That’s a huge miss if there’s no way to import the tools with proper settings for various materials and finishes. The one thing that has held the 3D printing community back is that you have to spend a lot of time setting parameters to get good parts.
Yup. They are integrating something like this into Carbide Create but MeshCAM is lagging IMHO.
Here is what I said in another posting:
In fact, I’d like to see the tool table set up differently too (all UTF8/ASCII) data:
A) A “pure” tool table
This has only tool characteristics. There is a field for leaving notes.
B) A material table.
This identifies a material (e.g. HDPE, 6061, brass, etc). There is a field for leaving notes.
C) Feeds and speeds table.
This has a pointer to the material table record, a pointer to the “pure” tool table, a field for leaving notes, the usage (e.g. hog, rough, finish, fine finish) and the feeds and speeds.
By “pointer” I mean a field that a “relational join” can be done on. Often, this is the record number within the table (e.g. material number, tool number).
This way each tool appears once in the tool database. The feed and speed for the tool with each material is unique.
I miss being able to maintain the tool table using a text editor (and have asked Rob several times about that).
With today’s processors, memory and storage devices, saving data in UTF8/ASCII - given that the size of tables is small (hundreds, not tens of thousands of records) - is surprisingly efficient (in space), easy to process (simple grammar), and human readable/editable.
By-the-by, this is the way that BobCAD-CAM (BCC) and many others work. Once you get a tools, materials, finishes and feeds and speeds database set up one can emit it as CSV files. Import it back when you need it.
The Zortrax printer did away with that nonsense and its really starting to catch on. You just load your file, set just a few simple settings which are more like preferences and hit go. The parts come out nearly perfect every time with no fuss and no time wasted adjusting parameters.
They have a new machine were the cartridge has most of the parameters in it.
I take my BCC data and jam it in manually for each job when I use MeshCAM. I developed a post processor for BCC so I don’t MeshCAM often… except when I post a design for public consumption (since all Nomaden have MeshCAM).