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> Tormach PCNC 1100 and SprutCAM 2007 B5.41
pbachert
post Oct 28 2008, 07:38 PM
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I'd like to get some general feedback from users on their experiences using SprutCAM and specifically using it with the Tormach PCNC 1100 mill. Overall I'd say I'm not happy with my experience to the point of thinking of switching to another CAM software package. Sometimes the software refuses to machine on certain surfaces altogether, other times it creates machining where none should be. I can't even get Spruts own T-Slot cutter to machine a t slot never mind use a keyseat cutter to cut a side slot. Should be a simple thing. Also I spent extra money for a fourth axis to reduce set up time and get no good results using rotary axis. Overall I'm very frustrated. Any feedback from users would be greatly appreciated, Thanks Pete
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mayhugh1
post Oct 28 2008, 11:21 PM
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QUOTE (pbachert @ Oct 28 2008, 07:38 PM) *
I'd like to get some general feedback from users on their experiences using SprutCAM and specifically using it with the Tormach PCNC 1100 mill. Overall I'd say I'm not happy with my experience to the point of thinking of switching to another CAM software package. Sometimes the software refuses to machine on certain surfaces altogether, other times it creates machining where none should be. I can't even get Spruts own T-Slot cutter to machine a t slot never mind use a keyseat cutter to cut a side slot. Should be a simple thing. Also I spent extra money for a fourth axis to reduce set up time and get no good results using rotary axis. Overall I'm very frustrated. Any feedback from users would be greatly appreciated, Thanks Pete


Over all, I've been really happy with Sprutcam on my Tormach. I've been using it for some three years now - mostly to machine 3-D parts - but I often do mix in 2D operations even on those parts. I'm very comfortable with it except for the 2-D geometry editor which I seldom use. It has a lot of features and I try to learn something new everytime I use it. Sometimes when it seems that I can't get it to machine a particular surface in a particular way that usually means an opportunity to learn something new about the tool. Usually it is playing with a few settings for which I've been accepting the defaults. It's easy to experiment with its features and settings and quickly generate trial toolpaths, and that is basically how I learned the tool. I think by now I've used or abused all of its operations and settings in the many toolpaths I've generated. At first, it seemed there were just too many options, but as I generated more and more parts, I eventually saw the need for them and began routinely using them. Ignoring the translational issues, I find the structure of the manual good for general reading, but tough going for finding answers to particular questions. I think it is a first class product in its price range, but from personal experience I know there can be a frustrating learning curve ahead for someone who buys it as his first CAM package. (I don't mean to imply that is your situation.) Creating toolpaths on a complex 3-D surface must be one of the hardest things to ask software to do. As an engineer I'm still amazed when I see it work. And its hard to remember a time when I ever saw it actually miscalculate. As far as any specifics in regard to the Tormach, Sprutcam doesn't know whether it's creating toolpaths for the Tormach or a very expensive production milling center. The postprocessor is the thing that links them. The post was originally written/adapted by John Prentice from Tormach and over the past few years a few bugs were worked out to the point that I haven't seen or heard of any real issues with it. The fourth axis support for the new continuous 4-axis still needs to be officially implemented in the post, but Sprutcam doesn't quite yet support full 4-axis machining. So, that will eventually come. At this point there is no way I would change CAM package. I keep tabs on some of the forums dealing with the other competing products and they all seem to have great features and ugly issues and happy and unhappy users. - Terry (No connection with either Sprutcam or Tormach other than being a very satisfied customer of both.)


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Terry
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pbachert
post Oct 29 2008, 03:53 PM
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QUOTE (mayhugh1 @ Oct 28 2008, 07:21 PM) *
Over all, I've been really happy with Sprutcam on my Tormach. I've been using it for some three years now - mostly to machine 3-D parts - but I often do mix in 2D operations even on those parts. I'm very comfortable with it except for the 2-D geometry editor which I seldom use. It has a lot of features and I try to learn something new everytime I use it. Sometimes when it seems that I can't get it to machine a particular surface in a particular way that usually means an opportunity to learn something new about the tool. Usually it is playing with a few settings for which I've been accepting the defaults. It's easy to experiment with its features and settings and quickly generate trial toolpaths, and that is basically how I learned the tool. I think by now I've used or abused all of its operations and settings in the many toolpaths I've generated. At first, it seemed there were just too many options, but as I generated more and more parts, I eventually saw the need for them and began routinely using them. Ignoring the translational issues, I find the structure of the manual good for general reading, but tough going for finding answers to particular questions. I think it is a first class product in its price range, but from personal experience I know there can be a frustrating learning curve ahead for someone who buys it as his first CAM package. (I don't mean to imply that is your situation.) Creating toolpaths on a complex 3-D surface must be one of the hardest things to ask software to do. As an engineer I'm still amazed when I see it work. And its hard to remember a time when I ever saw it actually miscalculate. As far as any specifics in regard to the Tormach, Sprutcam doesn't know whether it's creating toolpaths for the Tormach or a very expensive production milling center. The postprocessor is the thing that links them. The post was originally written/adapted by John Prentice from Tormach and over the past few years a few bugs were worked out to the point that I haven't seen or heard of any real issues with it. The fourth axis support for the new continuous 4-axis still needs to be officially implemented in the post, but Sprutcam doesn't quite yet support full 4-axis machining. So, that will eventually come. At this point there is no way I would change CAM package. I keep tabs on some of the forums dealing with the other competing products and they all seem to have great features and ugly issues and happy and unhappy users. - Terry (No connection with either Sprutcam or Tormach other than being a very satisfied customer of both.)

Thanks for the vote of confidence. I am spending many hours looking for workaround solutions and programming methods to get surfaces to machine. I work exclusively in 3d, art to part. The toolpaths do show the results clearly so if you don't see what you want keep trying. I wonder if this is the norm in other packages as well. Pete
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Sprut_UK
post Oct 29 2008, 05:35 PM
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Hi Pete, and welcome to the forum. I think that what is key to getting good results from a product like SprutCAM is 'time'..........it does take time to learn how to achieve what you want or need.
I know that the guy's (and gall's) at Tormach work hard to keep their customers happy, but I think that you will also appreciate that their margins on selling SprutCAM are virtually nothing. This makes it quite difficult for them to service both the machine and also the SprutCAM product.
A lot of their customers are hobby machinists who are happy to sit down in their own time, and actually enjoy learning what is involved in getting SprutCAM to do what they want it to.
SprutCAM is not really designed for the hobby user, it is a complete product for commercial machining, so if you are new to CNC as well as CAM, it is going to be a bit of a steep learning curve initially.

My company is an independent UK based SprutCAM reseller, and our main line of business is the sales and support of SprutCAM. I spend a lot of my day supporting my customers with their questions about SprutCAM, and also offer them online support using our NetViewer system.
I also fine tune their postprocessors to suit how their machine works, or even how they themselves prefer to work.
I am also in the process of creating a library of online narrated video tutorials which are available for others to use if they wish........although I do charge for this service. Anyone who signs up for this will also get access to direct support from me via e-mail or by using our NetViewer system.
Send me an e-mail daveATsprut.co.uk if you are interested.

I also help out on here when I have the time.

I would suggest that you stick with it, SprutCAM is a great product, and the Tormach machines seem to have a very strong following too. There are apparently some exciting new additions coming for SprutCAM soon............ wink.gif

Dave


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"Never interrupt your opponent when he is making a mistake..." - Napoleon Bonaparte
www.sprut.co.uk
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pbachert
post Oct 29 2008, 08:36 PM
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QUOTE (Sprut_UK @ Oct 29 2008, 01:35 PM) *
Hi Pete, and welcome to the forum. I think that what is key to getting good results from a product like SprutCAM is 'time'..........it does take time to learn how to achieve what you want or need.
I know that the guy's (and gall's) at Tormach work hard to keep their customers happy, but I think that you will also appreciate that their margins on selling SprutCAM are virtually nothing. This makes it quite difficult for them to service both the machine and also the SprutCAM product.
A lot of their customers are hobby machinists who are happy to sit down in their own time, and actually enjoy learning what is involved in getting SprutCAM to do what they want it to.
SprutCAM is not really designed for the hobby user, it is a complete product for commercial machining, so if you are new to CNC as well as CAM, it is going to be a bit of a steep learning curve initially.

My company is an independent UK based SprutCAM reseller, and our main line of business is the sales and support of SprutCAM. I spend a lot of my day supporting my customers with their questions about SprutCAM, and also offer them online support using our NetViewer system.
I also fine tune their postprocessors to suit how their machine works, or even how they themselves prefer to work.
I am also in the process of creating a library of online narrated video tutorials which are available for others to use if they wish........although I do charge for this service. Anyone who signs up for this will also get access to direct support from me via e-mail or by using our NetViewer system.
Send me an e-mail daveATsprut.co.uk if you are interested.



I would suggest that you stick with it, SprutCAM is a great product, and the Tormach machines seem to have a very strong following too. There are apparently some exciting new additions coming for SprutCAM soon............ wink.gif

Dave
I also help out on here when I have the time.

Thanks Dave, I'm hanging in there as best I can. I have some CNC experience using MasterCam from about ten years ago, vague memories of using the software. I actually got some good results on a part program today with multiple work offsets using the rotary table and a different approach to the machining, what I initially considered a workaround method but that may be what it takes to get the results I'm looking for. I have twenty years of manual machining experience and about a year of CNC so I'd consider myself a newbie. As for the price I paid under a thousand USD so I doubt I can get a software package that cheap from anywhere else. Positive feedback from users who are getting good results is all I'm looking for. I may take you up on your offer of video tutorials. Thanks for the input, Pete
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djb
post Nov 1 2008, 12:33 AM
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QUOTE (pbachert @ Oct 29 2008, 08:36 PM) *
I also help out on here when I have the time.

Thanks Dave, I'm hanging in there as best I can. I have some CNC experience using MasterCam from about ten years ago, vague memories of using the software. I actually got some good results on a part program today with multiple work offsets using the rotary table and a different approach to the machining, what I initially considered a workaround method but that may be what it takes to get the results I'm looking for. I have twenty years of manual machining experience and about a year of CNC so I'd consider myself a newbie. As for the price I paid under a thousand USD so I doubt I can get a software package that cheap from anywhere else. Positive feedback from users who are getting good results is all I'm looking for. I may take you up on your offer of video tutorials. Thanks for the input, Pete


Definately take Dave up on his new offererings for support. Seems perfectly reasonable cost considering the knowledge and support he provides. He has helped me numerous times!

I too have been using the program for a few year for my Tormach and have found the newest version, has worked really well for me. If you are willing, sometimes its good to post your project file and as short description on what you are trying to do with it. Other users can take a look and provide feedback. Sometimes it just simple stuff that people can give you some feedback with and you'll be on your way again.

David


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djb
post Nov 1 2008, 12:33 AM
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sorry double post
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Mike Henry
post Nov 9 2008, 04:45 PM
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You might want to try Dave's library of tutorials. I just signed up for it and would be much, much further along if they'd been available whenI first started with SprutCAM. Dave also seems amenable to taking suggestions for new tutorials.

Mike
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