Like our basic Fusion 360 CAM templates, our automated Fusion 360 CAM templates allow you to quickly generate CAM toolpaths for the Bantam Tools Desktop CNC Milling Machine. Automated CAM templates are perfect for those who are still getting comfortable using Fusion 360 or who want to streamline their prototyping process. If you haven’t yet used Fusion 360 to generate CAM for the Bantam Tools Desktop CNC Milling Machine, we recommend that you first read our Fusion 360 Workflows: Programming CAM guide.
Automated CAM templates have a number of useful qualities:
- Preconfigured toolpaths are built out according to specific material types and stock sizes that we sell in our store. You don’t have to create a new Setup in Fusion 360 before generating your toolpaths.
- The templates do look at the part geometries of the model you’ve designed.
- Templates come with a preview of the Desktop CNC Milling Machine’s pre-installed T-slot bed, which enables collision warnings and a much more accurate preview of your parts.
To generate your CAM toolpaths using these templates:
- Download the automated CAM template.
- Insert your model in the design workspace.
- Drag your model into the “Main Model” folder.
- Align your model within the stock and along the top of the T-slot bed.
- Select and generate the toolpaths that best suit your design and tooling you have on hand.
- It should be noted that some feeds and speeds in these templates are somewhat aggressive- intended to remove the max amount of material given the specific tool and material.
- Dialing back the basic feeds and speeds might be advisable for some.
- Post-process your G-code files.
Here’s a closer look.
Step 1: Download the automated CAM template.
Download one of the following automated Fusion 360 CAM templates for the Bantam Tools Desktop CNC Milling Machine, based on the type of material you want to use.
- Delrin 3" x 6" x 0.5" Stock
- Delrin 4" x 5" x 0.25" Stock
- Aluminum automated CAM template (coming soon)
Step 2: Load your model into the automated CAM template.
Launch Fusion 360 on your computer. Then, in Fusion 360, go to File > Open > Open From My Computer, and select the automated CAM template you downloaded. Once the automated CAM template has downloaded, navigate to the Design workspace in Fusion 360 and pull up the model you wish to load into the template.
Note: If you haven’t already, you can download a free trial of Fusion 360 for professional use or the free version for personal use.
Right-click on your model and select “Insert Into Current Design.” Your model will populate in the Design workspace. Most designs will be aligned or flush with the top of the T-slot bed and within the boundaries of the preconfigured stock size.
Depending on the work coordinate system you set up while designing your CAD model, you may need to adjust the position of your model within this preconfigured stock slightly. Use the Modify/Move tools to do so.
Once aligned, drag the model into the main model folder. This is an important step!
When you’ve loaded your model, save the template as your own so you can refer back to it as often as you need.
Note: Templates are arranged according to the material type and size. Choose the template that best suits the stock you’re working with.
Step 3: Generate your toolpaths.
Switch over to the Manufacture workspace and type Command + G, Control + G, or right-click on the automated CAM template and select Generate. That’s it! You now have a number of CAM toolpaths to choose from.
These toolpaths are organized based on the type of operation/toolpath (e.g., 3D adaptive, 2D contour, 3D contour, etc.) and the specific end mill. Keep in mind that the preconfigured speeds and feeds recipes are based on the material, which means that each automated CAM template will have a different set of recipes.
With the automated CAM templates, there’s no further configuration needed for any of your toolpaths. For example, if you’ve previously worked with our basic CAM templates, you’ll remember that for certain toolpaths, like the 2D contour, you have to edit the toolpath and select the machining boundaries. With automated templates, you don’t have to!
Step 4: Select and post-process your toolpaths as G-code files.
Note: If you haven’t already, you’ll need to download and save the Bantam Tools CAM post processor locally onto your computer before you can post-process your G-code files. For details, see our dedicated support guide.
Now that you’ve generated your toolpaths, select the ones that you want to use for your machining job. Be sure to simulate them to make sure that they’re cutting the way you want and that there won’t be any collisions while machining.
After you’ve selected, generated, and simulated your toolpaths, it’s time to post-process your G-code files. Select a toolpath and go to Actions > Post Process, or right-click on the toolpath and click Post Process.
In the Post Process window that pops up, select Personal Posts for your Source. If you have more than one post processor saved locally, click the Post Processor dropdown menu, select “Bantam Tools / bantam tools,” enter the rest of the information as needed.
Repeat this process for each toolpath or collection of toolpaths you wish to post-process.
Now that you’ve post-processed your G-code files, you can import them into the Bantam Tools Milling Machine Software, set up your job, and start machining with the Desktop CNC Milling Machine. For more insight on moving from Fusion 360 to the Bantam Tools software, see our support guide.
I want to migrate AWAY from Bantam software to Fusion 360. Please consider adding more technically complete articles rather than "here is how you do your first project." I haven't found Bantam's templates particularly useful as many generate errors in the latest versions of Fusion360 and are limited in tooling.
Hey there! Congrats on diving deeper into Fusion 360. It's a huge step and with it comes a pretty big learning curve. If you're looking to start learning more about doing CAD and CAM workflows from scratch, definitely check out our "Fusion 360 Workflows: Designing in CAD" and "Fusion 360 Workflows: Programming CAM" guides because these give a high level overview of the steps you'll need to take when designing and programming 3D parts. I would also recommend checking our Fusion 360's blog and support materials.
What have been some sticking points you've been running into as you've been diving in?
I would say that I have intermediate skills in Fusion360 and beginner skills with Bantam. I have no problem modeling and generating both additive and subractive parts. I've tried to use some of Bantam's manufacturing templates (both Aluminum and Delrin) and they only show "Error. Contact your template designer". Specifically ones for the Helical #49075 ball end mill... Feeds and speeds for this machine are still elusive. The one related video you have posted (F360 workflows) has sound problems at several critical presentation points. BTW Videos don't count as documentation. I am currently building a jog/control pendant for the machine and have been unhappy with the general availability of technical information on the software, APIs (if they exist), and versions of the different file formats required.
Thanks for giving more insight into what you've been experiencing. Have you been in touch with our support team at all? If you haven't, I would highly recommend reaching out to them. Their email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Let's get you up and running!
Also, if you're looking to learn more about what files our Bantam Tools Milling Machine Software supports, see this Software Overview guide: https://support.bantamtools.com/hc/en-us/articles/360052717093-Software-Overview
I have been in contact with the support team with regard to a problem with z-jogging causing the controller to lose its context. The TLDR; from them was "try a different computer"... :-(
I really don't have a desire to contact support every time I need to know something about the machine. As to the templates, I'll probably just generate my own. My point here is that one expects more documentation from a real company than one might get from a Chinese mill manufacturer.
FWIW I've read through that article. Every one of those file formats have versions associated with them. As an example of GRBL, it doesn't indicate 1.1f or 1.1h, or as the nc post-processor would suggest, output for tiny-g. Please provide real specs an not general "hand waving" with regard to software and control.
I don't want to sound negative and sour. I want to really like this little machine. Your posts seem to be the only real information provided from Bantam. They are definitely useful in getting started and learning how to get started, but by no means are in-depth documentation required to "become one" with the machine.
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