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Anyone here using a CNC routing machine with AutoCAD software? I have used AutoCAD for the past 20+ years to prepare plans and would like to get a CNC setup in my shop that will work direclty out of AutoCAD, much in the same way a pen plotter does now. I’m looking to spend about $10-15,000 (us) and I’m interested in what brands of CNC machines you’re using.
 

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Hi awh,

Gee I wish I knew someone who could answer your post....... I have never seen any posts here that indicates anyone here has a cnc machine.

My guess would be that the a second program other then autocad would be needed to add the tooling information (maybe an add-on to autocad). Things like feed rate, bit dia and checks for 0,0 points and alignment... all that sort of thing has to be done somewhere.... and then there is the driver software perhaps???

Ed
 

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Hi!

We are a CNC shop that just added a cnc router (which is why I'm here). I just researched to upgrade cad/cam and as of Monday signing the dotted line on Mastercam. I have the most experience with it and their routerPro looks pretty good. I looked at FeatureCAM and they included ArtCAM, Esprit, and Gibbs. These are in the price range your talking about but might be way more than you need. I needed lathe with 4th axis and sub spindle. And we woke with a lot if imported solids.

I have never workd with auto ad for cam work so I can't comment. You could look at cncforums.com and see what they say.

Good luck!
 

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Anyone here using a CNC routing machine with AutoCAD software? I have used AutoCAD for the past 20+ years to prepare plans and would like to get a CNC setup in my shop that will work direclty out of AutoCAD, much in the same way a pen plotter does now.
Autocad doesn't create the G-Code files needed to tell a CNC where to cut, but it can be used to create the drawings most tool path generating software can import and use. When plotting an Autocad file the pen simply runs right down the center of the drawn lines. Using a CNC with assorted router bits the tool path considers the diameter, speed, RPM, depth, etc., for each bit.

I've got experience using a large MultiCAM CNC, a small CNC Shark, and a slightly larger Probotix Meteor CNC. All three can use AutoCAD .DWG files as a source, but import that file to some other application (Enroute or RinoCAM or VCarve Pro in my cases) to create the tool paths and subsequent G-Code that is fed to the CNC.

4D
 

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AWH,

I am unaware of a way to do this using purely AutoCAD, but I use the AutoCAD to send .dwg & .dxf files to my machinist partner who uses a script file for his vector input - which serves his CNC. I also create .stl files in AutoCAD to email for "rapid prototyping". Also, in some cases; Microsoft Excel can be used as a data cache to ascertain route closure. PEdit in AutoCAD can also become a "best friend" for many of these tasks.
Although I use AutoCAD r2002 (extremely customized by me), I haven't upgraded in years - due to AutoDesk's now "subscription versus ownership" policies. If I need a feature - I simply use AutoLISP to create it. There may become some things I cannot accomplish, but thus far this methodology has worked for me since year 2001.

Good luck,
Otis Guillebeau from Auburn, Georgia
 

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AWH,

I too use AutoCad to create my original design files (AUTOCAD LT98 ) and then output the design as a DXF file.

I use Vectric Cut2D to do the toolpathing and output that file to my MACh3 CNC controller
that runs my small cnc router.

Of course, there is a learning curve with new software but I am able to cut most anything
I can draw.

I also use Autocad to create design files for my vinyl cutter.
 
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