Can I use SolidWorks with Onefinity?

Hello,

This is my first post here. I see the Onefinity is opening up orders on Monday and I’m eager to get my hands on one. I have no personal CNC experience but I’ve been using SolidWorks for designing STL files that I have been getting printed at Shapeways or i.Materialise for quite some time. I believe SolidWorks is capable of making g-code but at the moment this isn’t something I have played with. Will I be able to do everything with SolidWorks? Or would I be better off getting another piece of software for making the g-code? If it makes a difference, I’m a PC guy and I plan on getting the woodworker version with the laser option too.

I do have a K40 laser cutter and I’m using it with K40 Whisperer software but I assume I’ll need something else for the Onefinity with the laser option.

Not sure if SolidWorks has what is needed to create what the laser option needs. Does the laser need g-code too? If I need something other than SolidWorks, any suggestions for something that should be easy to use and hopefully allow me to use the STL models I’ve already made in SolidWorks.

Thanks,
Carl

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Hi @Carl - welcome to the forums! I’ve never used Solidworks, but I have to believe it works the same as Fusion 360 with post processors. Though now that I say that, I’m not sure Solidworks has a CAM workspace like Fusion, so you might need a CAM program to turn the design into gcode for the 1F. Search the forums - there are a couple threads that recommend good CAD/CAM workflows.

-Tom

SW does have a CAM add-on. Actually I believe there are more than 1 3rd party options available, but the one I’m familiar with is HSM express, which is a free SolidWorks plug-in from Autodesk (yes, you read that right). Seems to have decent functionality, although I’ve only dabbled with it and never actually programmed anything with it. I tend to use 2D AutoCAD and Estlcam for the type of stuff I do.

What I don’t know is how you would program for laser application. Again, that’s something I’ve worked with in 2D CAD, but not 3D.

Thanks! Yes, I have the SolidWorks CAM add-on. I’ll start plying with it this weekend and see how far I get. As for the post processor, would the Vectric post processors work?

I also see some free SolidWorks CAM post processors here:


The Onefinity isn’t listed but I’m curious if the one for the Carbide 3D Shapeoko would be close enough.

Carl

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The Shapeoko is based on Grbl, which has fairly standard gcode support - I would imagine it will work fine. I actually use the Carbide post processor for my X-Carve since it handles arcs properly unlike the X-Carve post processor (or any of the legacy Shapeoko processors).

-Tom

Hi guys I have my Woodworker on order. I too use Solidworks for my day job and have Cam built in.

Has anyone tried the Carbide 3D Grbl post from Hawkridge?

Thanks.

Hi has anyone been able to use Solidworks Cam?

Hi Brandon,

Few things to consider here. I use Solidworks on a daily basis for work and also have access to the full CAM package as well. I tried to go down this route and ran into a few issue. The first being that the stock G code that comes out needs a bit of editing to get it to run. As far as im aware no one has made a post processor yet for SW CAM. I did mange to get the G code to work but its a bit of a pain.

The other thing is unless you are already proficient in SW CAM, the process for toolpathing is slightly confusing. While i did get it to run, the default strategies were not in my eyes very good. If you have experience then you may be ok here.

I am now continuing to use SW for modelling and have got the free version of Fusion 360 for CAM. All i can say is that Fusion just feels so much more user friendly and ive only just started using it. There are a few in built features in the tool pathing which are great and the process is laid out a lot better.
If you look in the forum here you will also find that there is a supported post processor for the Onefinity.

Lastly there are way more ppl on here who use Fusion so a helping hand is on a click away.

The one down side i have found at the moment on the free version is you cant make your own tool library, so you will have to rely on finding the closet tool in the database to suit. Which isnt too much of a problem.

Any more questions then fire away.

Thank you so much for your response. It just seemed like a waste to learn a new program. But I agree the CAM in solidworks seems very clunky.

My unit shows up in less than a month and im hoping to make a decision soon on the CAM software. I was thinking about using Carbide Create until I sell enough product to purchase VCarve Pro. I had not considered learning Fusion 360 just for CAM until you mentioned that.

Do you have any thoughts on Fusion versus Vcarve and whether or not the simplicity of VCarve is worth the $800?

Thanks so much!

If you pay for fusion (will get the rapid and other functions they stripped out when they changed last year with the free version and get it on sale usually under $300) you also get hsmworks addin for sw. Autodesk bought hsm a few years ago and that is the back end for f360. The downfall is they put their time and development into f360 so that get the new “toys”. HSM can use f360 post processors. I do my design/cam in sw. biggest downfall i have come across is hsm doenst have an easy way to do tabs.

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Brandon - cost is relative to the project you are working on. That is, buy the right tool for the job, and the job will go a lot more smoothly. If you are doing a lot of v-carving, skip Fusion altogether and get Carveco or VCarve (desktop, pro, or Aspire). If you want great modeling and good CAM together, get Fusion.

All that said, my position is always don’t drop any cash until you learn what you are doing and what you need. The “simple” and free software packages like Easel and Caribe Create will take you very far before you need to consider spending any money. Same for Fusion 360.

-Tom

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OK. I think I’m finally able to speak on this matter. It has been bugging me for a long time.

I finally worked my way through solidworks. I set up the machine, added travels, speeds, rapids, etc. and properly set up the machine in solidworks cam.

After that, I modeled a simple part (followed a youtube video). I know how to use solidworks CAD fairly well…but first foray into CAM. So, I followed a tutorial through youtube. Honestly, solidworks CAM to me was much…MUCH easier. Perhaps it’s because I’m already familiar with Solidworks workspace and fusion to me is learning a new thing…but I was actually impressed and really liked it. I then contacted onefinity to ask if there is any update on the solidworks post processor. The answer was no.

I then asked onefinity if I can use the carbide 3D Grbl post from Hawkridge. Their statement was that in theory it should work. I tried it…doesn’t work.

Built into the solidworks cam is the post processor for Mach3, with and without G54. I started there.

The first line kills it where it gives it command to go to absolute x,y,z zero for tool change. It wants to probe, and after about 15mm travel it errors out.

I edited the gcode file and removed that line completely.

I GOT IT TO WORK!!! But it does require modification to the code when it come to the m06 command.

I’m learning the gcode by diving in head first and sink or swim.

Here are my outtakes:

  1. if you are just doing 3D carves … stick with something like vectric.
  2. if you are like me and you like to make functional parts…solidworks or fusion 360 is great. I want to machine aluminimum, properly, clamped in a vise, like a true milling machine. Also wood, but same thing. I really bought this machine to make plastic, wood, composite, and soft metal functional parts for projects. For that, if you’re already doing the cad design for parts, machining them from there is the way to go.
  3. if you have to learn a new software (Cad + cam), stick with fusion360 as it will get you started RIGHT NOW. But you really do have to get the paid version.
  4. if you want to figure out solidworks…jump in with me. I would like to figure it out.
  5. if you have figure out how to program parts using stl with feature recognition in aspire…contact me! Because I can’t.
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Thank you @Raziullah007 for the insight. Looking forward to seeing what you can make with SolidWorks :+1: