Author Topic: Contour Cam and Laser Cutters  (Read 2109 times)

DaltonCalford

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Contour Cam and Laser Cutters
« on: October 22, 2014, 08:19:12 AM »
I am an old time DesignCad user and I have just purchased a LaserSaur CNC Laser cutter.

I am debating purchasing the current version of DesignCad and Contour Cam.

Is there someone I can speak to in regards to how Contour Cam works, perhaps seeing some generated G-Code and discussing how to deal with the issues of cutting speed/laser intensity in regards to cut depth with lasers?

best regards

Dalton Calford

Bob P

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Re: Contour Cam and Laser Cutters
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2014, 11:00:07 AM »
From what I can tell, the machine is strictly a 2D contour cutter.  I have similar parts done (outside) with a Trumpf laser, and all they require is a DXF.  You'll have to find out whether you can use that or another (i.e. VRML) format. 

*Apparently, you have to get to GCode eventually, and there are free DXF to GCode programs available. i.e. https://code.google.com/p/dxf2gcode/  Just don't forget that the center of your cut must be outside your finished contour by half the cut width.

DaltonCalford

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Re: Contour Cam and Laser Cutters
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2014, 02:28:12 PM »
Hi Bob,

I am familiar with cam, it is the use of z-axis control ie contours that I am interested in.    I can hand write the g-code, but, it is a long tedius process and I was hoping that  contour cam was able to perform most of the work for me.

With laser cutters, you do not actually change your z axis, you increase or decrease your laser intensity or you slow down/speed up your cutting speed.

I was hoping that contour cam actually did contours and I could then concentrate upon just modifying the final G-code for laser specific z-axis specifications.

magic

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Re: Contour Cam and Laser Cutters
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2014, 02:43:14 PM »
Hi Dalton,

Below please find a DesignCAD drawing, the appropriate G-code and the toolpath simulation. This was done using an ESSI postprocessor, but you can make your own by using this as a template and changing whichever parameters you need to.

I suggest you try out ContourCAM for yourself. You can find access to the 15 day trial here: http://www.magicsystems.com/usa/index.php
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DaltonCalford

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Re: Contour Cam and Laser Cutters
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2014, 08:52:39 AM »
Hi Magic,

From your posting, you appear to be directly involved with Contour Cam.   Are you a representative or perhaps one of the developers?

I am currently assembling my lasersaur and I am interested in getting designcad/contour cam working with it.

I want to be able to design bevels, ie., by controlling speed and laser intensity, adjust the cutting depth on the z axis so as to cut a 45 degree edge on my material.    An example would be using the laser to cut dovetail joins.   

I am willing to work with contour cam on this. 

Let me know if this interests you.

magic

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Re: Contour Cam and Laser Cutters
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2014, 10:41:12 AM »
Hi Dalton,

Yes, we are the manufacturers of ContourCAM.

I had a look at the Lasersaur website, and according to this, Lasersaur uses a subset of G-code, but the examples don't look quite standard. Laser speed is controlled via F=Feedrate as in ContourCAM, but we'll need to find out, where to place the S-codes for laser intensity.

Also standard G-codes have two digits, i.e. G00, G01 etc., but Lasersaur only wants one, i.e. G0, G1 etc. according to the manual.

As I suggested in my first post, download the trial and see, if your laser cutter will accept two digit G-codes. Anyway you'll need to create your own postprocessor, not based on ESSI, as this is not ISO, as you can see from the .cn file that I included above.
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