AlphaCAM

Questions and answers about 3Dconnexion devices on Windows.

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CAMuser1234
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AlphaCAM

Post by CAMuser1234 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:28 am

Hi All,

What are the requirements that a program needs to fulfill in order for the Enterprise SpaceMouse to be able to recognise the commands in that program?
I am using AlphaCAM and the spacemouse works great for rotating and panning, but I want to be able to program up the buttons. There is no "AlphaCAM" drop down menu in the settings to choose the commands from.
I am in contact with AlphaCAM about this but need some ammunition to hit them with.

Help please as AlphaCAM has a rubbish GUI and I was hoping to be less frustrated using this mouse!!

J

luping
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Re: AlphaCAM

Post by luping » Mon Nov 11, 2019 7:23 pm

So far AlpahCAM has a tiny user base, I don't see any future resource will be invested by 3Dconnexion to expand the functionality support beyond the 6 DOF knob/puck. The Spacemouse Enterprised multi-buttons environment supports:

1 Familiar application icons are displayed in Windows on the SpaceMouse Enterprise LCD for applications including Autodesk AutoCAD, Inventor, 3ds Max and Maya, Dassault Systèmes CATIA (V5 & V6) and SOLIDWORKS, PTC Creo Parametric, Siemens PLM NX and Solid Edge, Trimble SketchUp (Pro & Make), Houdini, GO2Cam and Microsoft Office (Excel, PowerPoint, Word).

https://www.3dconnexion.com/products/sp ... prise.html

You have to check this before you invest on this device.

CAMuser1234
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Re: AlphaCAM

Post by CAMuser1234 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:48 am

AlphaCAM will always have a tiny user base compared to mainstream programs as its a specialist piece of software - many exist on the planet. I'm not worried about having icons matching on the screen, but I really expected to be able to personalise the buttons. That list is not comprehensive - Rhino works beautifully with it too.
I can get AlphaCAM to look into enhancing their side of things, but the truth is I have no idea who needs to support who. It may be that ACAM only needs to update some aspect of their GUI so that the mouse can then be programmed.
Either way here should be some way of personalising those buttons without having to rely on the goodwill of all parties involved otherwise 3D Connexion are restricting the market for their (nice) piece of hardware and frustrating users that want to gain productivity.
I guess i really need to know WHY it doesn't work so that I can find a work-around.

UtaSH
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Re: AlphaCAM

Post by UtaSH » Wed Nov 13, 2019 2:53 am

Hello CAMuser1234,

AlphaCAM is not currently included in the list of programs that provide support for our devices.

In order to use it with 3Dconnexion devices, support for 3D devices would need to be added inside their software.

For specific applications that use a plug-in or add-on such as SolidWorks or 3dsMax, the software that allows it to work with our devices is developed by 3Dconnexion. The majority of applications with 3D support, have added 3D device recognition inside their software and do not use 3Dconnexion software for navigation. These applications use only the basic 3Dconnexion device driver.

Adding 3D device support to an application is determined by the application developer rather than by 3Dconnexion. We have an SDK [Development Kit] which any software developer can download at no cost and which allows the integration of 3D device support in proprietary software. Please see here for more details.

We advise our customers to contact the Customer Service of applications that are lacking support and request it be added in future versions of their software. The decision to include 3D support in their development schedule is often influenced by the level of customer interest.

Thank you,

luping
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Re: AlphaCAM

Post by luping » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:07 am

UtaSH wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 2:53 am
Hello CAMuser1234,

AlphaCAM is not currently included in the list of programs that provide support for our devices.

In order to use it with 3Dconnexion devices, support for 3D devices would need to be added inside their software.

For specific applications that use a plug-in or add-on such as SolidWorks or 3dsMax, the software that allows it to work with our devices is developed by 3Dconnexion. The majority of applications with 3D support, have added 3D device recognition inside their software and do not use 3Dconnexion software for navigation. These applications use only the basic 3Dconnexion device driver.

Adding 3D device support to an application is determined by the application developer rather than by 3Dconnexion. We have an SDK [Development Kit] which any software developer can download at no cost and which allows the integration of 3D device support in proprietary software. Please see here for more details.

We advise our customers to contact the Customer Service of applications that are lacking support and request it be added in future versions of their software. The decision to include 3D support in their development schedule is often influenced by the level of customer interest.

Thank you,
There are some applications not listed in the supported software list, but they actually support 3Dconnexion 6 DOF operations if 3DxWare is installed.
For example:
Canada's Chemical Computing Group ULC's Molecular Operating Environment supports 3D motion controllers and 6-degrees-of-freedom (6dof) devices from 3Dconnexion.
USA's Moore Nanotechnology Systems, LLC NanoCAM4 ultra-precision machining application supports 6 DOF 3Dconnexion devices. They are all not listed in the 3Dconnexion website.

jwick
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Re: AlphaCAM

Post by jwick » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:08 am

If it is not on our list of supported applications, it means we didn't certify it. We have no way of knowing how well it works. That's great that you say it works well.

If the 6DOF motion works well, there is a possibility that they have integrated our SDK into their application. The log file will say what is going on.

If they used our SDK, there are functions they can invoke to export their commands to the GUI, with localized text and icons (Action Interface). This is ideal and would give you the same experience you see with the other mainstream applications, such as SolidWorks and Rhino. It's a bit of one-time work on their port.

Regardless, you can always assign actions to the buttons with our driver. At minimum, you can assign keyboard macros to the buttons and match those up with keyboard macros in the application. It's a bit of work on your part.

luping
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Re: AlphaCAM

Post by luping » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:56 pm

jwick wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:08 am
If it is not on our list of supported applications, it means we didn't certify it. We have no way of knowing how well it works. That's great that you say it works well.

If the 6DOF motion works well, there is a possibility that they have integrated our SDK into their application. The log file will say what is going on.

If they used our SDK, there are functions they can invoke to export their commands to the GUI, with localized text and icons (Action Interface). This is ideal and would give you the same experience you see with the other mainstream applications, such as SolidWorks and Rhino. It's a bit of one-time work on their port.

Regardless, you can always assign actions to the buttons with our driver. At minimum, you can assign keyboard macros to the buttons and match those up with keyboard macros in the application. It's a bit of work on your part.
Hi, as for the SDK, when will 3Dconnexion fix the broken link to http://www.3dconnexion.com/support/sdk.php?

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Re: AlphaCAM

Post by UtaSH » Thu Nov 14, 2019 3:08 am

The link to the SDK is this: http://www.3dconnexion.com/service/soft ... loper.html.
You might have an old link. :?

CAMuser1234
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Re: AlphaCAM

Post by CAMuser1234 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 3:42 am

Thats great information - I will pass this onto the developers.
I have tried to use the macro facility to program the buttons. The button now shows the correct macro name on the enterprise screen, but when I hit the button, it does what it was previously defaulted to in windows (in this instance button 7 does not run the macro, instead it applies "Align Window Left". It is the same for all of the other buttons.

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Re: AlphaCAM

Post by jwick » Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:10 am

We can take this off-line. I'd like to see some files. I'll PM you.

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Re: AlphaCAM

Post by jwick » Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:56 am

To summarize, the driver incorrectly created two conflicting cfgs for AlphaCAM. There should have been only one.
The GUI was editing one of them (the wrong one). The driver was using the other (correct one).

Deleting the wrong one fixed the problem.

Apparently AlphaCAM works quite well with the 3D mouse.

CAMuser1234
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Re: AlphaCAM

Post by CAMuser1234 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:01 am

I would like to expand on Jims previous post:
The 3D mouse is ESSENTIAL with AlphaCAM! It makes life so much easier and smoother with manipulation and data entry. Anyone who uses AlphaCAM will understand this when they are forced to rotate using the arrows on the keyboard! I'm a 20+ year user of AlphaCAM.

luping
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Re: AlphaCAM

Post by luping » Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:46 pm

UtaSH wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 3:08 am
The link to the SDK is this: http://www.3dconnexion.com/service/soft ... loper.html.
You might have an old link. :?
Hmm, there's a need to update the link in the help file in the 3DxWare driver.

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Re: AlphaCAM

Post by jwick » Mon Nov 18, 2019 1:25 am

Thanks for pointing those out luping.
I've create an issue for them.

luping
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Re: AlphaCAM

Post by luping » Tue Nov 19, 2019 12:26 am

jwick wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 1:25 am
Thanks for pointing those out luping.
I've create an issue for them.
It's a long standing issue with the update of help file in 3DxWare, please also update the product lineup picture as well as add extra information about the latest CadMouse Wireless Pro to the hlep file.

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