What version MeshCAM should I use?

After being away from Nomad 883 since 2015 I’m returning to relearn everything and work on a project that must be completed.

My old copy of MeshCAM didn’t suggest that there is an update, but I looked at the download page and found MeshCAM 7 build 25 for Mac (beta?) which I downloaded and installed. In trying to accomplish something I figured out I’d better read the help docs. At one point it says, for Selecting a Machine:

Go to CAM->Select Machine
Scroll through the list and pick the machine that you have

Unfortunately, CAM->Select Machine does not present anything, not a list, just as if I hadn’t selected it. Should I not be using this version, or did I skip some step?

I’m on a Mac, macOS 10.12.6 (16G1510).

Thanks for any guidance.

It is correct, I trust that I will install the software again. I use Mac 10.13.6 .

MeshCAM v7 has an option to use a Carbide 3D license — if that is selected, then the software can only be used w/ a Nomad.

@WillAdams, @JoseD3, thanks for your replies.

I reinstalled to be sure. Yes, this is the Carbide3D Pro license. Since I reinstalled, I tried selecting the machine first, instead of trying other features first. This time a short list of machines did indeed show up! One of the choices was “Nomad 883 Pro”, which I selected. A few others were also presented such as Shapeoko. I’m not sure my Nomad is a PRO though, it’s one of the original Kickstarter machines.

But in any case I was able to select a Nomad this time. After I generated a toolpath though, the Select Machine menu choice again became inactive. This is the point that I first tried it, so it must be because I didn’t use it first. From a UI standpoint it seems like the menu item should be dimmed if it isn’t appropriate.

But the whole reason I was questioning whether the machine had been set is because the Save button produces a file with a “.egc” extension rather than “.nc”. There is some mention in the docs about being able to select a post-processor, but I can’t find that at all. So my guess was that I hadn’t selected a machine, but that’s not it.

I still can’t choose “.nc” for the output file type. What am I missing?

That is creates .egc confirms that you’re using the Carbide 3D license tied to a Nomad — you need to license MeshCAM in order to have it generate .nc files which can be used with other machines.

Apparently this has changed since I last used the machine. At that time the file was written as .nc and moved to the Nomad with Carbide Motion. Now I see that’s been updated to a much later version, and Carbide Motion reads .egc (whatever that is!) instead of .nc. And, it seems I need to update the firmware in the Nomad, after cutting a pin on the PCB!

This is all OK, just confusing to start up again. Do you think I’ve missed any other such changes?

.egc is encrypted G-Code

We’ve recently updated to Grbl 1.1 which needs Carbide Motion 4 — to update see http://carbide3d.com/carbideupdater

Thanks, @WillAdams. What is the purpose of the encryption?

Autodesk Fusion 360.

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Anyone can download MeshCAM and tell the program that they have a Nomad — the encryption ensures that only folks who actually have access to a Nomad can actually use the generated G-Code files.

Think of it as using the Nomad as a copy-protection dongle.

I see. Well, I do have a Nomad, so all is good. And, now that I’ve upgraded the firmware, it’s all working, and sure enough using the .egc file works as if it were .nc.

Thanks for the explanation!

…works as long as you’re using carbide motion…use another sender and it won’t because it won’t know how to decrypt the gcode.

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