Newbie to CNC

This forum is dedicated to those Hobbyists Interested in CNC machining in their home shops. (Digital Read Outs are also topical, as is CAD/CAM as it relates to CNC)

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Gary Armitstead
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Re: Newbie to CNC

Post by Gary Armitstead » Fri Nov 06, 2015 2:24 pm

Bill Shields wrote:ANY PART IN ANY MACHINE?....Hmmmm....guess you have not seen a lot of the machines that it will not support.

I am not saying it is not a good product, but it is not a 100% of anything..and it has been around a lot longer than since the late 80's (I first saw it on an Apple II if that gives you an idea).

It is also good to hear you think so highly of BobCAD

Bill,

Have you used MasterCam in industry? As a matter of fact, we had a Seeburg 3-axis mill with an Italian controller(very similar to a large 150 inch table Hydrotel) weighed in at a mere 250,000 pounds, that we purchased from Douglas Aircraft in 1994 and MasterCAM did just fine with that mill. AND you can't get more obscure than THAT mill! MasterCAM even produced a custom post processor for us to run this old Italian controller.

Earlier than the late eighties? On an Apple II??? 'Fraid NOT! MasterCam was and IS only a PC based product. Period. I have a brochure for the FIRST version of MasterCAM running on early DOS. Brochure dated 1987! Any more "facts" you want to add?

As far as BobCad, yeah that's as much "praise" as I can give it. :)
Gary Armitstead
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Bill Shields
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Re: Newbie to CNC

Post by Bill Shields » Fri Nov 06, 2015 2:37 pm

believe it or not, the original MasterCAM ran on an apple. I don't know how many they sold but that is where it started.

If you don't believe me, call Tolland and ask one of the brothers.

MasterCAM used to purchase software from me back in the late 80's and early 90's.

The large size of machines does not make them complex.

Anything with a single spindle and single tool is cakewalk.

You have no idea of obscure until you try to run 11 axes in 4 programs with 3 tools cutting simultaneously on two spindles.

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Gary Armitstead
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Re: Newbie to CNC

Post by Gary Armitstead » Fri Nov 06, 2015 3:11 pm

Bill Shields wrote:believe it or not, the original MasterCAM ran on an apple. I don't know how many they sold but that is where it started.

If you don't believe me, call Tolland and ask one of the brothers.

MasterCAM used to purchase software from me back in the late 80's and early 90's.

The large size of machines does not make them complex.

Anything with a single spindle and single tool is cakewalk.

You have no idea of obscure until you try to run 11 axes in 4 programs with 3 tools cutting simultaneously on two spindles.
Bill,

You seem very knowledgeable about MasterCAM. When I was in the trade, I spoke to Mark and Brian many times at seminars they gave on the West Coast. They always listened to clients and users and willingly accepted input to improve their product. That version of MasterCAM was NOT owned by CNC Software. When CNC bought it, it was only then that it was run on PC based machines. MasterCAM was a totally different iteration at that early time. WAS NOT and IS not close to the software CNC introduced in 1985. The first version I used was 2.1 and that was based on early DOS. Versions 3.1 and 4, were based on DOS 3.2. Finally CNC went to a Windows/icon based software with V10. Since retiring in 2003, I don't even recognize MasterCam now.
A quote from CNC's company profile......"Founded in 1984, CNC Software is one of the oldest companies in the PC-based CAD/CAM industry.The original version of Mastercam was founded in two-dimensional (2D) CAM. Mastercam was one of the first micro-based CAM packages to include CAD capabilities which allowed the user to construct his or her own parts quickly and easily. Shortly after CNC Software got its start in Massachusetts, the company moved its base of operation to an office in Vernon, Connecticut. Today, the CNC Software corporate headquarters and training facility is located in a company- owned 40,000 sq. ft. building in Tolland, Connecticut, midway between Boston and New York City. In addition to over 85 employees working at the corporate facility, CNC Software also has an office in the state of Washington dedicated to the educational market."

You missed my point on the Seeburg. Large size had nothing to do with what I was saying. The Italian controller was the main point. Because you mention 11 axes in 4 programs with 3 tools, I have to assume you sold post processors to MasterCAM. Correct? I agree that single spindle and single tool is a cakewalk (your words, not mine). IF you were producing post processors for them, then my hat's off to you! Not many folks can do this especially in multiple axis work! I have "edited" posts for my own use on "odd" machines and it can be a nightmare. Getting back to my original point, it's the post processor that makes the software work, no MATTER what software out there! I think OUR discussion with MasterCAM has left the majority of folks on this thread and we are really "getting down in the weeds" (as they say in politics) with this.

I truly wish that MasterCAM would introduce a version I could run on my MacBook now. The version of MasterCAM I run now (strictly for hobby work) is so old that if I upgrade to V19, my pc on XP Pro won't run it! I have heard rumors over the years that there would be a Mac version "someday", but not yet.

I really enjoy this discussion, but I believe the OP is probably totally confused now.
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Bill Shields
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Re: Newbie to CNC

Post by Bill Shields » Fri Nov 06, 2015 4:23 pm

The Italian control was probably a Fidia, although might have been a NUM, but you probably know the difference between Italian and French controls. They are both unusual (in so far as they are not FANUC or Siemens or Tomato (yes there was a control called a Tomato)...

No, I didn't sell them post processors.

Their building used to be called 'The house that Anilam built' by those that worked there.

Yes, I write software for multi-axis / multi-spindle / multi-channel machines. Biggest chore is not actually making the part (just 3 linear cords + 2 angles) but the logic of keeping the machine from running into itself in the process.

Like the difference between an figure skater and a hockey team.

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Re: Newbie to CNC

Post by Gary Armitstead » Fri Nov 06, 2015 5:18 pm

Bill Shields wrote:The Italian control was probably a Fidia, although might have been a NUM, but you probably know the difference between Italian and French controls. They are both unusual (in so far as they are not FANUC or Siemens or Tomato (yes there was a control called a Tomato)...

No, I didn't sell them post processors.

Their building used to be called 'The house that Anilam built' by those that worked there.

Yes, I write software for multi-axis / multi-spindle / multi-channel machines. Biggest chore is not actually making the part (just 3 linear cords + 2 angles) but the logic of keeping the machine from running into itself in the process.

Like the difference between an figure skater and a hockey team.
Bill,

Thanks for "jogging" my old memory.........Anilam. Yep, that was the old company. AND yes, Fidia was the Italian controller. Really hard to get used to that controller! This was my first experience with a European controller. I'm not familiar with French controllers. The Fidia was bad enough! We had a young guy come into the shop to help us understand the thing. Put in some NEW parts, but it never ran well for us. Probably why Douglas Aircraft sold it so cheap! That Seeburg was probably a half million dollar mill when Douglas bought it to do small aluminum wing and airframe parts. Mainly used in production and had light duty. But it was heavy duty and was what we needed for large forging dies. We finally installed a brand new U.S. Windows based controller on it and as far as I know, that machine is still machining large forging dies to this day. 20 years later! Made a ton of money for us though. Since I retired in 2003, the company has added a huge 5-axis gantry mill that occupies 1/3 of a 10,000 square foot building (that mill is machining cavities in 25,000-40,000 pound die blocks) and some older Cincinnati NC mills-ALL Fanuc controllers as far as I know.

Figure skater/hockey team..........great analogy!
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Rick
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Re: Newbie to CNC

Post by Rick » Wed Nov 11, 2015 12:47 pm

Like the difference between an figure skater and a hockey team
I like that analogy. We have a 7 axis Miyano BNE34-S2 lathe with a Fanuc 18t control at work, it only runs two programs at once. Its hard to get you mind wrapped around the programs and the timing. Cant imagine trying to control 4 programs. I imagine the pucker factor is very high the first time a program is run. I know it is here with our machine. The single step button is our best friend :D
Rick

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Bill Shields
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Re: Newbie to CNC

Post by Bill Shields » Wed Nov 11, 2015 1:01 pm

For those not familiar with the process:

Most of the new(er) Citizen / Miyano machines also allow you to 'wind' your way forward (and reverse) through the program with the hand-wheel....so if you get into a situation where you see something coming that is going to be untenable...you can wind your way back out.

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