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GCAM Special Edition - 2.5D CAD/CAM with G-code output
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README Source code file for G-Code generation, simulation, and visualization library. Copyright (C) 2006 - 2010 by Justin Shumaker Copyright (C) 2014 by Asztalos Attila Oszkár This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version. This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details. You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program. If not, see <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/>. GCAM Special Edition - GNU Computer Aided Manufacturing ======================================================= GCAM is a free CNC milling package that was designed to make generating g-code a fast and robust process. New projects in GCAM start by asking the user to enter in a set of parameters that correspond to the material and machine being used. Once completed, a block of virtual material appears in a 3d window. This block of material represents the same block of material that will be cut on the CNC mill. In addition, a set of default "code blocks" appear in the block list. Additional code blocks must be inserted to mill away material from the block to achieve the desired part. After completing this process the user can export the corresponding g-code for use on their CNC mill. History ======= GCAM was started by Justin Shumaker in February 2006. He had recently purchased a CNC mill and wanted to download a free CAM package that would allow him to generate tool paths through a GUI. After discovering a plethora of $100 - $200 packages and only a handful of free packages in the form of command line scripts he endeavored to make a robust CAM package free to everyone. His hope is that free CAM software and low cost CNC hardware will motivate individuals to create parts in their own workshop. Nearly a decade later very little seems to have changed - easy to use, free CAM software for simple 2.5D milling is still exceedingly scarce, which means maintenance of GCAM continues to make sense even if it isn't expected to compete with professional CAM packages available today. By 2014 the original website was gone, so an archived copy of GCAM was picked up by Asztalos Attila Oszkár and GCAM Special Edition was born. CNC Milling is not a particularly inexpensive hobby to get into. A micro CNC mill can cost on average between $1,000 - $2,000 USD. Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) milling software can cost between $100 and $10,000 USD. The purpose of creating this software was to help make CNC Milling as affordable as possible for anyone to get into. WARNING ======= Perhaps needless to say it is entirely your responsibility as the machine operator to ensure that the G-code produced by GCAM will not harm the tool or the machine it is executed on - any changes are extensively tested, but there is ALWAYS A POSSIBILITY that GCAM will do something unexpected or unsafe, and each new version could potentially introduce errant behavior even for things that used to work just fine before. This is particularly true for the Special Edition of GCAM, which has seen massive changes in its code compared to the legacy version - identical conduct was pursued as far as possible, but clearly incorrect behavior HAS BEEN occasionally corrected, so please do consider that your existing projects MAY POTENTIALLY GENERATE UNEXPECTED RESULTS with the Special Edition. You should ALWAYS verify the output of GCAM with a G-code simulator to avoid potentially costly mistakes!