Dan Heeks has recently rewritten the zigzag operation of HeeksCNC to use the opencamlib library instead of pycam. This is a huge improvement in speed. Just messing around, I designed this spider in blender and exported the .STL file. I went ahead and cut it on the router in blue styrofoam.
Here’s the stl file if you’re interested.
I know that this is an old post, but I’m wondering if you’ll share the settings for HeeksCAD that you used for this, for inexperienced users….
I don’t have them for this specific project. HeeksCAD changes pretty often and it isn’t uncommon that changes make old project files not work any more. It shouldn’t be too hard to reproduce again. For cutting blue styrofoam, I use a very fast feed rate (about 1200 mm/minute) and a pretty slow spindle speed. I have a router with a speed control and I dial it down to almost the bottom of the range. The blue styrofoam also comes with a thin plastic sheet on each face. You should peel that off before cutting. It melts and sticks to the cutter.
The foam cuts so well that you can use almost a full diameter step-over but I still prefer to step over about 1/2 the diameter.
Opencamlib is the library that does the zigzag operation. It’s been getting a lot of programming love lately but many of the changes aren’t in HeeksCNC yet. I’m anxious to see how it works.
If you can’t get things working or just want more details, comment back or jump on the #heekscad IRC channel.