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Using other cam programs

Posted by Matt Casey 
Matt Casey
Using other cam programs
August 13, 2007 04:04PM
I was just wondering if it was possible to run the reprap using a G code based cam software such as cambam or master cam?
Re: Using other cam programs
August 13, 2007 04:12PM
i'm not entirely sure what you mean. if you mean taking a reprap machine and using custom software to run it, then possibly. here are the major hurdles you'd have to jump:

1. STL slice and dice: cutting up the object into layers, converting said layers into toolpaths that are additive, rather than subtractive.

2. controlling the extruder head. there are 3 major components to deal with. 1. the extruder motor. 2. the heater and 3. the thermistor (reading it to determine the temperature) if you can handle those with gcode, then the first hurdle would be pretty easy to overcome. (you could even modify the reprap host software to output gcode)
Matt Casey
Re: Using other cam programs
August 13, 2007 04:24PM
Oh sorry for the confusion. My plan is to be able to use the reprap as a two in one machine that can mill and extrude using changeable heads. Would I be able to run the machine using the reprap controllers with another program or input gcode into any of the reprap software to make it mill?
Re: Using other cam programs
August 13, 2007 05:42PM
The mechanical side of RepRap is not rigid enough for even light milling.

The electronics could drive a small milling machine but it would be a bit on the slow side.

The software neither inputs or outputs G-codes at the moment. I don't think adding G-code output would be too difficult for anybody proficient in Java. It would be useful to allow people to add extruders to existing 3D machines to convert them into FDM machines.

Inputting G-codes and using them to drive the motors would be more difficult and is not really related to the RepRap project. Again, somebody proficient in Java could take the code from the RepRap host that does the comms to the controllers and add a G-code parser but I would really be a different application from the current one.

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