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ECAM v4 Lathe & Mill

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blowlamp04/05/2019 14:55:14
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1447 forum posts
97 photos

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.

Features.

I'm just a happy user. smiley

Martin

fizzy04/05/2019 16:39:40
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1737 forum posts
116 photos

Thanks for the info Martin. I will have a look at it and see how I get on.

geoff adams05/05/2019 17:22:05
182 forum posts
196 photos

hi Blowlamp

downloaded ecam looks good but iam hopeless with computers where did you learn how to use it is there tutorils

i have imported a dxf file for turning now iam stuck any help would grateful

Geoff

blowlamp05/05/2019 17:33:04
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1447 forum posts
97 photos

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

Martin.

blowlamp05/05/2019 22:00:45
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1447 forum posts
97 photos

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

geoff adams07/05/2019 13:05:26
182 forum posts
196 photos

hi Martin

thanks for the link the video was a great help the only problem i have is when i select geometry it selects everything no matter what i do, think it might be my cad i use e machine shop have no problem exporting to cambam for my mills iam looking at onshape sees logical and easy to use what do you use? i will soldier on but do need some simple cam for my lathes i have just brought a boxford 240 8 station tool turret lathe iam writing all g code by hand

many thanks Geoff

blowlamp07/05/2019 18:53:57
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1447 forum posts
97 photos

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.

Martin.

geoff adams08/05/2019 16:40:56
182 forum posts
196 photos

hi Martin

that has worked have made some code and run it on the machine looks ok i did put fillet radius in mach3 dint like the end points and start points so reprogrammed without

the post processor is for a fanuc control can that be changed for mach3 .can the depth of the roughing cut be altered

sorry for all the questions had a play with the milling it looks to be a good uncomplicated prog for both mills and lathes

many thanks Geoff

geoff adams09/05/2019 08:52:20
182 forum posts
196 photos

morning Martin

sorted both problems i had mach3 in radius mode changed to dia. program now runs

found out how to change depth of cuts thet call cut height

thanks for all the help Geoff

blowlamp09/05/2019 11:13:20
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1447 forum posts
97 photos

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.

Martin.

geoff adams09/05/2019 13:17:27
182 forum posts
196 photos

Martin

will definitely be using it ,used the milling this morning came out great. once you no where to find and use the functions its so easy and quick to use thanks to you

i have used fusion 360 its to complicated for simple parts very impressed dont no why i havent come across it before been looking lathe cam for some time this ticks all the boxes thanks for the heads up on this software more people should using it i programmed cnc mills back in the eights wish i had this then all i had was a calculator no computer never thought then that i would have my own cnc machines in my back garden how times have changed

does Jason B with his new machine know about this software i think hes using fusion

its great that the g code is free at the weekend thick i might purchase the milling and lathe just so i can use all week its not a lot of money what machine do you have? i have a tormach 1100 , syil x4 mills a boxford 240 and seig cnc lathes will try and posts pics later

once again many thanks Geoff

geoff adams09/05/2019 17:55:46
182 forum posts
196 photos

hi martin

one of my lads has put the pis on for me the first two are of the parts machined on my boxford using ecam they will end up up as cylinder heads

img_0808.jpgimg_0810.jpgimg_0807.jpgimg_0802.jpgimg_0804.jpgimg_0809.jpg

blowlamp10/05/2019 22:10:57
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1447 forum posts
97 photos

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.

Martin.

Simon036219/10/2020 09:27:57
201 forum posts
73 photos

Just stumbled across ecam V4 and highly impressed so far.....however there are obviously some things that are either bugs or (more likely) my failure to understand what I should be doing - for instance, I was trying to do a face mill operation yesterday and the parameters seem muddled - setting a depth of cut appears to do nothing, the only roughing feed applied is the finishing allowance...

Has anyone found a users forum or somewhere where I can pose the more basic questions that don't seem to be available through the site?

BR
Simon

blowlamp19/10/2020 12:20:08
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1447 forum posts
97 photos

I'll do you a video soon to help you along.

Martin.

blowlamp19/10/2020 15:38:36
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1447 forum posts
97 photos

Facing stock with Ecam.

Martin.

Simon036219/10/2020 17:00:52
201 forum posts
73 photos

Martin, that's really great, thanks very much.

My failure was to understand that the face milling operation brings the material to z=0 for all subsequent operations - I had assumed that it was another standard operation starting at a nominal z=0 and descending negatively from there onwards.

All slightly academic since my 48V supply abruptly developed a live-earth leak that trips our ELCBs and is measurable on a meter......a replacement is hopefully on its way as we speak.

I already really like eCam though, its great for the sort of rapid "mill a slot, three holes and a reference edge " that my preferred CAM (CamBam) is too heavyweight to swiftly generate this sort of actions.

BR
Simon

Emgee20/10/2020 10:48:20
1769 forum posts
237 photos

Plenty on this link to teach yourself eCAM, both turning and milling operations covered.

**LINK**

Emgee

Simon036220/10/2020 14:42:14
201 forum posts
73 photos
Posted by Emgee on 20/10/2020 10:48:20:

Plenty on this link to teach yourself eCAM, both turning and milling operations covered.

**LINK**

Emgee

Thanks again, I failed to see this section on their website - helps to understand what the capabilities are!

Simon

IanT20/10/2020 17:08:43
1689 forum posts
163 photos

I must have missed this thread last May but I'm pleased to see it now - as when I looked recently, I couldn't find a good "free" CAM solution, which was the one possible shortfall in my eventual 3D CAD selection.

However, I have no CNC equipment (at this time) and currently have no plans to get any either, so lack of CAM wasn't a show-stopper for me with regards to 3D CAD. But then I didn't have a 3D Printer not so long ago and wasn't planning to learn 3D CAD either. So things do change over time and clearly technology improves and gets more affordable too.

You mentioned that this is isn't "3D CAM" Martin and I can see that it only accepts DXF/DWG files, so I kind of see that it's "2D" but will it also do some form of 2.5D - maybe by 'overlaid' files/multiple passes? My initial needs would most likely be for 'layered' cuts in hardwood by the way, probably using a cheapie router set-up but these things do have a way of growing and changing once you start playing with them.

Or have I misunderstood this CAM 'tech' completely and need something different or more specialised? As I have a slow learning curve, I'd rather just have the one tool (to rule them all? ).

BTW - I've watched your videos Martin - very interesting and just a little intimidating too.

Regards,

IanT

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