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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm using AUTOCAD 15 to generate .STL files for my 3D printers. Since I'm totally familiar with Autocad 15, I would like to use the same program for my new CNC router. I use IdeaMaker for my slicer. But when I use that program to generate G-codes, and use GCODE Sender, I get errors. Do I need to use a different slicer?
 

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David
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Welcome to the forum! When you get a minute complete your profile with your location and first name to clear the N/a in the side panel and so we'll know what to call you.

What sort of errors are you getting? You can get Fusion 360 for free, which is also an Autodesk product, and use that for not only your CAD but also CAM to generate the G-code. You can also generate files for 3D printing with Fusion 360.

Which CNC router do you have? We like photos, btw! :grin:

David
 

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Ross
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Welcome to the forum.
 

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I was not aware that one can use "slicer" software to run a CNC. I may be wrong but a 3D printer is really 2D where a true 3D CNC can interpolate 3D axis movements. They both may use "g-code" but the g-code is often modified to work within the environment of your specific CNC controller.

The 3D slicer creates layers, one by one, from the bottom up (adding) whereas the CNC removes stock. Two different things.
 

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Welcome to the forum. We seem to have a number of well versed CNC users that can most likely assist with the errors you are getting. Unfortunately I'm not one of those but welcome to the forum.
 

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Vectric software has a "slicing" feature. Have heard mixed results with it. However, in their tutorials, it works like a charm.
 

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Mike
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Welcome to the Router Forums.

I'm not sure that you want to use IdeaMaker to generate code for your CNC. Normally slicer programs for 3D printing generate gcode to extrude material for each layer thickness of the model slices based on the printer nozzle size and speed required for the filament being used. Your CNC controller is probably having problems with the codes for heating and extruding material.


You need to be using a post processor that generates gcode based on a chosen cutting tool moving at a preset rate of speed. Since you are using IdeaMaker you probably want free software and David made a great suggestion for you to look into Fusion 360.
It is free for hobby use and is powerful enough and loaded with features so it would be right at home in an industrial setting. It will have a learning curve like any software you choose but well worth your effort to check it out.

As far as slicing:

3D printer software slices the model into layers of the thickness the printer can print with a certain size nozzle using different materials.

CNC software slicing is a way to cut the model up into different thicknesses base on material thickness or model structure for special cutting situations, and other special purposes. Importing solid 3d models into CNC software for relief cutting the software will slice the back off the model to reduce the thickness. I have used slicing to remove the bottom part of a model that has extra material so that the upper portion can be adjusted in height to get the most detail from the model.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm so familiar with AutoCad 2015 that I don't want to learn yet another program. I can design nearly any part in 15 minutes or less, and I have created thousands of designs so far. All have been for my 3D printers. Rather than learn FUSION, I thought I would start by downloading the standalone FUSION360 slicer. I imported my .STL file into it, and everything looked good. Then I was given the choice of "construction technique". The options there were

STACKED SLICES
INTERLOCKED SLICES
CURVE
RADIAL SLICES
FOLDED PANEL
3D SLICES

So I chose the option "3D slices". Then I went to "slice direction". I picked one that looked like it would make horizontal slices.
Then I SAVED the file, but the only option was .3dmk
If I try to send the file to my CNC router using g-code sender. It reports that it doesn't accept .3dmk files.

So, in desperation, I went back to my 3D printer slicer (IdeaMaker), which DOES produce g-code files. But when I try to send those files to my CNC router using g-code sender, I get the error message that the "toolpath has not been defined", and it quits.

So is there any simple method that I can use my AutoCad generated .STL files to run my CNC router?
 

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Mike
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You are still trying to use 3D printer software to generate code for a CNC carving machine. They are 2 different applications. You don't say what CNC controller software you are using, just that you have a new CNC.

You need to use a Cam program and the correct post processor for your CNC router to output code for a CNC router, you can't use code produced by a 3D printer slicing program to run a CNC router.

Check your AutoCAD manual to see if there is a Cam extension and if they have a post processor for your controller software. Also you could join the AutoCAD forums and see if anyone can provide the post processor you need.

You can also search for free CAM software to produce the gcode for your CNC router.
 
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