It’s okay, but to make it something you’d want to buy (okay, something I’d want to buy), I’d like to see some improvement in the workflow, and also the UI - particularly with buttons and menu options.
I’m used to writing CR’s/Jiras so sorry if this feedback feels somewhat terse :
I would like CC to remember my toolpath zero. It forgets.
I would also like it to associate tools and materials with cutting parameters. So I want to tell it that this Tool should default to these figures for this material. I can’t figure out where it pulls the defaults from for new tool I add.
The Design tab has three sections that have titles - “Create Vector”, “Import” and “Boolean” and one that is unlabelled… The title for that box should be “Transform” I think.
The Job Setup page’s Units section does not need the extra Units: label. It’s entry field is left justified, but the other items on that page are… well, all over the place.
When performing an operation such as rotation, there’s an Apply button and a Done button. Apply does the operation and quits the operation - it’s actually “Done”. If it was Apply, it would apply the changes and not close the operation dialog (like very other app’s Apply button). Done cancels the ‘dialog’ (it’s actually Cancel or Close).
The “Cutting Depth” picture has an S and a D on it, but the two figures you edit are labelled Start Depth and Max Depth. The picture should have S and M or the labels should change.
When you click on a button underneath Create Toolpath for any reason, you have to create the toolpath and then delete it if you didn’t want it. There should be a “Cancel” option.
The “I’m finished” button on the toolpath editors is called “Ok” (not “Done” like elsewhere).
The aesthetics are poor so some cleanup would be appreciated (buttons are sometimes centered, sometimes right justified, figures pull to the right or the left depending on nothing in particular, spacing is a mess on large screens)
There’s a disabled scrollbar on the Toolpath editor that need not be there
When selecting a vector, it should highlight the toolpaths that use that vector if there are any.
On a side note, for Carbide Motion, where the flow of operations is fixed but the UI keeps all menu items enabled at all times, you have to “click and not see a change” to know it’s disabled. It should disable items that can’t be clicked. Also, the tutorials also use a version of Carbine Motion that looks nothing at all like the version you download.
A warning that the retract height is set to zero when exporting your gcode. This just happened to me and I didn’t catch it until the drag bit put a nice unwanted diagonal scratch across half a 12"x12" acrylic sheet. I have caught this happening in previous versions of CC prior to cutting. I have not ever set the retract height to zero. I am not quite sure what steps causes CC to set the height to zero once in a blue moon, I just know it happens.
Forgive me if this has already been addressed, but it would be awesome to have a better way to program in custom bits, specifically for v-carving. After a ton of varying v-carving attempts it seems the ONLY bits that you can avoid constant trouble with(after ensuring both the stock and waste board are dead flat) are true “Zero-Point” bits. The ability to adjust flat tip diameter on a v-bit or have CC actually respond to “angle per side” under the flat end mill creation tab would do the job.
It seems most (all?) cam software assume a true point. Here’s a post with a link to a simple spreadsheet calculator to set the Z offset. The part there’s no cheap/easy way around is knowing the diameter of the flat (unless it’s published).
Another good way to set the Z-offset is to use a set of feeler gauges instead of the paper method to set your Z. You can have a specific gauge for each V-bit. I will set my Z with a .003 gauge like the paper method, then bring up my Z by .01mm at a time until I can barely slide the gauge I want under the V-bit.
some random feature requests, likely some are simple
put a comment in the GCode on tool change with the description of the tool from the tool library. Ideally carbide motion then shows this in the tool change dialog instead of just “tool 18”
put a comment in the GCode at the start of each toolpath with the name of the tool path. Ideally CM can then showing a "Currently processing toolpath "
in the toolpath section, on the line that shows how long a toolpath takes, can it show the tool number there in the same tiny font… makes it much easier to see which paths to enable/disable when exporting per-tool gcode
in the toolpath view, sometimes the view of all the paths makes it extremely hard to select drawing elements; a toggle to hide/show them would be highly welcome
more complicated would be
a tool that “smoothes out” curves to make them ready for inlay. Today by hand I would do “create an outer curve at 0.125”. delete original. use outer curve to make an inner curve at 0.25". delete first outer curve. Use curve to get back to normal by doing an outer curve at 0.125" and delete the previous".
So a few issues working on a file for someone that only has CC.
First there was the highlighted vector not applying v carve toolpath properly.
Then there was an issue with the v carve tool path being added to un-selected vectors.
Hopefully the issue with CC connecting properly to CM417 (hdz update) is being looked into. It doesnt send to any info to machine. Id like to be able to use HDZ just as I would a stock spindle by sending code directly to machine without saving.