View Full Version : NEW MEMBER: Newby with Software questions

16-03-2011, 04:12 PM
Hi everybody

Just joined today and have questions if anyone can help. I am in the process of building a CNC router, hopefully to make hobby stuff to augment my current income of zero but leading in the future to making guitars. I have designed my MDF router on solidworks and will use this for further designs, I have bought all of the mechanical parts from various places, so I'm at the stage where I need someone with a large router that can cut my components from 18mm sheet MDF, I'm guessing that sign makers are the best bet but would welcome any suggestions or help from the forum. Also, although I'm self taught but proficient at Solidworks, I don't know much about CAM sw to process my models into G-Code and I'll likely try Mach3 to drive my router at first to assess its suitability. I tried Freemill and could import an STL file, fiddle with settings and generate/simulate but it wouldn't post the g-code. Thanks in advance for any help.

17-03-2011, 09:50 AM
If you want someone to cut your parts you do not need to produce the Gcode you only need to supply a DFX file

Gcode is produced from CAM which has specific Post Processors to suit the machine being used to run the Gcode

When you want to get your machine running only ask a question as you come up to each hurdle as your more likely to get more replies that way. It's not something that can be learned in a short time.


17-03-2011, 11:27 AM
Hi Phil, thanks for the reply,

I understand that I just need to creat the model files to have my router components made, although if DXF is required here I will have a problem as I can only export from SW in STL or IGS formats, I'll have a look at this.

I am just trying to find out about CAM sw just now as I have time at present to learn how to use it.

Thanks, Stuart

18-03-2011, 12:19 AM

I could cut the parts for you. I've got plenty of 18mm MDF and plywood. I can easily fit 1.7m*0.6m on my CNC router, so anything up to that is fine. What sort of tolerances will you require?

If you send me a DXF that would be ideal, or I can convert the Solidworks file with a little effort.

PM me if you're interested.

I generally use CAMbam to convert from DXF to Gcode. You can do a lot with the free version with a bit of thinking.