View Full Version : Free CAM for Inkscape

24-08-2010, 08:55 AM
Hi! I'm one of the developers of Gcodetools and I want to introduce it to you :).

Gcodetools is a CAM extension for Inkscape - open source vector graphics editor with capabilities similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Xara X.
Inkscape supports many advanced SVG features (markers, clones, alpha blending, etc.) and great care is taken in designing a streamlined interface. It is very easy to edit nodes, perform complex path operations, trace bitmaps and much more.

So Gcodetools is a CAM extension which allows to export curves from Inkscape to G-code.

Both Inkscape and Gcode are free (they are licensed under GNU GPL) and cross-platform (they work on Windows, Linux and probably MacOS).

Here is the feature list of Gcodetools 1.6:
(New features from previous version are marked with green)
Export to Gcode

Export paths to Gcode
Using circular (biarc approximation) or straight line interpolation
Automatic path subdivision to reach defined tolerance
Multiply tool processing
Export Gcode in parametric of flat form
Including personal headers and footers
Choosing units
Multi-pass processing
Numeric suffix is added to generated files to avoid overwriting

Lathe Gcode

Compute trajectories for lathe
Fine cut
Define fine cut's depth
Define fine rounds
Two different computation functions for fine cut
Standard axis remapping

Path's area processing

Building area paths
Area paths could be modified


Building trajectory according to the cutter's shape
Defining different cutter's shapes

Tool's library

Defining different tool's parameters (diameter, feed, depth step, penetration feed, personal Gcode before/after each path, cutters shape, personal tool's changing Gcode)
Tools can be managed by Inkscape's standard procedures (copy, delete, assigned to different layer)
Multiply tools processing

Orientation system

Applying scale along any axis
Apply rotate in the ХY plane
Apply translation along any axis
Apply transforms according to arbitrary points


You can create custom post-processor by writing down the commands or choose from the list of default post-processors
Scale and offset Gcode
Gcode commands remapping
Parameterize Gcode
Round floating point values to specified precision

Verifying tools for the scene

Select and remove small paths (area artefacts)
Tool's alignment check
Cutting order check

Plotter cutting

Export to Gcode for plotter with tangential knife. Forth axis A is knife's rotation.

PS We need more photos of work made using Gcodetools if you can do it I'll be glad to publish it. Unfortunately I can not do it myself because my hobby cnc is not finished yet.

Here are some screenshots and made things...

You can freely download Gcodetools from here: http://www.cnc-club.ru/gcodetools

More info can be found at http://www.inkscape.org (http://www.inkscape.org/)

24-08-2010, 10:44 AM

Thanks for posting this, I hope to try it out soon and I'm sure others will... Its a pity Inkscape isnt really a CAD tool... I've not looked at it in anger but does it import DXFs? Alternately do you plan a generic DXF->GCode solution?

24-08-2010, 11:16 AM
Yes it can import DXF.
Inkscape not a cad, but it has a lot of functions that make prototyping real ease.
Starting from v.047 it has very nice snapping, transform, align and distribute tools which allows to create precise models (0.47 brings better snapping).
The only things that I've not found are snap to perpendicular and create line into direction having defined length. But all of these functions can be done using other way.

Gcodetools can be used as standalone application, but you'll have to run it like this "python gcodetools.py --parameter1=... ... --parameter40=..." and there should be a lot of parameters so it's not used by me and anyone else :).

Lee Roberts
24-08-2010, 02:02 PM
Hey Zar, post your link in the Links Directory (http://www.mycncuk.com/forums/links/index.php) if you like.

24-08-2010, 02:37 PM
I wonder where should I put my link to CAD/CAM Software or Utilites & Programs?
What's your opinion?

By the way I've tried to post answer to my thread in New Members but it have not showed. About your offer helping me with English. Could you check Gcodetools description that is situated here: http://www.cnc-club.ru/gcodetools for the mistakes. It's almost the same with that I've posted here but have some additional note about installing and etc... Thanks in advance :).