The CAD portion of MonkeyCAM is quite limited, and is specifically designed to aid the design of skis and snowboards only. The CAM portion is slightly more general, but again is specialized to ski and snowboard manufacture.
MonkeyCAM creates nine G-Code programs to cut all parts of a ski or snowboard on your CNC machine. For a real example of the results, see https://monkeycam.org/results/5744863563743232
MonkeyCAM is published on Github at https://github.com/mikemag/MonkeyCAM
See the MonkeyCAM v4.0 User’s Guide for an overview of how to use and configure MonkeyCAM.
MonkeyCAM is licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 except as otherwise noted. See LICENSE for details.
The G-code programs generated by MonkeyCAM are license-free.
The current version of MonkeyCAM is always live at MonkeyCAM.org, where you can use it without having to download it.
See the Releases page for the last engine release, which includes release notes and links to download binaries. Note that engine binaries are not released with every new feature, nor for every platform, and may be well behind what is available at MonkeyCAM.org.
Features and Current Status
The MonkeyCAM engine is currently a command-line program only, which is made available with a very basic UI at MonkeyCAM.org. The program takes configuration files to describe the ski or snowboard shape via a small set of parameters and generates the following G-code programs plus a HTML overview of the board:
- Base cutout
- Guide holes to allow the core to be removed and flipped between programs
- Alignment marks to transfer key design points to the bottom of the core
- Edge relief to leave room for steel edges
- Insert holes for standard snowboard inserts (T-nuts) in a variety of patterns
- Top profile to impart the taper to the core
- Cutout, allowing for sidewall overhang and nose/tail spacers
- Nose and tail spacers which match the core
- Edge trenches to enable inlay of different edge wood and/or sidewall material along the effective edge of the core
The G-code programs emitted at this time have been tested on my CNC machine with a very old DeskCNC controller and work correctly. Each program also loads in Mach 3 and simulates correctly. The programs not involving holes load in ShopBot's controller and simulate correctly, but the ones with holes do not work for ShopBot right now.
There is no interactive user interface. Configuration is done via three text files, and all results are either G-Code programs, or the HTML overview which can be easily used to refine the board shape.
MonkeyCAM v4.0 is a work in-progress. It is a port of MonkeyCAM v1-v3, developed by Mike Magruder for Happy Monkey Snowboards, Inc. from 2003 to 2012. The valuable parts of the MonkeyCAM v3 backend (shape and G-code generation) have been almost completely ported. The old UI has been discarded.
My plan for work includes, roughly in order:
- Target more G-code controllers with different formats and requirements.
- More options for effective edge, nose, and tail. (MonkeyCAM v3, for instance, had 6 tail options.)
- Port the code to soften the transition between edge and nose/tail. (You can work around this with a sandblock and two min of your time for now.)
- Read the overall board shape from other CAD programs (DXF at least).
- Mold design and program to cut molds.
- Roughing passes for the core profile.
- Output the overall shape, insert locations, etc. to PDF/DXF for printing or use in other CAD programs.
- Adapt for other kinds of 'boards': kite boards, skate boards, etc.
- Web App
- Improve input UI, remove need to use JSON.
- Improve the results UI, remove the need for the overview HTML currently generated.
- Worker reliability and scaling: retry, allow multiple workers again.
MonkeyCAM engine currently depends on the following packages:
- Mac build: Mac OSX 10.14.4 Mojave with the system compiler, Apple LLVM version 10.0.1 (clang-1001.0.46.3).
- Ubuntu build: ubuntu 16.04 LTS with the default compiler, gcc (Ubuntu 5.4.0-6ubuntu1~16.04.4) 5.4.0 20160609.
- Windows build: Windows 10.0, MinGW with GCC 4.9.3-1.
- CMake 3.5.1. See http://www.cmake.org/ or install via something like Ports.
- Clipper 5.1.6. See http://sourceforge.net/projects/polyclipping/. The C++ version is copied in the clipper directory.
The web app currently depends on the following packages:
- Node.js, v8.15.0 for the cloud functions, and v8.15.0 for the client and worker.
- See the package.json files in the respective source directories for further dependencies. The major ones are React and Bootstrap on the UI side, and Google's cloud infra (Storage, Datastore, Pubsub) on the server side.
- The web app is hosted on Google's cloud infra: App Engine, Cloud Functions, and Compute Engine.
If you're a software developer who is into ski and snowboard construction or CAM and you're interested in helping out on MonkeyCAM then let's chat. Open up an issue with what you want to work on and we'll work out the details there, or fork the repo, make some changes and put up a pull request!