Software issue?

hi there im very new to this machine and software, ive spent several days trying to download and learn the programs but it just isn’t working. I have watched the videos and it does not look anything like my program ( it made me download the Canadian version as im in Alberta) could that be why? I have read lots about gimp/inkscape and sheetcam, so I did download inkscape and gimp and found them to be a lot easier. But were do I go from there, I tried downloading it to mach3 with no luck. is sheetcam an alternative to mach3? Thanks

you need a program to make the design, one to make the tool path and mach3 to run the program on the table.

Fusion/Inkscape/Corel Draw are all programs that can produce vector files which is what you need. there others out there pick your poison and learn what you need to for design.

Sheetcam and Fusion for example can make your tool paths.

Mach 3 uses the files created in the 2 above steps to control the CNC table and plasma cutter to cut your part

Nope. It’s because Autodesk has changed the Fusion UI twice in the year since Langmuir did the videos.

The file for Mach 3 is one that gets generated by something else like Fusion or Sheetcam in a step called “post-processing”. That creates a machine instruction file (filetype is .tap) that Mach3 uses to control the machine.

Inkscape creates the SVG or DXF file that either Fusion or Sheetcam will use to create the machine file (it’s something called G-Code). Then Mach3 takes it.

So the process is:

  1. Design using Inkscape or Fusion
  2. Define toolpaths using either Fusion or Sheetcam
  3. Run the post-processor step in either Fusion or Sheetcam depending on which one you used to define the toolpaths
  4. Run the .tap file that came out of the step above in Mach3 to control the Crossfire

ok thanks a lot I will give it a try, oh and on fusion it says startup license and on mach3 it says demo mode. will it still work ok like that?

For anything but simple designs, you’ll want the fully licensed version of Mach3. You can get it from Langmuir or directly from Artsoft (makers of Mach3). You’ll get a link to a license file download you just copy into your Mach3 directory.

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