Exporting Files to cut on my CNC Router

I have attempted to export some of the parts I designed in Shapr3d so I could convert to G-code and cut on my cnc (using Carveco Maker+).
Every attempt is unsuccessful. If I try .stp or .stl it opens wonky.
If I save as a .dxf, the drawing shows up in 2d. but not 3d. However, my project has almost 50 parts. I understand from the original zoom meeting that I can copy the body, isolate, and export, which I have tried in various formats. The ones that export, lock up and I cant work with them in the other software.
When I isolate the part and export as a .dxf, it tells me I have to create a get an error message " Export failed. Create a sketch and turn on its visibility to export."
It’s an isolated body, copied from the original which was made with several sketches. This is really frustrating.
Have I wasted my money and time on a program that cant export my work to machine???
Help?

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While I can’t help with your specific programs, I can say that I export to STP from shapr and then use MeshCAM to make my gcode files for my CNC router

Great success and accuracy

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Hi @hybridman7 , I’m sorry to hear about the issue. Shapr3D is using industry standard software components for modeling and data exchange, and exporting and importing works very well with the industry leading CAD and CAM applications. Is it possible that the issue is in Carveco Maker+? Is it working well with other software?

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Thanks for the recommendation. I will check them out.
I love Shapr3d, but not if I cant send files to my cnc router without redrawing in another program. Carveco Maker plus is $50 a month and has a wide range of tooling abilities, but their import features are not allowing any 3d stp, stl or others without redrawing from scratch, which I don’t have time to do.
I see Meshcam has a 15 day trial- I will check them out today. THANKS!

Thanks for the reply. Yeah it is looking like it may be Carveco Maker+ is the problem. Even importing a 3d file from shaper3d one piece at a time is messing up the import. I will try another program. I don’t want to give up shapr 3d because I love its 3d creation abilities, but I have to be able to export and cut parts on my cnc router without spending thousands of dollars for expensive CAM software.
Sure wish Shapr3d would get that end figured out so we can just Post Process from there…

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Check it out and let us know how it worked out. Did you try to contact their support team?

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Carveco Maker+ is a total bust. Their support team basically told me to just redraw the parts inside carveco and no problem! Sure…just redraw high tolerance parts that took me months to design and draw.
Canceling their sub.
I’m testing MESHCAM which at least imports Shapr3d stl files without distortion, and allows simple machining in 2d, 2-1/2d and 3d. Still very hard to machine grooves on surfaces which our product has many of. Finally figured out to machine grooves you have to trick the software into thinking the tool is 10% smaller than it is.
Trying Fusion 360 as well. After using Shapr3d, Fusion 360 becomes this unyielding behemoth - awkward to navigate. I imported Shapr3d .STL into it and realized they need to be converted in a 3 or 4 step process, which I followed and got some chopped up incomplete conversion. Total waste of my valuable time. Frustrating!!!
Frankly, beyond your timeline to get PC interaction, Your number ONE goal at SHAPR3D should be CAM operations/output to Gcode with the same ease of use and learning curve as Shapr3d CAD, for all of us small entrepreneurs and business owners who cannot afford $2000 - $10,000 CAD/CAM software that takes a year to learn.
If you could integrate THAT feature you’d skyrocket your sales and loyal customers, including me. And I’d gladly pay a reasonable monthly fee to use it, or do a one time purchase.
That doesn’t help me out right now, unfortunately.

If I can’t easily convert my files, and CAM them somewhere, It becomes a waste of my time. ugh…

It’s weird you blowing off steam here when Carveco Maker+ is the problem.
Have you tried the 3D format IGES? Carveco Maker+ seems to be able to read this format too.

Most of us are doing CAD. Not everybody have a CNC machine. But many have a pencil or mouse/keyboard.

I personally believe the number one goal should be made by the dev. team.

Just like you, I recognize the amazing job Shapr team have done on many points. But It’s not they’re fault if another software isn’t well made or badly supported over time.

I’m not blowing off steam. I’m not sitting around drawing designs all day. I’m a small businessman, entrepreneur that needs to take the designs I have drawn in Shapr3d and output them into the real world using my CNC table. I have prototypes and orders for my customers - ready to go. I have materials in place. I just need to translate those designs into hard products, in as short a learning curve as possible.
I love Shapr3d - it’s intuitive- fast to learn, easy to get proficient enough that I could design, develop, engineer and draw new products quickly. But having a digital design does me or my customers zero good if I cannot then get them cut and assembled.
Carveco Maker+ looked great, until I tried importing my drawings - then it was zero help. Fusion360 was overwhelming to try and get into the CAM or import the STL files into without screwing them up.
Free CAM software is too featureless to work on some of my detailed engineered parts.
I’ve tested about 6 different CAM products in the last 2 weeks. Either they are too simple, or too complicated, though I may have finally found one yesterday that may meet the needs.
SO I apologize if I came across as blowing off steam.
As a small businessman, I’m actually trying to help them develop their software to meet makers needs, not just designers. Which is why I made my suggestions.
Because they’ve done such a phenomenal job with their modeling program, they would enlarge their business market drastically if they could incorporate their intuitive modeling approach with an integrated CAM, even if it cost extra, I would have bought it up in a minute.

I did, and they basically told me to just redraw it within their software. Something I just spent months working on…so that was uninspiring.
Carveco is a great program for artists carving reliefs, signs, etc. But to use in a more critical tolerance, engineered part/prototype I wouldn’t recommend.

I totally agree it should be left up to the development team, but as a small businessman, I recognize the potential of marketplace penetration if that same development team tasks out a CAM module for those of us that do more than just design and draw.

And you are correct, my beef was with Carveco Maker+. I did contact them and their only solution was to redraw the hundreds of parts I have within their software. I have no time for that.

It would be a fantastic Value Add, for SHapr3d to develop a CAM program and offer it as an upgrade for those of us that are not full time designers, but rather use it for production purposes. As an Entrepreneur, I’d love that option instead of wasting weeks of my valuable time trying to find a separate CAM that I can fully integrate alongside Shapr3d.

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I thought I was the only one using meshcam-

Yes, that other program looks like a total bust. Meshcam allows you to import a stl, accurately, and define toolpaths to process your material. Outright ownership too, for the price of a couple of months on the rental. It even works on a Mac, although the version I’ve found to be stable hasn’t been updated in about five years.

It might be nice to have an integrated machining extension for shapr, and who knows what might happen in the future, but I guess I’m just used to using a post processor to turn my model files into gcode, whether it’s for additive or subtractive.

It looks like the problem might be that other program that you’re invested in. Have a look at meshcam-

Meshcam uses stl imports, and while meshes are made up of facets, I’ve found that shapr3d gives you the opportunity to export an insane amount of facets, if you need to.

Meshcam is limited only by your ingenuity to figure out how to hold down and register your material as you cut it away, and rotate it for the next machining operation. Every phase of making something has its own set of challenges, there aren’t any ‘one size fits all’ solutions.

Unfortunately, I’ve found that there’s a constant need to learn new stuff, which is a problem, cos I’m not that bright…

MeshCAM is a pretty solid program. My one big complaint is that it doesn’t allow me to input enough tool path parameters to be able to alter it’s tool path that sometimes doesn’t make any sense.

In other words, if I’m milling a narrow trough of some sort in my workpiece, along the X axis of said trough it will bring the tool back and forth the small 3/4" or so width of the trough. It would make a lot more sense to have it run parallel with the length of the trough rather than these tiny little bites at it back and forth… It just doesn’t give me the ability to have input to alter some odd decision it makes in a tool path calc like that.

But the STL file to Gcode of it, and being Mac compatible was a big deal so overall I’ll give MeshCam a B-

I narrowed down the two software programs to Meshcam and Estlcam. Estlcam has a great feature to select narrow slot paths like I have to mill, in 2d. But when I ran their gcode it was horrible to actually cut. it was a mess.
So I’m back into Meshcam which is far easier to use. I’ve learned to use the masking feature to accurately select the narrow slots - will be trying some cuts today.

Yes, meshcam is often infuriating, and it will punish you for mistakes. It requires ingenuity to machine complex 3D parts, and it will bite you if you don’t have a hold down strategy dialed in, or if you’re impatient.

But ultimately, it will do anything you ask of it, if you ask it nicely enough.

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But ultimately, it will do anything you ask of it, if you ask it nicely enough.

Hahaha. So banging on the keyboard when it doesn’t obey properly is out of the question then?
I’ve learned I have to be very precise in the masking options with my complicated parts that require 3 different tool changes. If I lock out the unmachined areas and lock in the machined only areas for each toolpath, I can cut pretty precisely.
My slots are so narrow that I have to trick meshcam by under sizing the bit from 5-10%. I keep testing the toolpath calcs gradually increasing up or down to find the biggest tool size it will allow and still generate gcode. This shows as a single line in the groove instead of a rectangular path. But it is very touchy; sometimes just a few thou off.
Even so, I love the ability to choose waterfall/parallels/fine precision finishing/pencil tool paths. Tabs for holding are also easy to setup.
I’m close now…just a few more tweaks.
Thanks everyone for your suggestions.

Now you’re getting the hang of it-