis orientation and getting the tool path worked out in the CAM option for Qcad? Does the CAM option work out/show a tool path?

Sorry, I'm not familiar with the QCAD/CAM add-on. Maybe Andrew can reply to this question. However - you have to see the file preparing in generally three steps:
1. creating the drawing in a CAD (in your case I would recommend to stay with 2D - like QCAD / QCAD Pro!)
2. providing all relevant settings in a CAM (it could be done in a combined CAD/CAM software like QCAD/CAM or a additional extra Software for CAM), mostly every CAM Software is able to read *.dxf, *.dwg, *.svg, *.plt, *.stl files. QCAD Pro is able to provide dxf, dwg, svg, pdf files.
Note: *.stl files are the outcome of a 3D CAD Program (QCAD is 2D!) but those *.stl files are huge and I would say an absolutely overkill to feed a lathe cnc.
3. after CAD / CAM is prepared you can send and use it in your cnc control software.

BigBangTheory wrote:Lastly, do you have any idea why the installation isn't working? It just keeps saying the destination folder already exists. I have tried wiping the download, re-downloading and making a new folder, tried other folders etc... Can't understand what it wants me to do. I am running win7 and have made sure I downloaded the correct version for 64bit

You are sure all previously used QCAD Folders are deleted? You downloaded the trial version from this Website? http://www.qcad.org/de/qcad-downloads-trial
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BigBangTheory
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Re: Cad/Cam for specific purpose, can Qcad do this?

Postby BigBangTheory » Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:53 pm

I just tried it again and it seems the loader has some sort of issue with trying to change the default directory from C to my E drive. And once you try it, it won't let you even load to C. Anyway, this time I didn't change the directory and it loaded to C drive. Maybe I can copy it to the E drive.

Now I just need to see if the CAM option allows set up for a lathe.

EDIT: Well, making a drawing and mirroring it was easy. Couldn't understand the cam though so I saved it as .dfx and tried it in LazyCam (Mach3 program) and that opens up so I'll have to find some tutorial on that one. Tried to open it in Fusion 360 cause many people say its great for CAM, but it doesn't give the option to open a dxf file. Why this stuff has to be so difficult. Probably I will just get the Denford Cad/Cam for £168 when I can afford it if things don't become a little clearer soon. Something made for a 12 year old seems to be the level I understand things.

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Husky
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Re: Cad/Cam for specific purpose, can Qcad do this?

Postby Husky » Mon Mar 14, 2016 11:41 pm

BigBangTheory wrote:ITried to open it in Fusion 360 cause many people say its great for CAM, but it doesn't give the option to open a dxf file. Why this stuff has to be so difficult.

I assume you need to import (not just open!) the file from QCAD. To my knowledge Fusion 360 is able to read at least dxf and dwg ...
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andrew
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Re: Cad/Cam for specific purpose, can Qcad do this?

Postby andrew » Tue Mar 15, 2016 5:44 pm

npk: Your unrelated post has been split into a new topic at:
viewtopic.php?f=32&t=4065

BigBangTheory
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Re: Cad/Cam for specific purpose, can Qcad do this?

Postby BigBangTheory » Tue Mar 15, 2016 11:25 pm

Yes, I meant import not just open. Fusion does not give me the option to import a dxf file that I could find.

Basically I was hoping to find out how to design a shape within a defined area and use the CAM specifically for turning and Mach3. The best example is Denford's Quickturn 2D design, can this sort of use be replicated in Qcad/CAM? The cost for Qcad is much less than Denford's software so I just wanted to ask, maybe Andrew can answer this please.

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andrew
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Re: Cad/Cam for specific purpose, can Qcad do this?

Postby andrew » Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:09 am

Yes, QCAD/CAM can be used to output anything based on the data available in the input drawing. However, the output must be configured / programmed into a configuration file. This requires either some programming or funding for someone to do the programming. So it's very likely not an out of the box solution. Please understand that out of the box solutions are rare in CAM, since there are many thousand different machine types, controller types and use cases for CAM.

BigBangTheory
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Re: Cad/Cam for specific purpose, can Qcad do this?

Postby BigBangTheory » Wed Mar 16, 2016 3:36 pm

Thank you for the reply Andrew. Mach3 uses a .tap format I think, but I somewhat understand your point. For the effort to make what I wish to do it most likely will be cheaper to just pay the £168 for Denford's solution.

Having said that, may I suggest that there is a gap in the market for easy to use, low-cost turning/lathe solutions for Mach3 (and the new Mach4) which is one of the most used machine controllers in the world. If something like Denford's QuickTurn 2D was made in Qcad as a paid for *turning" option with the CAM post processor being able to output directly into Mach3 (which Quickturn has not really solved yet so I hear) ) I would buy it and probably many others would also. Something to consider if nothing else :)

Best Regards
Rob


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