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View Full Version : RhinoCAM or Vectric Cut3D and VCarve Pro?



Matt Clara
11-06-2010, 10:04 AM
I've tried demos of them all, and I like the Vectric simplicity, and the fact that it costs less doesn't hurt, either. I do have Rhino, but I can use those models in either CAM package.

Opinions?

Thanks,
Matt

Eric Mims
11-06-2010, 10:43 AM
I would do whatever will keep you in one program... keep yourself from jumping from program to program. Go Rhinocam if you are set on drafting 100% of the time in Rhino.. go vectric if you are comfortable drafting there, etc. If it's an occasional bounce back and forth, import/export, it's no problem, but would become annoying for me to do it every time I made any changes to linework..

Tony Joyce
11-06-2010, 11:41 AM
Just get Aspire it's much simpler to learn than Rhino & RhinoCAM. You can still create models to use in Rhino, but 3d models are easily created in Aspire. RhinoCAM probably has more toolpathing options, but it has a very steep learning curve. You can be running in Aspire much faster. These statements are based on my own efforts to learn Rhino & RhinoCAM vs Aspire, your and others mileage may vary and it's just my opinion. Just be sure there is a PP for your machine and if you're doing 4th axis this is doubly important.

http://www.sawmillcreek.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=127641&d=1252624454

Guy Mathews
11-06-2010, 12:03 PM
I've tried demos of them all, and I like the Vectric simplicity, and the fact that it costs less doesn't hurt, either. I do have Rhino, but I can use those models in either CAM package.

Opinions?

Thanks,
Matt

If you already have Rhino and are familiar with it and will be doing 4th axis, then go with RhinoCam 2.0. The cost difference is nominal when you compare it to the features of a similar program. It is a mid level CAM program that is proven. It is not a hobby setup. When I left NEW WAVE I was using Visual Mill 6.0 and Rhincam. I never was given a project that I could not accomplish with the Mecsoft products.

As for PP, not only does Mecsoft provide PP for just about every machine imagineable, their tech support will go above and beyond to configure your PP for whatever application you want. They will use gotomeeting.com, connect to your computer and modify the PP right there in front of you in some instances. Never in over 4 years did I have to wait more than 8 hours for a problem to be solved by Mecsoft. I figure if it is good enough for GM and NASA, then it is more then enough for me!

http://www.mecsoft.com/Testimonials.shtml
Just my 2 cents.

james mcgrew
11-06-2010, 12:26 PM
i have aspire and am a fan of rhino as amater of note there are only a few pp not available in aspire and those are generally because of propietary reasons from the machine manufacturer (think Gerber) what machine are you using?

Matt Clara
11-06-2010, 12:53 PM
My machine is a bolt together kit from Fine Line Automation, the FLA 200 (2x4) with rack and pinion on the X (dual drive) and lead screw on the Y and Z.

Matt Clara
11-06-2010, 12:57 PM
PS. what are PPs?

Keith Outten
11-06-2010, 3:05 PM
Post Processors

It's no secret that I am a big fan of Vectric Products, particularly Aspire. I like software that doesn't have a steep learning curve and the fact that Vectric has been making fantastic improvements to their software based on customer requests.
.

james mcgrew
11-06-2010, 8:34 PM
matt, i am sure you will use the mach 3 for a controller on your machine, you will have no problem rhino or aspire with the running of files on your machine, the post proccessor

"a post-processor was considered an interface tool between computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) systems and numerically controlled (NC) machines - a mere translator, reading the manufacturing instructions issued from a CAM system and writing an appropriate rendition for a target NC machine."

you will have no worrys with this once the right one is established (vectric provides these) you will save all files with it and run them

Kevin Groenke
11-06-2010, 8:47 PM
We've been running RhinoCam for a couple of months and I'm relieved to announce that the learning curve is not nearly as steep as some report it to be. Once you determine which of the many toolpaths your going to use most of the time, it's pretty straightforward. We've found the forth axis, the ability to make "glued up stock boxes", selectable machining regions and flipping parts for multi-sided machining quite useful, simple and powerful. If Aspire has such capabilities we haven't used it enough to find them (it probably does, and I have no intent to indicate otherwise).

I found these RhinoCam tutorial videos (http://www.youtube.com/user/SUDesignWorks#p/u/8/zx9Xg0lRhaw) from Syracuse at least as informative as MecSoft's own material.

Aspire has it's place, but if you're making parts in Rhino, why take them out of Rhino to make the g-code?

There is a new CAM plug-in for Rhino called Zebra3D (http://www.zebra3d.com/) that's currently in beta, so it's a free download. I've played with it, and it seems to be an attempt to make things more graphical and intuitive. I haven't used it enough to pass judgement, I should probably pick one and stick with it.

-kg

Mike Package
11-06-2010, 9:28 PM
I love the Vectric products and own/owned VCarve and Cut3d. I would gladly use them full time if they did everything I need, but they don't. In particular the inability in Cut3d to limit the cut using region curves. Aspire adds the ability to use region curves, but lacks the ability to precisely place imported 3d components. Dragging it "close enough" doesn't work for me. But man oh man, nobody does the cut previews as good as Vectric! At least not in the price ballpark I'm in.

I evaluated RhinoCAM/VisualMill too. It's a similar story - one key feature lacking for me is the ability to machine along a curve (it's only in the Pro version). And I found the interface a bit clunky.

So I'm about to purchase MadCAM, which is another Rhino plugin. It's simpler, at least on the surface, than RhinoCAM. But it's working really, really well for me right now and has all the features I need including region curves and machining along curves, in the entry level version. And the entry level version lets you save toolpaths during the evaluation period, which a lot of software doesn't. I personally don't really trust anything until I see the actual cut.

Good luck!

Matt Clara
11-06-2010, 9:43 PM
Yup, Mach 3. I've got it all setup, and have cut the Road Runner file that comes with Mach, so everything appears to be working correctly. I'm having a difficult time deciding on where to spend this last bundle of money (that I don't have!). Something tells me RhinoCAM will have more capabilities than VCarve Pro and Cut 3D together, but I'm not positive of that. Aspire undoubtedly has more, but it costs twice as much, too.

Brandon MacDougall
11-06-2010, 10:24 PM
3d models are easily created in Aspire.


I have never seen the 3D modeling part of this program. Are you talking about 2.5 d?

Matt, I would look at Visual Mill and one of the new inexpensive solid surface modeling programs.

Steve knight
11-06-2010, 11:25 PM
I know I can place 3d models just fine in vcarve. is it the z that causes problems?

Greg Holt
11-07-2010, 12:29 AM
Let me start by saying I am a fan of Vectric products.

Rhino/RhinoCam is a very different beast to the Vectric programs. Understand those differences before you decide.

Although there is considerable crossover in what can be achieved. Others can expand on the differences.

What I will say is that if 4th axis work is important to you then RhinoCam wins hands down. No question about it. Any one who says different has not used both programs.

Before any Vectric users take umbridge at that comment, I have some experience.

I was asked onto the Vectric beta test team because the wrapping facility was being developed for release. I have written tutorials on what can be achieved with it.

RhinoCam is REAL 4th axis CAM. If, and I emphasise the IF, you buy the 4th axis module, which costs as much again as the basic CAM package.

On the other hand, for decorative sign type work, 3D reliefs, vee carving, lithophanes and lots more, the Vectric product and Aspire in particular, are brilliant.

Greg

Greg Holt
11-07-2010, 12:39 AM
There is a new CAM plug-in for Rhino called Zebra3D (http://www.zebra3d.com/) that's currently in beta, so it's a free download. I've played with it, and it seems to be an attempt to make things more graphical and intuitive. I haven't used it enough to pass judgement, I should probably pick one and stick with it.


Just had a look at the Zebra3D site.

Interestingly it looks very much like it is based on DeskProto. I have recently tried the demo of DeskProto and some of the setup dialogue boxes are identical.

Incidentally, DeskProto is a program that the OP should look at when weighing up CAM options. Real 4th axis capability. Very reasonably priced for hobby use. (read CHEAP)

Greg

Keith Outten
11-07-2010, 7:45 AM
Greg,

Did you beta test version 3 of Aspire or the current version? I had an opportunity to talk to Tony Mac at IWF and he shared some information about the new features in Aspire 3. It seems that there are a lot of new features across the board.

I would bet me last dollar that we will see an interim upgrade to Aspire this year with many more 4th axis features based on feedback the Vectric has received lately.
.

james mcgrew
11-07-2010, 1:09 PM
they have said the release is in november!!

Eric Mims
11-07-2010, 2:44 PM
Mike Package. I use Rhinocam 2 basic, and the 'engrave' toolpath will machine on a 3d curve. I believe (not 100% though) that the main difference is in the curve machining toolpath in the Pro version it projects your 2d curve automatically onto whatever surfaces below, whereas with engraving toolpath, you must do that yourself.

Greg Holt
11-07-2010, 3:37 PM
Greg,

Did you beta test version 3 of Aspire or the current version?

Keith

Yes as I said I am a beta tester for Vectric.



I would bet me last dollar that we will see an interim upgrade to Aspire this year with many more 4th axis features based on feedback the Vectric has received lately.
Any new features to do with 4th axis, I will greet with enthusiasm. I hope you are right.

Although Vectric have consistently said they have no plans for real 4th axis CAM, I have also consistently said that I think it is inevitable the market will dictate that they do, eventually. I hope I am right. :)

Greg

james mcgrew
11-07-2010, 3:40 PM
me to greg, me too!!!