QCAD/CAM use with Carbide Motion


(Byrne Pedit) #1

Anyone here use QCAD/CAM successfully with Carbide Motion? I’m on a Mac, this seems like one of the very few off-line CAM apps available. It has a number of configurations for CAM export, the default in the demo is “G-Code (G41/G42) [mm]”, the exported files are nc. My Nomad is on order, I can’t test myself but simple files display in CAMotics.


(William Adams) #2

If you’ll make a simple file and describe the setup and post it here, I’d be glad to test it on my machine — should run fine though.


(Byrne Pedit) #3

Thanks! This is simple, the demo is very limited.
The outline is a 2.0 mm deep outside, closed path. The inside line is open, center path 0.30 mm deep. Both made with a 1.0 mm mill.

QCAD_tst_1.nc (1.9 KB)


(William Adams) #4

Is there a post-processor which doesn’t require tool compensation? G41/42? Usually a plain Mach3 post-processor works. If creating your own post is an option see: https://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/G-Code#Post_Processors

When I loaded the file got:

ERROR (1): Error in line 8: Unsupported G Code

which points to:

N80 G41 X13.3423 Y-11.2248

(Byrne Pedit) #5

Thanks for trying. The app offers several other postprocessor options as well as claiming to be easy to add one of your own. I’ll investigate more when I have my machine.


(Phil Gorsuch) #6

I am not a mac (well not for CAD/CAM anyways) user but FreeCAD (if you are the parametric type like I am) is available for Mac.

@WillAdams - does the Nomad not come with an included MeshCAM license still?


(William Adams) #7

Nomad still includes MeshCAM — I believe @bpedit is looking for an improvemetn on Carbide Create


(Byrne Pedit) #8

Thanks @PhilG and @WillAdams
I checked out FreeCAD; although I saw it recommended as a CAM program it only appears to be CAD. I’ve got the design end covered with several apps.

Carbide Create, except for a couple 3D projects actually appears to do everything I need but it truncates open lines with tangents on the start points. I can work around this by inserting an additional point just upstream from the first point, effectively removing its tangent. Although a bother for my scrimshaw-like endeavors, with lots of open curvy lines, CC is looking like less of a hassle than finding an alternative!


(mikep) #9

Just for the record, fusion360 isn’t actually “online” - it’s pretty highly cloud integrated, but it all runs locally, and runs just fine without a network.


(Byrne Pedit) #10

@mikep Thanks. I’ve played a bit with Fusion360, looks like a learning curve for a rainy day or two. Both it and QCAD appear to be way more than I need for most of my work: import svg’s and turn them into toolpaths. Except for the truncation issue, Carbide Create is actually perfect for this.

One thing I’m curious about is “lead in”. QCAD/CAM forces you to choose a style and set parameters to ramp into certain cuts, closed curves for example. I don’t see this in CC. Does a CC path simple plunge full pass-depth into the stock or use an under-the-hood “extension” lead in?


(mikep) #11

CC and Meshcam don’t do lead-in (or ramping) they both plunge. The don’t necessarily plunge to full depth, you can set them up for multiple passes.


(Byrne Pedit) #12

I’ve tried a number of output options in QCAD/CAM to no avail. I’ve just sent a sample working file to Andrew at QCAD for inspection.
I’ve opened a QCAD file and compared it to a CC file but, using the ShapeOko page describing what G-code is supported in CM find no anomolies except that QCAM outputs line numbers which are not in the CC files. Would that make a difference?