Woodwork and software problems

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Ollie78

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Hi

Just wondering if there is a way to do what I am trying to do.
I have some guitar part STL files, they are accurate and good files ( I purchased them ) but I want to modify some of the parts to my own design, adding and modifying the outer shape but keeping the important geometries of the parts the same.
Effectively, I want to convert the mesh to a solid component or model then edit it slightly for my design and the wood I have.

I plan to CNC machine them using Vcarve pro for the toolpaths but it does not have the modelling capabilities, for that I would need to upgrade to Aspire.

So I really need them as step files.
In fusion 360 I can do it but they have put the good ( prismatic ) version behind the paywall. So when I convert the stl to solid it leaves all the tiny triangles as individual surfaces. This means I cannot change the chamfer or thickness of the model components as I need to. It works fine on a simple component but a guitar body is very complex.

There are videos on youtube of people doing precisely what I need to but they are all from before they changed the free feature set in fusion. This is very annoying and clearly a ploy by autodesk to lure you in to the subscription, like limiting the rapids speed in the Cam section.

I also have the files in .igs format which seems to be a sort of shell construction, I cannot seem edit this type either.

In an attempt to try and do this I have tried doing it in Freecad which didn`t work and kept crashing the system, I think its because the models are pretty detailed.
I have tried blender but can`t output as step file.
Downloaded Solidedge free version which I can barely understand at all.

I could try Solidworks hobby version but thats £100 a year or something.
I could try Carveco maker or maker plus , maybe subscribe for 1 month but I can`t find out if I can do what I want.
I could just get one month of Fusion at £50 or whatever it is now. But I know I will be dissapointed when I have to revert to the free version again.

I have no problem paying for software in principle, I bought vcarve desktop then upgraded to pro and it is great and worth its money.
I realy like Fusion as I know how to work it and find it reasonably intuitive unlike solidedge which is very confusing to me. If I could I would probably just buy Aspire because at least with Vectric you own the software.
However, I don`t have any money right now so trying to find a free method or at least a cheap one that doesn`t require me to pay a monthly fee for ever.


Just hoping someone has encountered the same problem and found a way to do it.

Thanks

Ollie
 
You can try Freecad, it has both mesh and path workbenches, so you can edit solids, edit mesh and generate toolpath. As this is open-source software, it will not be yet as mature as a proprietary one (Autodesk Inventor, Solidworks, Catia, etc.). It had failed me many times in some very simple CAD operations, where I needed to look for a workaround so I have a love-hate relationship with it. But it is free and your files are not stored on some cloud.
 
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You can try Freecad, it has both mesh and path workbenches, so you can edit solids, edit mesh and generate toolpath. As this is open-source software, it will not be yet as mature as a proprietary one (Autodesk Inventor, Solidworks, Catia, etc.). It had failed me many times in some very simple CAD operations, where I needed to look for a workaround so I have a love-hate relationship with it. But it is free and your files are not stored on some cloud.
Thanks Tibi, I tried it but despite following a youtube tutorial it would not do it on the neck file. I might try again later but yesterday it was driving me crazy.

Ollie
 
Thanks Tibi, I tried it but despite following a youtube tutorial it would not do it on the neck file. I might try again later but yesterday it was driving me crazy.

Ollie
I personally think that this software is as good as an open-source 3D CAD software can be ( given the complexity of the 3D cad software development). I think that it will receive incremental improvements over the years, but we yet have to wait years for it to match the basic functionality of a mature 3D CAD software (as the project is nobody's full-time job and each programmer's time contribution is purely voluntary). I have tried many hobbyist options, but the only software that I find the most intuitive for me and I have used it professionally for many years in prior employment (Autodesk Inventor) has no hobbyist option. And Fusion 360 with a hobbyist licence is a watered-down version of watered-down version of Inventor now (they keep putting features behind the paywal - like you can only have a single page on a drawing).
 
Been there, on my prototype guitar that I made years ago ( because my brother said I couldn't) . It worked OK but it took a long time and the accuracy was not amazing.

The reason I want to use the cnc is to get the critical dimensions spot on and adapt a few things to what I need.

Don't worry there will still be days of hand work, sanding, frets, electronics soldering, finishing etc.

Ollie
 
I personally think that this software is as good as an open-source 3D CAD software can be ( given the complexity of the 3D cad software development). I think that it will receive incremental improvements over the years, but we yet have to wait years for it to match the basic functionality of a mature 3D CAD software (as the project is nobody's full-time job and each programmer's time contribution is purely voluntary). I have tried many hobbyist options, but the only software that I find the most intuitive for me and I have used it professionally for many years in prior employment (Autodesk Inventor) has no hobbyist option. And Fusion 360 with a hobbyist licence is a watered-down version of watered-down version of Inventor now (they keep putting features behind the paywal - like you can only have a single page on a drawing).
You are right, it is amazing that its free, it would have cost thousands not long ago.
I will try to persevere later tonight.
I find it tricky as I am used to fusion now.
I am quite tempted by the solidworks hobby licence as its a year for the price of 2 months of fusion and this is only for my own fun but I don't even know if it will do it or not.

It's the time wasted trying stuff that is annoying, I know if I just pay up I can do exactly what I want.

Ollie
 
Ollie, I use Aspire if I can help convert or change anything to what you want to work on let me know.
 
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