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CamBam help (General usage) / Re: Question on 3D Profile
« on: April 09, 2022, 15:20:47 pm »
…..I have difficult to see what happens on the pictures, on the master object, in addition there is the "rapid" toolpath (in red) but they are not drawn on the copies it is a normal behavior. (if this is really the problem you talk about)

Probably better for you just to view the tool paths from the CB file and just toggle the nesting on and off to see the difference. It’s the same one from earlier in this thread.

When we revolve extrude a shape like this, with the lines that go to the center (x=0), the mesh object has points superimposed in the center instead of a common point, maybe it's the problem, I want to try to repair the mesh on 3Dsmax but unfortunately 3Dsmax won't open the exported STL (He said the STL is bad)
I also try with the line that do no go to the center (with profile #2) the result is a closed shape with a small hole in the center, so we no longer have superimposed points in the center ...and same problem. (and I still can't open the STL in 3dsmax)Removing arcs in the profile do not help too ...++David

I have used waterline revolve extrude successfully on a number of projects but on others I cannot. On the ones that fail, almost always have vertical surfaces. For example, the “Top Side” of this part posted earlier in the thread runs fine until I set boundaries that allow it to encounter the second vertical surface. I was experimenting with adding additional inner/outer perpendicular surfaces to vertical portion of the revolved surface. So that’s why all the additional layers exist in the CB file. Even if I bounded the interior to prevent cutting, it would cut it anyway and sometimes fall off the edge. So I extended the surface to the center. I noticed in the thread you linked earlier discussing the development of revolve extrude plug in that one of the earlier versions viewed vertical surfaces “inside out”. I see this error frequently in the profiles I have revolved in CB that include vertical surfaces.

…….. what I do is to first generate the toolpaths for an endmill of the same diameter to see if they are at the correct place, then when all seems OK I switch the tool to ball nose and run again the computation for the "final" job.

That’s a good tip. Thank you.

.....I did look at the step format, but CB won’t import them correctly (curve format errors)

So what is the best file format to import?
I made a few in Freecad, and objects without small radii worked ok, those that did have though did not, some loaded and displayed in CB drawing pane, however the curved surfaces did not. I then tried some from Grabcad (imported ok in other programs) and they had the same problem. I then spent ages testing files from CB, Freecad and from the net and tried various export step files in all the flavors of step and no joy I’m afraid. I did go and have a look at the specification but it’s a pay for download, so couldn’t have a look at the curve format errors. Dave

I may be getting a bit confused. Does importing a solid solve the issues? Does CB convert a solid to a surface? Can you point me to where importing such files is discussed in the CB documentation or a tutorial or discussion thread? Can’t seem to find it.

I appreciate all the help, but unless it’s something that has captured your administrative attention, I’m willing to forego using RE in CB for waterline finish 3DMOPS and learn to make and import simple solid models in these instances, if it will produce more reliable results.


CamBam help (General usage) / Re: Question on 3D Profile
« on: April 08, 2022, 21:27:54 pm »
I tried the same with Andy's revolve script object and I get the same behavior that with Eddy's plugin. (see samples/solids-example.cb) I also redo an STL with your profile but with 3DSmax, and if the object is not "solid", same behavior with WL, but if the object is "solid", this works.++David

Thanks David.I read through that thread. I have near/midterm ambitions of much more complex 3D machining (still foam patterns), so I'm just going to have to get my (CAD) solid modeling game up.

I was experimenting with scanline 3DMOPS on the same part and previously CB file. It's probably because of the same bad surface geometry but thought this was kind of interesting. When I look at the tool paths of a single part, they generate on the interior as expected and on the exterior I see a few anomolies. However when I nest six of them I see interior tool paths on the master item but also see tool paths not only below the surface but below the stock thickness and the prescribed cut depth on the nested copies. I dont know if that's caused by the vertical edge/portion of the surface or a break in the surface but thought it was a strange difference when nested. Both nested and unested seem to simulate in CAMotics. I didnt attempt to cut either. One thing I can say is the scanline tool paths and gcode generate very quickly whereas the waterline were very slow.


Members Projects / Re: Automotive Scoop Adapter
« on: April 08, 2022, 16:28:01 pm »
Thanks fellas. I appreciate the help I get here. I'll psot a few more projects in the near future.

On dust collection, that little Dust Deputy cyclonic seperator was a huge benefit. Since I mostly use small cutters (90% of the time just a .25" end mill, and ,25" Ball end mill), a small (about 3.5"-4D) dust shoe seems best. The vacuum port on the shoe is small so even though I have a large dust collector in my shop that's quite high volumetric flow, it can't create the vacuum that a shop vac can, and high vacuum is needed to move enough air through the small port on the shoe. Problem is, the small filter on a shop vac will plug with foam chips in 10 minutes of cutting. I was skeptical whether the cyclone would effectively seperate the very light foam fluff but it does so quite well. I can cut for several days without needing to clean the filter, and when I do, it only needs to be shook out, not thoroughly cleaned.


CamBam help (General usage) / Re: Question on 3D Profile
« on: April 08, 2022, 16:17:47 pm »
The root cause of most CB’s tool pathing errors are ‘file import’  file exchange formats. Closely followed by making a file in CB with extensive cutting and shutting and break at intersections. Where you’ll get lines with no length (sometimes unselectable) and other issues for 2D X\Y plane lines the file cleaner will fix most errors, 3D lines no. CB is a Cam program with some drawing capabilities.

So is it fair to say that CB revolve extrude will not make surfaces suitable for waterline finishing, regardless of the line quality, facet, or resolution setting in revolve extrude?

Also, as far as importing files for 3D machining ops, what is the best file format?

You could consider Fusion (defacto standard)  very good features, big community. Some people find the learning curve steep, this is true but I think you’ll be fine.

I have Fusion, at least the free version, at least when I can keep the virtual license in tact and functioning. They have not been easy to deal with from my customer category. I do find it a little less intuitive than say Alibre, and my biggest problem as an infrequent user is I forget where and how to perform certain functions. My original interest in Fusion was as an integrated CAD?CAM package, but I’ve since cooled on that aspect.

In the first Image where you have sectioned the cut to show other issues the interior pocket face (compare it against the sectioned bit) is being rubbed to death, ………Dave

All good advice. Don’t know if you’ve ever cut much low density closed cell polystyrene foam but there doesn’t seem to be much reward for good practice nor punishment for poor practice. On most of the problem files I post, I haven’t put any effort into optimizing the toolpaths or programs because I figure why do so if they don’t run or if they only take a few minutes to run and I’m making one piece. In general, you can flat out fly while roughing foam and the limitation is the inertial loads caused by changing direction, especially on small features, not the cutting loads. One benefit of a hobby duty machine is the moving mass is very light compared to real machines. Most of my finish cuts are .010-.015” but still at 120-180in/min, and sometimes climb cutting produces a better finish. I never worry too much about it because the finish will still be less than what I desire no matter what you do, and literally one or two strokes of sandpaper makes for a very nice finish that benefits the casting quality.

Thanks again for your help and insights.


CamBam help (General usage) / Re: Question on 3D Profile
« on: April 03, 2022, 20:51:03 pm »
Thanks David. I think that was similar observation to what Dave Benson was telling me earlier in the post with respect to the revolve extruded surface. I just used the default settings on revolve extrude. Maybe I'll look at finer resolution and see if that helps, else, I'll probably resort to the scanline 3D method. If I had settled for that initially, I'd have cut a lifetime supply of these peices by now LoL. I'll have to experiment with arc fit tol as well.

From your picture it looks like my reolve extrude line wasn't really joined (precisely enough) even though it displayed as a single polyline.

I may just have to breakdown and invest in a seperate cad program to make good 3D objects.


CamBam help (General usage) / Bottom Side Profile
« on: April 03, 2022, 17:34:38 pm »
The Bottom Side was perplexing and has me stumped. Probably something simple I’m missing as usual but I can’t sort it.
When I first ran it, the simulation revealed the mess shown in the attached picture that seemingly ignored the specified cut region. I don’t know why.

The tutorials mention that vertical surfaces can pose problems that are sometimes solved by setting “Plane Slice Only” to true. When I do so the program cuts waterline profiles but appears to cut on them on the backside of the surface which I believe is causing the displacement error shown in the sectioned part. Why does it generate the tool path on the backside of the surface? -Back Face is set false and Back Face culling is set to true. I looked at the simulation but didn’t look closely enough at the tool path in CB to see the displacement. I ran it with six nested pairs with the attached cb file, and got the mess shown in the picture.

As I understand it, with scanline methods, selecting “finishing” means it makes a single cut at final depth whereas “roughing” would use the depth increment. Is this correct? However, when the Waterline Finish 3D Method is selected, it seems I need to specify a depth increment and whether the “roughing” or “finishing” is toggled within that method has no effect if WL Finish 3D method. Is that correct?


CamBam help (General usage) / Top Side Profile
« on: April 03, 2022, 17:32:45 pm »
The Top Side was relatively uneventful. There is a small shift/registration error that needs to be corrected. It didn’t cut the small radius shown in the picture so I thought that would be easily remedied by adding boundary margin of half the tool diameter. When I did so, not only was the offending radius uncut, it would no longer cut the portion of the vertical surface to the -1” cut depth. Before I put the lower annular flange on the surface, it would cut that to whatever depth prescribed. I even made the OD of the bounding region a little larger than the that required for the tool diameter and still no joy. If I set the stock surface a 0 instead of -.125” it rounds over the top edge even though the surface has a sharp corner. Good grief! What the heck?


CamBam help (General usage) / #D Revolve Extrude Profiles Revisited
« on: April 03, 2022, 17:30:46 pm »
I did make this part. I changed from the revolve extruded profile to a couple of extruded inclined planes because it was beneficial to the flow and function of the part. Here’s a project recap. Just want you guys to know I actually do make use of the help you provide, so thank you.

Back on the topic of this thread, I must say, I’ve spent an enormous amount of time trying to sort myself out understanding the nuances of the various 3D machining methods. I’m not there…..a bit frustrated in fact. I’ve read back through this post, the 3D tutorial, and the supplemental 3D tutorial linked in the subforum multiple times.

In short, when I use scanline 3D machining methods, I have little to no problem. They just work whether roughing or finishing so I feel more confident I have a better understand of the parameters. They don’t seem to be the best choice for these revolved circular profiles because the require such a small bit and step over to prevent scalloping at the circular perimeters/boundaries, and this creates excessive time to calculate and cut. Waterline paths seem so much more sensible and appropriate for these profiles. When I use Waterline Finish 3D machining methods, the initial programs never work as expected. But, the profiles often have vertical cylindrical sections which may be part of the problem as cautioned in the tutorials. Also, since I have a hobby CNC machine, I have to manually change tools so I tend to set the programs up to run with just a .25” end mill and ball nose and that ball nose should cut these efficiently.

Revolve extrude is a very valuable CB function for me because many of the parts I make flow gases and fluids and it’s very quick and easy to create profiles and useful shapes for that purpose using revolve extrude. I have made ten or more such parts. Some programs work and some seemingly identical programs don’t and have recurring unsolved problems. So here’s an example. It’s a component of a foam pattern for a cast aluminum automotive water neck. I have made this part in two pieces with router templates in the past. I figured I’d write a program to make them in one piece in nested multiples to reduce labor.

Don’t know if you have the will to trudge through the following. In the next couple posts I’ll try to describe what is stumping me and pose some questions. This part seems like the simplest task. It’s basically just a transition from one tubular diameter to another with a .25” wall and an attached flange. There is a Top Side and Bottom Side CB file. The Topside works pretty much as expected, the bottom side, not so.

The CB Files in the following posts don’t have a WL roughing operation because with foam, it just isn’t needed for cutting foam. I just used a couple crude 2D pocket functions for roughing and stock removal. The WL Roughing function doesn’t seem to create near as many problems for me. WL Finish is a completely different matter.

To be continued.

Members Projects / Automotive Scoop Adapter
« on: April 03, 2022, 15:11:30 pm »
I'm a lost foam caster and use CB to make lost foam patterns. Here's a recent project to make a carburetor to scoop adapter for a blown 41 Willy's Coupe. I'm still a bit of a hack when it comes to CB but I get by.


CamBam help (General usage) / Re: Question on 3D Profile
« on: March 12, 2022, 17:36:19 pm »
With Camotics, you’ll get a popup if Camotics is already open, click yes. Else you’ll be looking at the previous already loaded file into Camotics.

When I simulate with Camotics I do get the pop up box in CB that asks if I want to overwrite the previously saved gcode file of the same name, which I do, but the one I was referring to is a Camotics prompt when the program has already open and has previously run the file of the same name. It says something like a file was saved that may contain important info, do you want to open that? I say no.

With your file, I think that .stl of yours looks like it was made from a “shell” and not a solid…….So I made one (a solid) without the hole in Freecad then imported it and applied two spiral profile mops, one with no cut width set and one with cut width set to evacuate the chips although it is much slower, it’s still many times faster than using exclusively 3D mops or 2.5 profiles and pockets be they Troc or not.

The surface was made by revolve extruding a 2D polyline. I could have just as easily extended that 2D profile all the way to the origin so when revolved, there would not be a hole in the center, but I’d need to bound it anyway. With a properly constructed region selected for bounding I get the expected/desired result, I’m just not understanding why it cuts the interior step when the 3D Profile MOP is supposed to be bounded by the shape outline. -?

With the regions, for example if you have three concentric circles and do a make region then only two of them will be added to the region created, and the space between the circles is the region’s active area. If you use polylines as boundary's, it’s ok to re-use either one of them with some other polyline to make a boundary for a different mop.

When you use a region as boundary, the "holes" of the region are not machined. Note that you can use only one region per 3D surface mop as boundary.
I understand. Thank you.


CamBam help (General usage) / Re: Questin on 3D Profile
« on: March 08, 2022, 16:47:41 pm »
That must have been a saving and/or simulation related error on my part. When a few weeks go by before I use certain CB functions, I tend to forget some use details. So a couple follow on questions.

I made the change to selected shapes and bounded with the region, and the WL Finish was bound and cut correctly.

Initially, when I had selected shape outline as the bounding method, it would cut the entire circular interior pocket at the 1.75” cutting depth. So I thought why doesn’t it stop at the inside surface boundry? So then, I drew a couple circles and tried to use those to bound the cutting with no success. I converted them to polylines, and still no joy. Then I remembered from previous posts and forum help it may need to be bound by a region, so I created the region. Then I wasn’t sure if the region I had created was bounding the area between the circles or excluding it, and I couldn’t find the method to reverse it (for surfaces and polylines yes). Is there such a function or will the region always be the area between two shapes?

I must say, I went back through the CB documentation page and the supplemental 3D machining tutorial that David had created (sure would be great if this could be completed and linked to the documentation page)……

….but found very little on the use of regions except methods of filling. If it’s there and I’m just overlooking it, please set me straight.

When I posted the previous file, I was experimenting with various cutting and bounding methods, would make a change and then use the “simulate with Camotics tool” to observe the result. I swear I changed and tried about every bounding method but maybe the simulation wasn’t utilizing the changes. When you use "Simulate with Camotics" , must you save the changes to the CB file and re-generate the tool paths first? Or will the “simulate with Camotics” tool do so without save/regenerate tool paths when you select overwrite the previous gcode file? As an aside, I note Camotics will ask if you want to use the previous file saved of same name, and I select “no”.

So I updated the file (attached) to reflect the shape outline bounding method, saved it, regenerated tool paths, closed Camotics, reopened it, and ran the new gcode file. It produced the same step in the interior as pictured in the original post. I thought maybe it was falling off the edge of the surface and experimented with the boundary margin but it persists. Why?

Sorry for the long post. Just trying to make sure I understand the bounding and procedural steps to avoid similar questions in the future.


CamBam help (General usage) / Question on 3D Profile
« on: March 08, 2022, 02:24:59 am »
Hi all,

I was modleing some revolve extruded profiles and this one seemed like it would be ideal for waterline finishing. Why does the waterline finish method seem to ignore the bounding region and cuts the innner groove shown in the attached picture when waterline roughing or scanline methods do not?


CamBam Shop Feedback / Site Security Certificate Expiration?
« on: February 13, 2022, 22:35:21 pm »
I haven'y been on the forum for a couple days but every browser I try to access the site with starts screaming secutity warnings at me. https is displayed as https in the forum address line and I can't navigate the forum without getting kicked back to the security warnings. Anyone else having that problem?


Members Projects / Re: Custom Automotive Timing Cover
« on: February 06, 2022, 15:15:34 pm »
Thanks fellas and appreciate all the help you've provided as I continue down the learning curve.

Where possible and usefiul, I like to use new CB features on each part I make. It takes more time but expands capabilities and general proficiency for the future. This was almost all 2.5D cutting except the area around the crank seal. I ended up using the projected tool path and engraving method on an extrude revolved surface for those pockets. I was having problems with the bounding regions in the normal 3DMOP. Those areas were cut with a .125" ball nose cutter but everything else .25" end mill or ball nose, so tool changes were infrequent and cut times very fast.......10-15 minutes per side of a 13"x13" plaque.

Most of that was being cut at 200in/min. One thing about having a lighter machine is less inertial mass but I had to slow it down a little for the small features not because of cutting quality but because the changes in direction seemed so violent, they were shaking the machine.

In the near future, I may attempt to import a surface file and perform 100% 3DMOP cut on a part this size. I'm guessing you'll probably hear from me about then....LoL!

I also may have had an epiphany about some of my chronic EMI and electrical gremlins that would occassionally rear their head causing mysterious errors and resets. When the polystyrene foam is machined, it develops a mighty static charge. The flex hose on my dust collection was supposedly static dissapative hose, but I noticed foam was still clinging to it everywhere. So I replaced flex hose with metallic duct where possible, stripped the metalic support wires in the hose sections and grounded them to the metal sections, and grounded the piss out of every other assembly on the machine I thought might be isolated. I also made some imprvements to the dust shoe and collector.

Wow, what a difference. Not a single issue since and the the touch mouse pad on my laptop pc now works whereas before it simply would not. Could it really have just been static charge all along? That can be some very high voltage. -Mine is not to reason why!


Members Projects / Custom Automotive Timing Cover
« on: February 05, 2022, 23:44:25 pm »
Hi all,

I'm a lost foam caster and have been using Cambam to machine polystyrene foam patterns for evaporative casting. This pattern was machined in several pieces and assembled. Attached are a couple pictures foam pattern and resulting casting, and a YouTube video link describing the project.


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