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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone, I am looking for user feed back from anyone using BobCAD software to program their cnc router.

Thanks

al
 

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I've heard more negative things about that program (as far as ease of use) than any other program out there. I've never used it, but it wouldn't be my first, second, or third choice based on user's opinions.

What is your budget, what will you be making, and what kind of CNC you got?
 

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i have & own Bob-Cad V24
the software is very good, however keep in mind it is primarily designed for metal machining, not wood
i had a tough time a first but the more u use it the more u learn
do you have CAD or CAM experience from other programs, if u don't you will find it difficult
you can download a copy for a 30 days free from BobCad
good people to deal with
 

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I have bobcad v 23 and other then actual cad drawing it's nearly useless. You do need cad program however vectric in my opinion is the way to go. If everything goes right i'll have a new cnc in my shop in about 6 weeks and i'll be using nothing but vectric to program. I will still use my bobcad for drafting.
 

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I have BobCAD 21, Gecko 540 and Mach 3. The best software is the one you know how to use. When I first bought BC V17 in 2005, it was the only "real" cad/cam software for under $6,000.

BobCADs biggest negative aspect is their sales people. They will call constantly. Then you find out that the price isn't set anywhere, it is what you can haggle them on the phone for.

BobCAD upgrades to the next version are reasonable and the video DVD will get you though most everything.

All of my CNC to date is 2-D and BC V 21 is easy to use in my opinion. I have drawn up a lot of fixtures, boxes, signs, toys... and cut with no problem.

If you are not going to design anything yourself and want to do signs, there are better software packages. If you are going to actually design something, then you need to prepare yourself for a learning curve. Don't think a normal person cannot conquer it, but it does require learning. If you were a machinist in a prior life that is a big big plus.

Aspire is a good company, but Aspire 3 is $2,000, V-Carve to do signs is $599, or if you just need 2D then they have a package for $149. Shopbot people in particular have high praise for Vectric.

Google Sketchup 8 Pro has dxf output with the pay version for $495, but no g-code generator.

Steve.
 

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I have BobCAD 21, Gecko 540 and Mach 3. The best software is the one you know how to use. When I first bought BC V17 in 2005, it was the only "real" cad/cam software for under $6,000.

BobCADs biggest negative aspect is their sales people. They will call constantly. Then you find out that the price isn't set anywhere, it is what you can haggle them on the phone for.
Amen to that! I've used BobCAD on and off since 2002. The CAD part of the package is considerably more user friendly than AutoCAD 2008 (which I also use). I've always been a bit sceptical about the CAM part of it. Yes, it is configurable for CNC woodworking routers but it can take a bit of tweeking and prodding to adjust the CAM output to your own requirements from the BobCAD-supplied machine targets. I've found that the outputs for a variety of Biesse, weeke and Morbidelli machining centres all required a degree of post programming (i.e. a hand-coded VB application to post process the POST file). This is OK if you have a working knowledge of Visual Basic, but if you don't have that then it may require some manual interventions. For 1D and 1-1/2D work I've found it more than adequate, but I've only gone as far as v.21 and I've heard bad things about versions after this. I have no experience of using 3D in BobCAD, but from experimentation I'd say it has possibly major limitations

Regards

Phil
 

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just got back from a 3 day training seminar in Toronto on BobCad Cam V24 Pro
unbelieveable what the software can do in 2D and 3D
Our teacher was Soren Nenu (check him out on the web)
he knows the software inside and out from the first version to V24
he explains all the commands and how to use them
i highly recommend if you buy the software that u also take the training it's money well spent
 

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you can download the demo version for 1 month
also BobCad will create a post processor for your machine NC if you buy their software
check it out
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
BobCAD CAM User Comments

1. “We use BobCAD to design and machine guitar parts. It is especially useful for the more complex parts such as necks and bridges. We are a small shop, 2 people, and BobCAD gives us a 3rd hardworking employee – our trusty cnc machine. The training we received at the seminar in Dallas really gave us a jump start in the use of BobCAD.” -Chris Jenkins, Lame Horse Instruments, Mansfield, TX

2.“We make the best gas engines for giant same model aircraft with BobCAD, and we wouldn’t change it for anything! BobCAD allows us to create beautiful parts fast and efficiently, and their customer support is second to none. BobCAD for us has been the difference between having to contract CAM services and being able to create our parts by ourselves.” -Mateo Saraga, SE Model Products, Miami, FL

3. “I use BobCAD at my shop to make knee and hip implant tooling that doctors and surgeons use every day. From multiple part assemblies to single 3D parts, BobCAD gives me the affordable flexibility to get parts from design to cutting in no time. Whether I get a file from a customer or I draw it myself, the CAM interface makes it easy to get my tools applied, program into the machine control, and get going!” -Jim Blinkenberg, Cameron Park, CA

4. “We use BobCAD V25 on our Amada Laser. We design and nest using BobCAD to get the most out of our machine. We have also started using BobCAD on our Flow Waterjet and are having great results. BobCAD has been a great tool and the new features on V25 are working flawlessly. The best thing about BobCAD is the ability to import files from our other software and use the utilities drop down menu to connect the lines and arcs to make a complete part with ease.” -Doug Parks, N-FAB, Houston, TX

5. “I use BobCAD in my shop to create signs, letter cutouts, engravings, shelf parts, picture frame parts, decorations, really anything I or my customers can imagine. We have used V24 for a year now and we have barely tapped its capabilities. This software has made life so much easier. I have had a great time learning to use v24. I bought a 24” by 60” cnc router and the V24 software with no prior cnc or CAD/CAM experience and thanks to BobCAD, we were able to produce useable parts the first day we turned the machine on. I have never had any problems with the software other than what comes from my lack of experience. It does a lot of the work by itself. I was concerned at first with the price, but it really has paid for itself in time saved within the first year. And we are just a small business. BobCAD has definitely increased our sales and profitability. I plan to begin working with V24 to make an electric guitar. This used to seem impossible, but now it’s definitely do-able. Thanks to BobCAD V24. Soon I would like to upgrade to V25.” -Phillip Lucas, Philz Woodwerks, Phil Campbell, AL

6. “We are building a 74ft steel sailboat in our front yard and in our little home shop; we have a 5 x 9 CNC plasma/router table. We’ve used BobCAD for making multiple parts and tools, but the best project so far has been making a propeller blade pattern we used to cast our one propellers. We also cut multiple models of the hull, but now that the hull is taking shape, we are really enjoying making functional parts that are also decorative. We recently designed and cut 54 – 1/4″ steel, mermaid deck braces.” -Doug Jackson, Tulsa, OK

7. “I use BobCAD-CAM to design small engine parts for the kart racing industry. Using BobCAD makes it very easy for me to generate the machine code right from the drawing without having to use a separate software program. I find the CAD very easy to use now that I have become more familiar with it. I have also used the BobART module it to generate drawings and code from scanned items saving a lot of time by not having to actually make the drawing.” -Tim Taylor, Track Trends, New Hudson, MI

8. “BobCAD is the most useful tool in my work shop. I’m developing a stringed musical instrument business that used to wreck my hands and limit my ability to play. With BobCAM and its ease to use, I can cut parts in 15% of the time it used to take me to hand make them. I’ve used Pro E but BobCAM is far easier to use. After only 3 weeks with the great tutorials I was able to cut my first Mandolin neck. I’m now onto my own design of upright electric basses, designing the backs, tops, necks and all the other blocks to build this bass. BobCAM will definitely send me into full time building in the next few months.” -Douglas Kemp, Douglas Strings, North Ridgenille, OH

9. “Although my main use for BobCAD is hobby related, I also use it in my business. I design engrave and V-Carve plastic signs for Photo voltaic installations to indicate the presence of solar power, identify shutoff switches and maps of the installation to assist emergency responders such as firefighters to ensure all power is turned off. I have designed and machined parts for a middle school under water l robotics team, which helped them win their regional competition and place 11th in the world competition. My hobby related uses have been to design and fabricate aluminum router mounts for my home built CNC machine, machine parts for the addition of a fourth axis, fabricate wood parts for gifts such as a rotating ear ring, necklace stand and jewelry boxes, and to make several commemorative plaques out of Koa for my wife to give out at her family reunion.” -Chip Conklin, Chips Marine LLC, Kailua Kona, HI

10. “I design molds from start to finish for the integrated circuit industry. Our parts are very small so it’s an art in itself. I also make a vast type of I.C. test sockets. I like the mat. setups for the fact that I cut a vast type of materials, plastics, tool steels, etc. I’m getting really good with the BobArt PRO. It’s so cool and it shocks my friends as to how I can be so good at art. I don’t tell them how easy you all have made it. If I can, in the years to come, do nothing but art work and program from my home that is my goal with BobCAD-CAM software… So far so good. I have 4 seats of the software for myself. I am also teaching my son to program. That is a gift I can give him for his future. I can’t even tell you how much BobCAD has helped me in the shop. Thank you all, I love it.” -Steve Eckhoff, Precision Contacts, Fair Oaks, CA

11. “I use BobCAD to create one-off car and motorcycle parts on my Hurco BMC 4020. The ideas for the parts either come from existing pieces or from friends with ideas. From simple parts to complex 3d shapes, BobCAD allows me to create this in less time and effort. What an awesome product for the money. Go BobCAD team!” -Henry Kenuam, St Louis, MO

12. “We use it [BobCAD-CAM software] to design/build parts for antique cars and tractors. We also use it to develop art works and designs for an NC plasma cutter. Main use is components for marine and automotive use manufactured on our Haas Mill. We also use it to design/manufacture model R/C car and airplane components. We have used it to design and produce a Company logo on a 3 ft x 3 ft office type sign.” -Tom Weber, Toms Marine, Ft McMurray, Alberta
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If you are interested in our Refund policy use this link:

Refund Policy - BobCAD-CAM

We work very hard to help all of our customers and in many ways go above and beyond the call of duty. If you are having any technical support issues, we have a great support team. They can be reached at 727-489-0003
 

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1. “We use BobCAD to design and machine guitar parts. It is especially useful for the more complex parts such as necks and bridges. We are a small shop, 2 people, and BobCAD gives us a 3rd hardworking employee – our trusty cnc machine. The training we received at the seminar in Dallas really gave us a jump start in the use of BobCAD.” -Chris Jenkins, Lame Horse Instruments, Mansfield, TX

2.“We make the best gas engines for giant same model aircraft with BobCAD, and we wouldn’t change it for anything! BobCAD allows us to create beautiful parts fast and efficiently, and their customer support is second to none. BobCAD for us has been the difference between having to contract CAM services and being able to create our parts by ourselves.” -Mateo Saraga, SE Model Products, Miami, FL

3. “I use BobCAD at my shop to make knee and hip implant tooling that doctors and surgeons use every day. From multiple part assemblies to single 3D parts, BobCAD gives me the affordable flexibility to get parts from design to cutting in no time. Whether I get a file from a customer or I draw it myself, the CAM interface makes it easy to get my tools applied, program into the machine control, and get going!” -Jim Blinkenberg, Cameron Park, CA

4. “We use BobCAD V25 on our Amada Laser. We design and nest using BobCAD to get the most out of our machine. We have also started using BobCAD on our Flow Waterjet and are having great results. BobCAD has been a great tool and the new features on V25 are working flawlessly. The best thing about BobCAD is the ability to import files from our other software and use the utilities drop down menu to connect the lines and arcs to make a complete part with ease.” -Doug Parks, N-FAB, Houston, TX

5. “I use BobCAD in my shop to create signs, letter cutouts, engravings, shelf parts, picture frame parts, decorations, really anything I or my customers can imagine. We have used V24 for a year now and we have barely tapped its capabilities. This software has made life so much easier. I have had a great time learning to use v24. I bought a 24” by 60” cnc router and the V24 software with no prior cnc or CAD/CAM experience and thanks to BobCAD, we were able to produce useable parts the first day we turned the machine on. I have never had any problems with the software other than what comes from my lack of experience. It does a lot of the work by itself. I was concerned at first with the price, but it really has paid for itself in time saved within the first year. And we are just a small business. BobCAD has definitely increased our sales and profitability. I plan to begin working with V24 to make an electric guitar. This used to seem impossible, but now it’s definitely do-able. Thanks to BobCAD V24. Soon I would like to upgrade to V25.” -Phillip Lucas, Philz Woodwerks, Phil Campbell, AL

6. “We are building a 74ft steel sailboat in our front yard and in our little home shop; we have a 5 x 9 CNC plasma/router table. We’ve used BobCAD for making multiple parts and tools, but the best project so far has been making a propeller blade pattern we used to cast our one propellers. We also cut multiple models of the hull, but now that the hull is taking shape, we are really enjoying making functional parts that are also decorative. We recently designed and cut 54 – 1/4″ steel, mermaid deck braces.” -Doug Jackson, Tulsa, OK

7. “I use BobCAD-CAM to design small engine parts for the kart racing industry. Using BobCAD makes it very easy for me to generate the machine code right from the drawing without having to use a separate software program. I find the CAD very easy to use now that I have become more familiar with it. I have also used the BobART module it to generate drawings and code from scanned items saving a lot of time by not having to actually make the drawing.” -Tim Taylor, Track Trends, New Hudson, MI

8. “BobCAD is the most useful tool in my work shop. I’m developing a stringed musical instrument business that used to wreck my hands and limit my ability to play. With BobCAM and its ease to use, I can cut parts in 15% of the time it used to take me to hand make them. I’ve used Pro E but BobCAM is far easier to use. After only 3 weeks with the great tutorials I was able to cut my first Mandolin neck. I’m now onto my own design of upright electric basses, designing the backs, tops, necks and all the other blocks to build this bass. BobCAM will definitely send me into full time building in the next few months.” -Douglas Kemp, Douglas Strings, North Ridgenille, OH

9. “Although my main use for BobCAD is hobby related, I also use it in my business. I design engrave and V-Carve plastic signs for Photo voltaic installations to indicate the presence of solar power, identify shutoff switches and maps of the installation to assist emergency responders such as firefighters to ensure all power is turned off. I have designed and machined parts for a middle school under water l robotics team, which helped them win their regional competition and place 11th in the world competition. My hobby related uses have been to design and fabricate aluminum router mounts for my home built CNC machine, machine parts for the addition of a fourth axis, fabricate wood parts for gifts such as a rotating ear ring, necklace stand and jewelry boxes, and to make several commemorative plaques out of Koa for my wife to give out at her family reunion.” -Chip Conklin, Chips Marine LLC, Kailua Kona, HI

10. “I design molds from start to finish for the integrated circuit industry. Our parts are very small so it’s an art in itself. I also make a vast type of I.C. test sockets. I like the mat. setups for the fact that I cut a vast type of materials, plastics, tool steels, etc. I’m getting really good with the BobArt PRO. It’s so cool and it shocks my friends as to how I can be so good at art. I don’t tell them how easy you all have made it. If I can, in the years to come, do nothing but art work and program from my home that is my goal with BobCAD-CAM software… So far so good. I have 4 seats of the software for myself. I am also teaching my son to program. That is a gift I can give him for his future. I can’t even tell you how much BobCAD has helped me in the shop. Thank you all, I love it.” -Steve Eckhoff, Precision Contacts, Fair Oaks, CA

11. “I use BobCAD to create one-off car and motorcycle parts on my Hurco BMC 4020. The ideas for the parts either come from existing pieces or from friends with ideas. From simple parts to complex 3d shapes, BobCAD allows me to create this in less time and effort. What an awesome product for the money. Go BobCAD team!” -Henry Kenuam, St Louis, MO

12. “We use it [BobCAD-CAM software] to design/build parts for antique cars and tractors. We also use it to develop art works and designs for an NC plasma cutter. Main use is components for marine and automotive use manufactured on our Haas Mill. We also use it to design/manufacture model R/C car and airplane components. We have used it to design and produce a Company logo on a 3 ft x 3 ft office type sign.” -Tom Weber, Toms Marine, Ft McMurray, Alberta

Wow 12 people that like Bobcad
 

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Different uses

I've had BobCAD/CAM since version 17, currently with V24. I also have Vectric Cut-2D for making text signs.

BobCAD is more for people designing items with very defined dimensions or contours and where more than one component is going to interface. The software is best if you have had experience with CAD or machining beforehand. BobCAD can be used with a plasma cutter or lathe, which are not advised with Vectric software. Creating signs with text would take 4 times longer with BobCAD than Vectic.

Vectric is very user friendly, but focused on making it possible to take artwork and create signs, table tops, medallions and the like. BobCAD probably could do that, but it is not friendly for that at all. I have not used Aspire, but from the "Gallery" section of the Vectric it doesn't show where a complex item of multiple parts are designed from it.

Both products have areas they are perfect for and other areas that they are not. I would strongly recommend anyone starting in CNC to get Vectric Cut 2D at $150 so they can create something the first day.

Steve.
 

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I have built and repaired many machines with different CNC applications. I have a CompuCarve for the learning experience. I have never paid attention to any of the programing software before but I am now studying BobCAD. So far the training manual has been very straight forward and the videos easy to watch and comprehend.

Is BobCAD for everyone? I would say no. This is software for people who have a basic understanding and have used the simple programs and want to do more. This is professional software and a good solution for business or serious home users.
 

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mike, you put it well. when i was working in the auto bus. as a toolmaker(now retired from chrysler) bobcad was useful. i had v-18 and now have v-25. the art side is pretty cool but as i have found out with the type of work i do, aspire and v-carve pro would have been a better way to go.it does take a little longer to get there but heck, i'm not in no hurry.i will get the other programs one day but i'll do with what i have. tom from brookln, mi. heres a few things that i do now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
BobCAD BobART

I agree with you guys, the vetric product line is focused on wood working and sign making. They have some really nice tools for model creation. Also because there software is more object based it makes it a little easier to navigate for geometry.

With that said, if you understand how "any" program works you can you can really produce some awesome work!

Here are a few " art based " files that were done with BobCAD.
 

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good looking jobs al. on your build your tools sign i have been looking for that kind of bottom finish. looks great with any type of application. mike i would love to come to your outting but i now live in tenn. heck of a road trip. keep the projects coming. tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
To create the texture in the bottom of the build your tools sample you would use the texture feature in BobART. These are the steps I gave to that community, based on this they created their own version to win a contest. The sample above is the sample that won the contest.



There are 3 drawing tools that you will be using.

Rectangle
Offset
Fillet

Step 1: Drawing a 8" X 4" Rectangle
Step 2: Offset Rectangle by .25"
Step 3: Offset offset by 1"
Step 4: Add Fillets of .25" for both offsets
Step 5: Offset, offsets by .125"
Step 6: Add the buildyourtools text


How to video link: Build your tools wire frame name plate - adepoalo's library


With BobART we will need to use the following features:

Create or Modify stock
Regular Emboss Add
Regular Emboss Subtract
Texture Weave
Regular Emboss Subtract

How to video link: Build your tools emboss model - adepoalo's library
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Image Tracing and Emboss Model design

BobART Fish


In this example we are going to use bmp file of a fish to:

• Get the profiles of the fish to use for the embossing process
• Use the image of the fish for texture.

During the layout process we are going to use the following features:

• Load Image
• Rectangle
• Change image origin
• Line join
• Ellipse
• Spline fitted
• Deform contour
• Add new layer
• Offset
• Quick trim
• Arc sketch
• Line continuous


Getting Started:

Step1: Draw a rectangle 11” X 6”
Step2: Draw a center line
Step3: Draw an ellipse 9.95” X 5”
Step4: Load Fish BMP
Step5: Change the origin of the image to X: .95” Y: 1.25” Z: 0.0”


How to Video Link >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> BobART Fish Steps 1_5 - adepoalo's library

Now we are going to trace the body and fins of the fish:

Step6: Add a new layer and make it active
Step7: Use a fit spline to trace around the body of the fish
Step8: Add a new layer and make it active
Step9: Use fit spline & line continuous to trace around the fins of the fish



How to Video link >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> BobART Fish steps 6_9 - adepoalo's library



Now we are going to trace the gills and eye of the fish:

Step10: Create a new layer and make it active
Step11: Use the fit spline to create the gills
Step12: Use arc sketch to create the eye


How to video link >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> BobART Fish Steps10_12 - adepoalo's library


Congratulations you have completed all the wire fame layout for this part!


The steps we will be taking now is for the emboss model, we are going to use the wire frame we created to raise and lower areas of our emboss model

Step1: Create/ Modify stock X:11” Y:6”
Step2: Emboss convex ellipse subtract the ellipse
Step3: Emboss convex ellipse add the fish body
Step4: Emboss convex ellipse merge high the fins
Step5: Emboss line subtract the gills
Step6: Emboss convex art the eye


Note: If you see a red X in the BobART manager it means that you have not “regenerated” the emboss model. To do this you RT click on emboss model and LT click on regenerate


How to video link>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> BobART Fish Emboss steps1_6 - adepoalo's library


Let’s create our emboss model:

Step7: Regenerate your emboss model
Step8: Texture from Image
Step9: Create a boundary for the image texture
Step10: Smoothing


How to video link >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> BobART Fish Emboss Steps 7_10 - adepoalo's library
 

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6 months user

Hello Everyone, I am looking for user feed back from anyone using BobCAD software to program their cnc router.

Thanks

al
I been using V24 now about 6 months and like it but don't understand as much as I would like to. I used CraveWright for about 3 years and liked the software just could not keep it run. I know that this software is very powerful but don't have the know how to unleash it. I wish I could use a scanner with it. You have produced a video about how it make a guitar neck. This is a waste of time for me since it goes so fast and then expect you to understand what going on. I looked into taking one of classes that go around the country but I can afford another $1000 for this equipment.

John
[email protected]
 
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