Re: Automatic Tool Path Generation

From: Delft Spline Systems (
Date: Tue Feb 03 1998 - 13:13:03 EET

Brent Stucker asked:

>I have heard about software packages that use STL files to generate tool
>paths automatically. Is anyone familiar with commercially available software
>that can be used for that purpose?

Mark Bannister replied:
> AlphaCam

Bert VandenBerg wrote:
> Delcam's PowerMill/CopyCad programs
> Cimitron's CAM systems
> VERO's VisiCAM
> Tebis AG's Tebis 3.0
> MatraDataVision CAD/CAM system

Hi Brent,

So sorry (not quite) to send the following self-promotion to this
list, however, you did ask for it.

All the above CAM packages can indeed do the job that you require.
However, they are aimed at professional toolmakers (CAM specialists),
not at (rapid) prototype builders. This means that they include many
milling parameters that must be set, and that they are quite expensive.
The advantage is that they offer many possibilities, the disadvantage that
much training is needed. In any case no automatic toolpath generation.

As far as we know our DeskProto software is the only package that
does indeed offer (almost) automatich toolpath generation based on STL
geometry. The almost indicates that some user interaction is needed:
you have to enter the tool to be used and the distance between the
toolpaths (which is in fact the accuracy). The rest is done automatically.
Price of the software is ca USD 1,500.00 where the above packages
will cost about ten times as much.

Please download a demo-version from our Web-Site and test the software
with your own STL files.

Mark Bannister also wrote:
> Again as has been mentioned many times here before, STL files have
> terrible resolution!

The resolution in most cases is not the problem as it can be freely
chosen. The big advantage of STL is the data-transmission without
any problems. This in contrast to other formats like IGES. Because
of this oven some professional injection mould toolmakers do indeed
use STL.

Best Regards,

Lex Lennings.

Delft Spline Systems, The Netherlands.
We offer DeskProto: affordable Rapid Prototyping using CNC milling

For more information about the rp-ml, see

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