The time has come for a new version of MeshCAM, Version 7. (And it’s going to be a free upgrade for anyone who has a valid V6 license)
I just uploaded what I hope will be the last build of V6 before I make it an official release. This happened to be a big change- at the last minute I decided to change to Visual Studio 2013 from Visual Studio 2005. My thinking was that C++ has advanced a lot in the last 10 years and MeshCAM can benefit from the new C++11 features. To use this features, I needed to move to a new compiler.
The next few weeks should bring the first public release of MeshCAM V6. It will be a bit more of a work-in-progress than other releases, with features being added over time rather than at the start, but the changes required to make MeshCAM work on a Mac were too invasive to keep it in the V5 path.
As of today, MeshCAM is up and running on OSX. As you can imagine, this took a lot of effort but it’s working remarkably well right now.
I just uploaded a new build, number 43, with two big features: inside-out Waterline and Pencil Finishing and new code to make the Pencil Finishing cut direction match Waterline better. Inside-out cut ordering has been another highly-requested feature in the past year. The fact that this is such a common request reflects the growing use of MeshCAM for 2D work. Years ago I never would have anticipated MeshCAM being used for 2D work but it’s become very common.
By far, one of the most requested features in MeshCAM is a way to define a keep out region using the Set Machine Region command. If you’ve emailed me about this in the past I may have given you a few suggested workarounds but I never had a suitable answer other than, “It’s in progress.”
I just finished uploading a new version of the MeshCAM, Build 34, at http://www.grzsoftware.com/dl . This build adds one of the most requested features ever- depth-first waterline.
If you’ve been run the “Check for Updates” command lately then you’ve seen a few new releases come out that I have not announced here. They included the new Drill and Cap Holes commands. These commands are somewhat complecated and untested so I wanted to get gradual feedback as new people found them rather than the kind of inbox-crushing feedback that can happen when I announce them here.
I’ve promised a drilling mode for a long time and I’m happy to say that it’s almost ready. Drilling is a feature that should be very easy compared to all of the other toolpath options in MeshCAM. From a technical point of view, it is- from a user interfaces point of view, it’s very difficult. Here are some of the problems that have held me up:
I just saw that Cubify, a division/product line from 3D Systems has released Cubify Invent to support their Cubify 3D printer. For those who haven’t followed them, 3D Systems has bought a number of small compaines making software or low-end 3D printers in the past few years. One of the companies they bought was Alibre, makers of a very affordable parametric CAD program.