Tuesday 19 November 2013

Bas relief addon

I just finished the bas-relief addon. 
everything about it will be on a separate bas-relief addon page here: http://blendercam.blogspot.sk/p/bas-relief-addon.html

Thursday 10 October 2013

Looking for a 4 or more axis machine

For development purposes of BlenderCAM and my personal artistic projects,
I am looking for sponsors, who would donate any functioning machine, which has more than 3 axes.
The machine would be used mainly to develop BlenderCAM for more axis milling.

Note: I could do also with a robot arm! ;)

Monday 30 September 2013

Blender CAM 0.6.0

simulated chain parallel + pencil operations
What is new:
  • chain operations - this is useful to export more operations in 1 file and to do simulation of more operations in line - to see e.g. roughing and also finishing
  • bridges for cutout operation. This is automatic by now, manual placement is on todo. Bridges don't work well together with ramping options yet.
  • some essential fixes - undercut problem with stay low option, protect vertical fix
  • pencil strategy has been updated. This is still very experimental, but I think for artistic use it might be allready tested (mainly cleanup of edges when doing reliefs, which is what I use it for) 
  • on the coding side, a lot comments were added.
  • automatic bridges for cutout operation
  • Blender version has been updated to the latest version.
as always, thanks to:
  • Bernhard Braun and Giovanni Bianchessi for linux & mac builds
  • GaĆ«l Rosset for extensive reporting of bugs
  • everybody who posted feedback or donated
this help is essential for the project, I don't have time to test everything properly, and donations help me to save some extra time.

Monday 12 August 2013

Blender CAM 0.5.0

What is new:
  • Exact mode is now faster by around 25-30 %
  • support for text objects - they kind of worked in some situations but that was a coincidence! :) Now text is properly supported.
  • default threshold for optimisation was lowered, the new algorithm works better with that
  • Waterline with layers was fixed, now waterline works much more like in other CAM programs. It is however still experimental feature!
  • Drill paths now support transformations of the source curve object
There are not so many changes as usual, but I'm kind of running in summer-mode ;)

Support this project by:

  • sending feedback on forum
  • posting images of your work on the forum
  • learn python and start developing with me
  • send some money

Big thanks go to:

  • Bernhardo Braun and Giovanni Bianchessi for release builds Linux/Mac
  • everybody who donates, reports bugs on the forum and posts feedback

Wednesday 19 June 2013

Blender CAM release 0.4.0 is out

Because some things were finished, and also, some serious bugs were fixed, here comes the new version.
  • Background operations - this saves your precious time and enables you to use more cores. You can continue working on other operations while computing in background. You have to save your file before sending operations for background computing. status of computations is in upper info bar in blender. 
  • Helix entry for pocket - experimental. 
  • Retract arc for pocket - experimental too. Both aren't made if there is no space for them.
  • First down option for cutout paths - this goes all layers down on one contour, then goes to the next one.  a condition for ramp down and out.
  • Ramp down cutout operation - experimental - ramps down based on layer settings
  • Ramp out - goes on along the outline, good if you don't want to leave a mark after the tool finishes and leaves material on same spot.
  • A lot of cutter and operation presets, all made by Bernhard Brown
  • improved path filtering, files are smaller now
  • a lot of small tweaks and fixes in the UI
Also, a very serious bug got a fix now... it occured when more than 2 layers were used, and there were sharp jumps in the path.

also made 2 videos, background operations and doing a simple cutout operation with the new options. Sorry, without commentary, no time for that now, but there are key strokes and mouse buttons recorded, so they can serve as a simple tutorial...

Monday 17 June 2013

Serious bug found today

today I confirmed a bug which was reported by Juan-Carlos Furest on the forum. It causes plunges deeper than a layer step down(!) when the slope of the object is high or 90 grades.
I am sorry for this bug and will try to fix it as soon as possible, hopefully today.
Also, then I will try to release new version .

Thursday 23 May 2013

helical entry

This was requested by some people, although I don't really need it for woodcarving. It's a helix entry into material, with options for angle and diameter. Only for pocket now:

Tuesday 21 May 2013

Time for art.

I spent some time doing my art, which is still my priority. Behold the battle with the cars!
There are some little updates in the code, but still far from next release.
Main improvement is in contour processing, where you can now choose to ramp down continously around the contour, and set 'first down' option for cutting more contours - this enables to cut things out of sheet of material one by one even if you use layers.
ramp contour and first down option examples

Sunday 12 May 2013

release 0.3.0

Hello, tons of work have been done, besides many bugfixes there are some bigger news:

  •  collision precision mode, improves greatly precision for projects where this is needed. This is a great achievment, because the collision library allows to detect collision from any angle, so it will be great for 4 or 5 axis machining(in the far far future ;) ).  Old method is still better for high poly meshes and the only one for images - not so precise, but faster. This was a lot of work. It's relatively slow by now :( , but produces very nice paths:)
  •  export is now handled by the original Heeks CNC nc library, which has been converted for Python 3 and fixed in some parts. It needs probably more fixing to enable more than the post-processors which are currently available. Good news is, FreeCAD is going to use it too, so the library will get attention from more developers :). This library is BSD license, while blenderCAM is GPL, so if anybody reuses this library, please remember this is to be respected.
  •  support for groups of objects, a big recode.
  •  tool id,tool change, spindle on/off, spindle speed are now exported.
  •  operations can be moved up and down in the list, copying is more convenient.
  •  many UI tweaks 
  •  UI speed should be improved a lot, because of update functions
  •  warning system should have now a better 'backend', because of proper update functions 
  •  recursion depth bug solved - curve parenting algorithm could run out of recursion depth if the number of path parts was >1000.
  •  removed 'use all geometry' option, and instead made support for groups of objects.
  •  fixed cutout operation when cutting from image source - did cut border and thanks to it offset to opposite direction!
  •  fixed a bug with simulation - could be accidentaly performed in 8 bit depth
  •  fixed some bugs coming from blender API changes.
As you can see, the development is going on very wildly. Do you appreciate the many working days which were put into this release? If you'd like to help, theres a lot of options. Consider helping in one of these ways: 
  • making a donation
  • reporting bugs, doing some testing of the new features, look into g-code generated by blenderCAM and see if everything works as it should. I have a very simple machine where I run mach3 gcode, so I can't test much in this area.
  • doing more presets for cutters, machines, operations, and sending them to me
  • writing documentation or tutorials and sending those to me , I will put them on the blog, or post these on your website.
  • uploading your images and describing your experience in the forum, a nice gallery means more visitors->more donations and help-> a better software for you to use.
Thanks to:
  • All users who tested, sent feedback, submitted images, and donated money to the project
  • Bernhard Braun for linux builds, testing and feedback
  • Giovanni Bianchessi for mac build

Please take into account that the release can have some bugs, so be sure to look at your paths carefully and do simulation before you use them.

Saturday 4 May 2013

Forum page

There is now a forum page, which uses an embedded nabble forum.

Anybody knows about better forum which could be embedded?

this one will have to serve now. I spent today whole evening with it, while i could have spent it coding something new into blender CAM... ;)

Until now I tried to respond to the many emails and messages I got here, which became impossible with my time which I have for development.

Since now, I'd like to ask everybody to post on this forum, and I will try to respond there, and other users can respond there too.

Friday 3 May 2013

Linux and Mac build available

I am sure people coming here will welcome these good news:

we now have builds for more platforms - I want to thank to all who helped to provide these builds.
Now there are several builds for linux(I put online 3 of them, so if one doesn't work, just try anotherone ;) ), and there is a mac build since 0.2.2 version...

The next version of blenderCAM will be for blender 2.67 and still needs some polishing, but I hope it will come in a week or two.

I want to apologize for late replies on emails.
I am now recieving quite a lot of various messages from blender CAM users, and probably I should start a forum here, so that everything is logged properly and users can give each other support. I probably will also upload blender CAM to some svn site or something similar, so that more people can start contributing.

Wednesday 24 April 2013

update 0.2.3

this update fixes some bugs, and mainly has improved exporters.
I also decided to release it because I plan some bigger changes which will still take some time. Please test and report if things don't work.

list of changes:

  • object transforms - scale and rotation are now properly respected.
  • when cutting from curves, hierarchical sort now works with the on-line option.
  • fixed a bad bug with circles strategy - could loop parts of path absolutely wrong.
  • experimental Heidenhein exporter, first version of postprocessor library, I hope it will become better with time. Needs testing all exported files again!
  • support for imperial units - I can't check if this is actually right, can somebody confirm? It simply converts to inches, also saves units as part of machine setup

Big thanks to everybody who donated to the project!

Also, there is now a Mac build for download on the download page.

What is a big success is that the bullet collision library can now be accessed from python to detect collisions :) this is great news, although coding these changes took me a lot of time. I hope you can see the effect of this improvement in the next version of Blender CAM.

Tuesday 2 April 2013

update 0.2.2

new stuff:
  • Initial emc support. I studied some other gcodes finally, but they are not there yet :) .  Also, I don't have a way to test emc file yet
  • circle strategy added
  • ported to blender 2.66 (some api changes and library builds)
  • machine bounds are displayed now


  • Fixed operation depth, when the specified depth was deeper than actual object depth - I made it to respect the user's choice, not limiting it to the depth of object or material. (this is based on my own use case)
  • Fixed spiral path - insideout option and conventional movement were behaving wrong.
  • counter clockwise spindle direction for block and spiral strategy fixed.
Otherwise I did a lot of other background work , which is not visible yet. I made a better 3d silhouette algorithm, but it only works in some cases well, so I still have to work on int. Also working on better collision code.

Download links are updated now.

Monday 11 March 2013

Development resumed

I returned from the trip and the development efforts will start again.
I want to THANK tho those who donated, it was a pleasant surprise and a good motivation to go on with the efforts. I also want to reply to the emails I got, as soon as possible.
My plans, regarding to what people wrote me, are these:

  • Bring Blender CAM up to date with newest blender
  • EMC exporter
  • imperial units support
  • tutorial on sizes and units in Blender CAM

Sunday 3 February 2013

Development on hold for 1 month - february

I am going to travel a bit, so the development will be on hold for some time, 
The current version 2.1 is quite stable and working nicely in most cases.

There's still need for tutorials, if anybody is working with the add-on, I will be glad to see some. 

Next steps in development will be finishing exact silhouette algorithm, later doing better collisions generally, afterwards probably some path optimisations, like various options for entering material e.t.c. or completely new strategies.

Any form of feedback is welcome, I will respond as soon as I can.

Friday 25 January 2013

0.2.1 update

Some important bugfixes:

  • fixed sorting with layers - was upside down!
  • fixed sorting with layers + protect vertical
  • waterline fixed a bit and support for layers added(basically a pocket operation for full silhouette or bounding rectangle on layers thresholds)

download links on download page updated.

Monday 21 January 2013

Update - version 0.2

    new sort
old sort
I want to apologize to any testers. If you made a new file and didn't start with the one with samples, you would end up with empty paths. It was a bug I didn't notice, because it's only with new files(I use my testing files).
    new sort
old sort
new features:
  • path sorting - much better than it used to be, also for parallel and cross paths, when using ambient behaviour: Around. Not thorough tested yet. The algorithm seems to behave just too good to be true, especially when combined with stay low option.
  • parallel step back - a feature when roughting and finishing in one run - it can do climb cutting in distance of 2x distance between paths, and then run back 'conventionally', where almost no cutting anymore happens. So the time of the cutter going back is used 
     or finishing.
  • optimized offsetting algorithm - 5-50%speedup(still terribly slow, but hey, if you make things really stupid and slow working, then you really enjoy them getting faster)
  • optimized path optimisation - huge speedup with pocket and similar - 2x-10x speedup
  • 'stay low' has been reworked.
  • 'add new operation' option, now it always did a copy of active operation if there was allready some
    bugs fixed:
  • outline optimization worked really bad, was Polygon library internal algo, now uses blenders simplify curves for all optimisation.
  • The previous version had a bug where nothing would work properly if export wasn't set to exr images.. sorry for that, that means nothing actually worked! In my tests everything was fine, but just because I had allready prepared testing files.
  • in fact a lot of background was overhauled, so I am still looking for bugs. The new path sorting required a substantial recode of big parts of the whole script.
  • exporters, exporters, exporters! - there are still no donations, nor feature requests, so I am still a bit talking to myself here, and don't know if ppl want actually some other exporters. I use mach3 so far.
known bugs:
  • pencil doesnt work at all really yet.It's a skeleton of some future better code.not hard to make something of it, but currently no motivation.
  • where I wasn't certain, things are still marked experimental.

Sunday 13 January 2013

Small but important update:

Download files have been updated.

  • Finally, milling directions are there for these strategies: parallel, cross, block, spiral, pocket, cutout strategies. I got motivated by breaking a valuable cutter :). I would also like to implement some kind of feeds and speeds calculater for this purpose, and maybe use it in future to change feedrate dynamically. Any hints?
  • Inside out or Outside in for block and spiral strategies
  • better pocket paths ordering (longer path but at least can be used)
  • market as experimental strategies which are not really ready

Thursday 10 January 2013

Update and first tutorial


  • separate win32 and win64 builds available and separate addon download
  • fixed waterlines a bit, still not really good
  • experimental pencil strategy added
  • exporter background for other exporters added, not yet functional

Monday 7 January 2013


Today a new version was uploaded.
Mainly, many bugs were fixed.
new features:

  • Simulation. This is not well tested yet, but seems to work.
  • Image crop and offset work well now. Good for milling big reliefs in tiles.
  • between 5 - 50 % faster thanks to faster image conversion from blender
Simulation example:

first tutorial is coming soon.