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TOPIC: Draw2CNC machining service

Draw2CNC machining service 3 years 11 months ago #17216

  • Baldor
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It is posible to send an STEP file for machining? I have acces to profesional CAD tools, and redrawing my designs in a new and incompatible format is impractical. Of course, respecting the capabilities of the machine and tools.

Talking about capabilities: What kind of tools can be used? Seems only end mills, or maybe some toroidal are used in the photos. Can ball mills be used? What is the min radius allowed, and for what depth? Min and max threads and holes allowed, and what deep? Metric or imperial? Tolerances?

A lot of info mising in the website.
Aprendiz de mucho, maestro de casi nada.
Last Edit: 3 years 11 months ago by Baldor.

Draw2CNC machining service 3 years 11 months ago #17217

  • hop
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Well that's how I find out that my expectations are unrealistic. :D

Draw2CNC machining service 3 years 11 months ago #17219

  • Jon Chandler
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I'd definitely download the software and give it a try. You may be pleasantly surprised by the price, but I think it's going to be somewhat higher than you expect.
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Draw2CNC machining service 3 years 11 months ago #17221

  • parodi
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Baldor, you could send me a STEP file, but I would be no better than most other machine shops out there on price or lead time. I would have to analyze the drawing, quote the work manually (including custom setup if necessary), etc... Draw2CNC is an optimized service which works well when you follow the process and enter the design via Draw2CNC's CAD program. I fully understand your complaint about having to redraw a part that you have already drawn. If you want, I can assist you by helping you enter the drawing in Draw2CNC's CAD program. Simply email me a sketch (PDF, DXF, etc...) and I can try to capture it with Draw2CNC's program (at least the bulk of it, so that you can finish the details).

You are also right that Draw2CNC's CAD tool hides much of the technical details of how machining is done. This might be a drawback to somebody with machining background (like you seem to have), but it is done purposely to allow the non-machinist designer to be more concentrated on free-form drawing than on machining details.

Answering your questions: drawing can be done in metric (cm, mm) or imperial units (in, mils). All machining is done with end mills (minimum tool size is 1/32" or 0.8mm) but the forms that can be cut are arbitrary; that is why you see toroidal cuts, for example. Tools are selected based on the corner radii of the figures you draw, not on the figure itself, so you can draw any size figure independent on the diameter of the end mill tool that is automatically selected to cut that shape. For example, if you draw a rounded rectangular cut with a corner radius of 1mm, the tool closest to 1mm radius will be selected, but that imposes no limitation on the dimensions of the rounded rectangle which can be 10mmx15mm, or 15mmx25mm, or anything. This also means that there is no relationship between the end mills used being metric or imperial and the drawing being in metric or imperial units.

Maximum depths of cuts depend on the tool which is automatically selected (from the corner radius of the figure you draw), but in broad terms, for radii below 1/16" maximum depth is 1/2", for radii below 1/8" maximum depth is 1", for radii below 1/4 maximum depth is close to 2", and so on... Threads available for threaded holes include metric from M3x0.5 to M8x1.25, standard from 4-40 to 1/4-20, and some piping threads like 1/8NPT.

Much of what I have explained here is also explained on the design and manufacturing sections of the website, although you are right that the list of end mill tools (including their maximum depths), or the list of threads is not mentioned explicitly there. Again, this is also done on purpose since the website is not guaranteed to be always current with the latest version of the manufacturing process or design tool. All of these technical details can be found on the downloadable CAD program itself. There you have pulldown menus for threads, where you can see the complete list of threads, and you have a depth-of-cut slider which automatically updates showing the maximum possible depth of a cut as you change the corner radii of your figure interactively.

I hope all this helps, and as before, don't hesitate to contact me for any clarifications.
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Draw2CNC machining service 3 years 11 months ago #17222

  • Baldor
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Sorry if my question sounded as a complaint. Was just curiosity. And all the questions about the capabilities... Well, I like to know what can be machined before I start designing, and I consider the CAD and CAM procceses separate (but dependent).

┬┐Could the program import DXF files, even if only for reference? This could help a lot with my way of working.

And you are right with my machining background. I was a mould designer for 16 years in another life, and also CAM specialist when needed. :-)
Aprendiz de mucho, maestro de casi nada.

Draw2CNC machining service 3 years 11 months ago #17223

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Dear Baldor, inputing DXFs is definitely on the top priority list for the next versions of Draw2CNC's CAD program. It can output DXFs right now, but not input them, and you rightfully point out how useful it can be to input them for guidance when drawing.

I knew you knew too much... :lol:
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