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Alpha versions of Estlcam v12 have been released. V12 has a lot of interesting new features as well as a lot of changes to the interface and how things work. I've spent some time with it and there is still a lot to parse.

04-15: Since this page was already on the search sites I'm reviving it. I'm less excited about v12 since running across too many lost and changed v11 features/functionality that are important to me. Things like forcing any two tool pocket cuts to the beginning of the program/G-code may not matter to most so I'll try to be less petulant about it. A keyword search for v12 will turn up notes I've made about v12 elsewhere on the site.

CAM Changes

Changes that I've noticed while playing with v12. While there are a number of things I like about v12, some of the changes are not compatible with how I do things, i.e. I'm sticking w/ v11 for now.
  • New
    • tool settings and types, e.g. drills, profile, tapered ballnose, laser, etc.
      • can Carve with tapered/v-bits that have round or flat tips
    • negative invertable tabs
      • path can be set to clear clamps (negative height)
      • clamp tabs can be machined off (inverted path)
    • workspace/material mask (L/F or center origin only)
    • origin margin/center (paths or workspace, not drawing)
      • single click center origin and single entry corner offset origin
      • paths origin if workspace undefined (0/0)
    • custom reference/anchor point for Select tools (paths only)
    • mouseover path highlighting
      • adds a noticeable delay when selecting/deleting a lot of paths :(
    • measuring tool snaps to drawing elements
    • SVG Unit? window converts selected units to Estlcam units (width dimension)
    • can use Select tools to modify individual drawing elements
    • L/R keys can be used to swap previously set engraving paths (L<>R)
    • more 3D/STL options, e.g. 2D conversion w/ layer list
    • three preview and controller path views - double click = top, front, or isometric
  • Changed
    • tool list
      • list is no longer movable, is length adjustable, works best with autohide
      • anywhere wheel scrolling (VS only over the scroll bar)
    • engraving is always bidirectional
      • next cut starts closest to where the last cut ended (always?)
      • a full depth conventional (or climb) cut finishing pass is no longer possible :(
    • part and hole ramping is unidirectional (was zigzag)
    • multi tool pocket cuts will always be placed at the beginning of the G-code :(
      • trying to place them later will be ignored/result in a warning message
      • carve pocketing is now a 4 step process (was 3)
    • pocketing path jogs follow contour (vs always 90 deg)
    • selecting drawing elements (before using any Select tool)
      • (Shift) right-click to (de)select one or more elements
      • Shift right-click drag to select multiple elements
    • point-to-point path setting mouse buttons reversed (left/follow. right/any)
    • help can be set to on demand, hold F1 and move mouse (vs on/off)
    • more remembered (vs preset) settings (e.g. autoselect)
  • Gone
    • File : Inset (dxf or project file) :(
    • Automatic Functions : Solid of Revolution :(
    • Drill : Thread Machining :(
    • Drill : add custom G-code to machining order :(

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User Interface

User InterfaceA couple of key changes are that most menus are now vertical (vs horizontal) and some windows (properties and tools) are now a part of the main window. Similarly, some menu items (grid, copy/paste, etc.) are now included in the main window (bottom-left corner). The initially mixed font sizes, many too small, has been improved (new image). While issues related to the new scaling function (setup : basic : scale) seem to have been fixed, using it to increase font sizes will also increase icon sizes (already much bigger than they need to be).

User InterfaceHard/impossible to select path property tools has also been fixed to better than v11 usability (new image). Scrolling in general has improved, e.g. no more need to hover the mouse over the main tool list scroll bar.
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