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Member postings for blowlamp

Here is a list of all the postings blowlamp has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: A little rant about Emojis and their kin
17/07/2019 23:35:25
Posted by Dave Halford on 17/07/2019 18:52:33:
Posted by Blue Heeler on 17/07/2019 01:46:23:

And this have to smile -

well, at least they have people with facial hair and jaundice covered.

We're up to LGBTQQIAAP now, so expect to see a few more 'variants' of these 21st century emoji couples. devil

Thread: RequiredOutside Diameter to Cut 5/16 BSF Thread
23/06/2019 13:53:30

0.3125" or 5/16"


Thread: Is CAD for Me?
22/06/2019 11:38:43
Posted by Barrie Lever on 22/06/2019 11:22:49:


Well MOI is just very good at creating 3D models, you can then use that 3D model for a fancy illustration or to go to manufacturing (machining or printing)

Alibre, Solidworks or Fusion 360 would beat MOI for the bevel gear illustrated by Andrew and Jason, although MOI would do the job. MOI would beat Fusion, Alibre and Solidworks for producing a very organic surface model like the wingtip of the model plane.

You are correct, BobCAD produces the tool paths over the 3D model, 70% of CAM packages use the same Kernel or Engine (I prefer to call it the heart) which comes from a German company called Moduleworks, so you do hear some right old rubbish spoken about one CAM package being better than another when actually in 70% of the cases we are talking about the same thing. BobCAD uses the Moduleworks kernel.

I use the following CAD packages

  • Bricscad (good AutoCAD clone) for very high quality 2D drawings with full annotations etc.
  • MOI for very organic shapes ( and being a 3D CAD viewer)
  • Alibre for mechanical prismatic type models and assemblies such as the bevel gear.
  • BobCAD for single 3D models not in assembly that will be machined.

If I could only have one 3D CAD package and I was not going to machine parts then I would go for MOI, if I could only have one 3D CAD package and I had to machine parts using that CAD package to produce G code then it would be BobCAD.

I think Solidworks proabably comes closest to being an all round do everything package but I dont like the price circa £5000 plus VAT and I have a heavy time investment in the CAD packages that I use already.

Fusion 360 is out for me as I also use the CAD commercially and I am above the commercial cut off point, also at some stage the freebe side of Fusion 360 will get withdrawn IMO.



I did a bevel gear in MoI a while ago.

22/06/2019 11:32:42
Posted by Nigel Graham 2 on 22/06/2019 10:26:00:

Blowlamp -

I had that idea from the sites referred to above. The publishers like to show their software's maximum capabilities. Whilst I understand that, I find it a bit off-putting even though I know the artwork is by the publisher's professional designers pushing the software to its limits.

The packaging for my copy of TurboCAD contains a card advertising the agent (Paul Tracey). He used on it, rather more down-to-Earth, 3D images of assemblies for a miniature locomotive: a 4-wheel bogie in plain view with moderate tinting, a luridly rendered pony-truck, and the boiler manifold in wire-frame view. The last is so "busy" it loses details.

Barrie -

CNC cutting or Printing - either way, my point was I took MOI as primarily for CAM files. However, CNC machining or printing is not available to me; and I need primarily orthographic engineering drawings, with isometric views potentially useful but not so important.


Impressive examples you give though. You designed the aircraft parts in MOI, but I take it BobCAD is essentially the machine-tool programmer building tool-paths etc. around the MOI file?

I like that aid to clarity shown in the second screen-shot, by tinting different parts of a wire-frame assembly. I've found colours particularly valuable in an assembly-drawing when I need pick out individuals of repeated components in crowded elevations. If left in one colour, the drawing starts to resemble well-boiled spaghetti.

Recently I completed some structural-geology diagrams in 3D, using colours to differentiate the strata represented geometrically by extrusions. One looked very odd, as if the bed of rock had been mined out of the hill. Then light dawned: to make that layer white and solid, fill its generating shape with white from the colour-chart, not just leave it empty (" white " on the screen).

I can see that CAD isn't for you. You make assumptions and then wonder why nothing works for you

It's not possible to gain any reasonable overview of MoI from the link you have referred to as it's just there to give a an idea of MoI's capabilities if you have the skill to make use of them. It simply says MoI is easy to use, but is capable of complex things for the more adventurous user.

21/06/2019 23:42:23
Posted by Nigel Graham 2 on 21/06/2019 23:23:50:

MOI was totally new to me; but thank you for showing me.

I looked at the links Michael offers. MOI seems really for 3D printing ornamental rather than engineering work...

Where did you get that idea from?

21/06/2019 19:23:15

I made a short video with MoI.

21/06/2019 18:26:01
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 21/06/2019 18:07:42:

MoI is also a fantastic complementary tool for a polygon-based artist since its CAD toolset and advanced boolean functions enable extremely rapid creation of mechanical or man-made type “hard surface” models. The icing on the cake is MoI’s unique polygon mesh export that generates exceptionally clean and crisp N-Gon polygon meshes from CAD NURBS models.


Bearing in mind the title of this thread .... A bit jargon-laden is it not ?


The text I've highlighted above leads me to think that paragraph is aimed at the well-versed user or professional modeller, so some jargon might be necessary. smiley

21/06/2019 18:02:38
Posted by Brian H on 21/06/2019 16:47:19:
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 21/06/2019 08:46:20:
Posted by blowlamp on 20/06/2019 23:33:48:

It doesn't sound like CAD is for you, but you'll never know for sure until you check out MoI.


Maybe true ... 'though the introductory text doesn't inspire confidence that it will be an easy ride:




Edit: This might be a good place to start:


Edited By Michael Gilligan on 21/06/2019 08:48:40

MOI Moment Of Inspiration.


No CAD system is a complete breeze, but which bit of text in the link do you think doesn't inspire confidence?

20/06/2019 23:33:48
Posted by Nigel Graham 2 on 20/06/2019 22:15:15:

Alibre's at it again - e-posting me things I can't use! This time I'd left Atom loaded, but when I tried to open the simplest of several exercises they'd sent, Alibre told me (more or less), "SHAN'T! Licence expired!".

Clearly one department not knowing what the other's done. Mind you, the exercises all looked far more advanced than that scribing-block in the MEW series.


Tried again following the introductory exercise on the introductory CD issued with the TurboCAD programme itself. At least it uses step-by-step instructions, not a wretched video of an expert showing he finds CAD easy. At the dimensioning stage it all went to rats as every attempt to dimension it as it told me, failed on an error message about no snap points or something. I found I have to dimension objects only approximately, by eye, then edit the value texts to the right numbers; so defeating one of the programmes' main features.


So what now?

Obviously, I can't learn 3D modelling. Unfortunately though, nor can I learn 2D (orthographic) CAD drawing beyond a very basic level.

Is CAD for me?

Well, yes, but only at a very primitive level of rough, single-layer, 2D drawings with semi-manual dimension and line-type editing, and non-scale prints. Its only advantages over manual drawing are such as easily copying objects around the image.

It doesn't sound like CAD is for you, but you'll never know for sure until you check out MoI.

Thread: Feeds and Speeds! 0.4mm milling cutters...
29/05/2019 20:24:24
Posted by John Haine on 29/05/2019 20:18:15:

Sorry to rain on your parade, but better cutters to use are engraving cutters. You can get a pack of 10 TC cutters for not a lot from eBay. Look for LineGrinder SW on Google, I recall it has a lot of useful info about which cutters to use and the process. Run as fast as you can in the spindle - I used 6000 rpm, feeding at 100 mm/min and didn't break a cutter.

Ditto. Beat me to it. smiley

They are much stronger due to being tapered.


Thread: Parting off query
17/05/2019 14:20:19
Posted by Plasma on 16/05/2019 19:32:36:

Cheers Jason, HSS blade, front tool post lathe in reverse with power feed 440rpm.

I will check the items you mentioned, got to be some thing simple as never had it before.

Plus now I come to think of it blade snapped a few weeks ago and i reversed it, may have upset something.


What do you mean when you say "and I reversed it"?

HSS parting blades are usually asymmetric,viewed from the front, so the cutting clearances will go to hell if you managed to flip it over to use the back end of the blade.


Thread: Learning CAD with Alibre Atom3D
11/05/2019 10:37:54

Are you sure that your computer hardware isn't 64 bit?

I once had a 64 bit laptop running a 32 bit version of Windows, as the result of a like-for-like version update.

I think I had to wipe the hard drive to allow a 64 bit O/S installation.


Thread: ECAM v4 Lathe & Mill
10/05/2019 22:10:57

You've got a factory there, Geoff. thumbs up

I have a Denford Triac mill and a Denford Starturn 8 lathe.

Good to hear that you're getting on well with Ecam.

Like you, I'm surprised it doesn't seem to be more popular, considering that it's well featured, up to date and reasonably priced. Now I've used it for a while and tuned the postprocessor to my liking, then in terms of work-flow, I think it's the quickest CAM I've tried.


09/05/2019 11:13:20

Nice one Geoff!

If you decide Ecam is the one for you, then once it's more familiar, I suggest tweaking the postprocessor to tune its ouput until you get exactly what your machine requires. I've got mine working just as I like it with my LinuxCNC compatible controller (PlanetCNC TNG) - it's well worth the effort and I never need to edit the code now.


07/05/2019 18:53:57

Hi Geoff.

Make sure Chain Selection isn't highlighted on the menu, as that function links curves that share common end points for quicker selection. Also, make sure your CAD isn't joining each curve to make polylines - you can usually 'explode' them back to separate curves in your CAD though.

My CAD is MoI, which I find is all I need for my work-flow.


05/05/2019 22:00:45

Here's a quick video - I hope it bumps things along.

05/05/2019 17:33:04

Give me a couple of hours Geoff and I'll try to make a 'get you going' video to help you on your way.


04/05/2019 14:55:14

I came across Ecam a few years ago and I'm liking it more and more because of its no-nonsense way of doing the job it's designed to do and the steady updates.

It isn't a 3d CAM system like say, Fusion 360 is, but I find it much easier to use for everyday work, and in a couple of instances it let me do jobs that I found impossible in Fusion 360 - I'm not saying Fusion couldn't do it, just that I couldn't find a way.

Here's a link to Ecam. It becomes freeware at the weekend, which means that whilst all functions are available for use through the week, gcode can only be generated at the weekend. Of course this restriction is lifted if the software is purchased

The upshot is that all the design & setting up can be done Mon-Fri and the gcode made for free on Sat-Sun and for as long as you want. It seems quite generous of the author considering that there are few Lathe CAM systems out there and Ecam's is rather good. I find the Mill CAM to be excellent too, as it has Roughing, Re-machining, Finishing and Chamfering all within the one operation and also allows for the use of Tee-Slot cutters etc.


I'm just a happy user. smiley


Thread: 1959 Nsu quickly
30/04/2019 19:42:25
Posted by Brian Sweeting on 30/04/2019 17:46:41:

And this has something to do with model engineering or am I missing something important?

This is also ignoring the fact that only a limited age range of members will understand "NSU Quickly".





It's all about scale & self-identity.

If he's a Model Engineer and it's happening in his Workshop, then he's in the right place. yes heartsmiley

Edited By blowlamp on 30/04/2019 19:44:43

Thread: A Unique Word?
28/04/2019 10:35:41

I'm wondering if it was originally Across-slide, which has become shortened to Cross-slide, but should really be written as 'cross-slide.

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