12 posts • Page 1 of 1
After about 15 years of working as a software engineer I grew weary of dealing with keyboards and chairs all day everyday, so I began working with a cabinetmaker a couple years ago. It was around that same time I discovered Sketchup and Ruby. I now have my own Custom CNC Millwork shop in which I create a variety of things for a variety of clients. To do most of my work I use SketchUp along with a set of Ruby scripts I've written to produce the partfiles needed to run my Shopbot cnc router. I'm hosting my ruby source on Google's Open Source Code site. Please feel free to check it out. It is and will continue to be a work in progress.
DISCLAIMER: READ THIS NOW
If you are looking for a full featured, release quality, well documented, comprehensive CAM solution then Zomadicam version 1.11 is not for you. Zomadicam is a home grown piece of software which I've written while learning the Ruby scripting language and CNC in general. It has however served me very well and has been and continues to be my CAD/CAM solution for 90% of the work I do. So if you are a brave soul who already uses SketchUp and would like to create your Shopbot partfiles straight from the source then this might be the right tool for the right job for you.
If you do chose to participate in the Zomadicam project you should be prepared, at least initially, to download the latest version frequently and be patient as features you've come to take for granted are implemented. I recommend familiarizing yourself with what the tool can do in your spare time and don't even try to pump out a job with it until you've determined that it can do what you want and that you know how to make it do that. The functionality of this version is very limited - it doesn't even do pocketing, so be warned.
On the Zomadicam code site you can find basic instructions on how to install the plugins and generate partfiles from pre-defined models you can download from the Google 3-D Warehouse. You can also generate partfiles based upon simple Sketchup geometry you draw yourself.
One of the Proper Models currently available for download from the 3-D Warehouse is my model of the Jamboree Box contest. You can download this model into Sketchup and generate the requisite partfile yourself from Sketchup. You might also choose to modify the model in some fashion within Sketchup - generate the partfile again and your changes will be represented in the new partfile output.
You can also build original Proper Models in Sketchup yourself which are Zomadicam ready. The basic rule is that every part of a model must be it's own component and the coordinate axes of that part must represent how that part is to orient to the Shopbot table. Once you've built a model you like and you want to share it you can upload it to the 3D Warehouse. Tag the model with zomadicam so other people can find it.
If you are a developer with a familiarity of CNC and the Sketchup Ruby API and you would like to contribute to the development of Zomadicam you may contact me at rob(at)zomadic(dot)com
thank you and enjoy.
This looks very good Rob thanks. I appreciate you coming and sharing this work with us. I think there may be a few who will become interested if not already in SU, ruby and cnc. Welcome to the forum. I would like to understand the SU to part-file technique. Thanks for getting me started.
Thanks for the post, Rob, and welcome to the SketchUp Community Forums at SketchUcation.
This project of yours is very interesting. However, many people who use SketchUp and Ruby might not be terribly familiar with CNC routers, the terminology involved, or what you would want a CNC router for. I'll post a link here to your Zomadic site's gallery: http://www.zomadic.com/Zomadic/Photos%20Page.html
To catch more interest from the non-fabricators among us, you might want to post some images and explanations directly into this forum thread.
Fascinating work...I look forward to going through this all when I have fewer deadlines hanging over my head. I used to work in a fabrication lab where I ran a BBC Precix router (among other things), and to get it to mill out SketchUp models was an exasperating struggle.
Thank you for the compliments.
I think the period in that picture link messed it up. Here it is again.
there also plenty more here.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/zomadic/se ... 283371440/
To learn more about the tools I use to transform my sketchup models to reality go here http://www.shopbottools.com
Really nice. Welcome to the forum
Looks god rob,
Do you think this is also possible with a multicam router ?
This is cool! I've always wanted a ShopBot and now I want one even more. There's no room for one in my shop though.
Inspecting mirrors is a job I could easily see myself doing.
Certainly output for different machine types is a possibility. With a few mods to the architecture a ruby scripter should be able to add a 'plugin' to the plugin which adds g-code output for Multicam or whatever.
Some of the top furniture makers in the UK use this type of facility for making their templates when doing curved work.
A guy called Brain Jordan writes for Furniture and Cabinet making mag and produces some beautiful stuff. Creates the necessary CAD file, emails the profile to the likes of a similar company in the UK, and gets perfect templates produces.
a fellow chippy.
Shine me up
Attached is a file that I hope answers your question.
I'm still trying to work with the zomadicam for my shopbot ... still a lot of playing to do.
However .. those who mentioned using SU to create templates on a CNC machine ... I'd be really interested in knowing how you overcome the fact that SU does curves in straight line segments, albeit little ones.
Next week I plan on running some tests on circles, curves, bezier curves, etc. each with differing numbers of segments per curve to try and see if there is any magic number of segments where you can get an "effectively" smooth curve on a cnc directly from a SU created dxf
I'm working on some different samples of basic Sketchup files for the plugin. Uploading to the site soon.
The number of segments you'll want in a curve will depend on the size of the arc and the overall dimension.
I've hardly made a science out of it but I find that cutting from circles of 360 segments or arcs of 90 segments yields "perfect" results.
That is to say, other factors affecting edge quality off the cnc machine are greater than the segmentation effect. I suppose the goal would be that the peaks between any two chords along the curve should be less than 1/32nd or maybe 1/64th.
As a simple exercise, one should be able create a partfile to cut a circle by following these steps
1. Draw the circle on the red-green plane and make a component out of it.
2. Set the z-zero to your material thickness: menu select Plugins->Zomadic Tools->Zomadicam->set z-zero
3. Select the circle component and menu select Plugins-> Zomadic Tools-> Zomadicam-> Transform selected Geometry to Toolpath
4. Select the new toolpath group generated from step 3 and menu select Plugins-> Zomadic Tools-> Zomadicam-> write selected Toolpath Geometry to partfile
I'm working on incorporating Shopbot's built in curve commands for arccurves when appropriate but it's tricky when the curve has been scaled in some fashion.
12 posts • Page 1 of 1