Thread: 3d design software for cncs?
not got my cnc machine yet but its on the cards
i was wondering if there is a software package that i can design wooden cabinets,tables in 3d then export it or even send it direct to the cnc for the panels to be cut for a sheet of laminated mdf?
You could design them in 3D something like Solidworks/google sketchup, but unless you especially need it in 3D I would stick with just drawing each panel in 2D. That way you can convert the 2D to gcode easily with something like CamBam free edition, which is what I use. 3D cad programs generally have facility to turn a 3D model into 2D drawings, but I think you will find that doesn't lend itself easily to importing into CAM software.
I've used Alibre (a cheap copy of solidworks) to design wardrobes. You create each component from a 2d view and extrude to the thickness of the sheet it's cut from. The resulting 3d components can then be assembled to form the thing you're making so you can check it all fits together. The 2d Views can be used in a CAM program like CamBam to cut them out (there is a program to transfer from Alibre to CamBam but it needs a bit of TLC to bring it up to date - I'm sure this could be sorted out if there was a demand).
If you know what shapes you want, CamBam has 2.5d CAD capabilities and is easy enough to learn - the free trial gives you 40 goes so it might be a good starting point.
There are solutions that will allow you to take a 3d model and generate code from them but they tend to be quite expensive - what sort of budget do you have for this?
There's loads of free CAD software here:
As for the CAM prgram, take a look at Delcam's ArtCAM program, Thier currently doing the express version for £99 online at the moment which is pretty amazing considering its a high quality piece of software from the world's leading CAM supplier!
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