Originally Posted by Tom in Cincy
Yes Brett, I made a vacuum table out of plywood. I don't use it anymore as the shop vac I used to pull the vacuum added so much noise in the room I needed earplugs. Also you must cover up the unused holes and cut a rubber sealing gasket for the bottom. With foam its easier to use duct tape. Plywood I use contact cement. I found running the spindle speed as slow as possible helped the melting issue here. I have also spayed water on the foam. I think it helps too. I get my bits from this guy, an Ebayer
that ships from the US. I got a copy of ARTCAM... And have no clue how to run it. Looks like a steep learning curve..
Hi tom, i only use Artcam to add the tabs to the parts and produce the gcode to cut, to be honest i do not have a clue how to use the rest of the programme.
All i do is click open my dxf file saved in a state that it will fit on my sized material, though it will nest the parts for you if you like your choice, which means it will fit the parts asclose as you want together to use least material, but i prefer to do this myself just incase you did not know
Then click toolpaths on the bottom bar, click 2d toolpath, a box will come up for you to add the depth your z axis can go into the material, what your material is (foam,wood or metal etc) and cutting tool.
Then click on a shape you would like to cut, and for each shape click wether you would like the cut to be inner or outter edge cut and give it a number. i normally will select all the outter formers edges by holding shift and give them one number, then the inner lighting holes another number.
The tabs or bridges are nearly the same once you have created a toolpath if you click on the shape it will turn blue, then click profile options just write in how many tabs/bridges you would like how wide you would like them and the hieght your z axis travels up foir the tabs/bridges.
Then you just save your toolpath as one adding all the other toolpaths created for the drawing and save in the output you need, i have .TAP for mach 3, but theres about 50 differnet outputs to choose from for other cnc running programmes.
The above is how i do it as i learnt that myself. Its not to hard and if you need more help i can help you, i like the programme as i can move the parts in Artcam incase my tool path for example it going to hit another part also once the toolpath is saved as one file you can watch it cut out your parts in simulation in any material you like and at anyangle. It is very cool to watch