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  1. #1
    dudz's Avatar
    Lives in Bretagne, France. Last Activity: 20-05-2017 Has been a member for 4-5 years. Has a total post count of 256. Received thanks 1 times, giving thanks to others 50 times.
    I have bought a Used 3 axis CNC/router. I am going to use the 2.2kw Chinese Spindle and VFD.

    Please can someone advise me to which 2D design software to use with Mach3 ? I would also like to use free online Cad files to make stuff too, so I guess I need software that converts these files to G code ?
    Please bear with me, I am new to CNC/router software.

    I want to mill small pieces of Alu and wood and engrave some work.

  2. #2
    this seems to be the one area thats lacking both discussions and tutorials... how do u get your drawing down and then transfer it to your machine???

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by dudz View Post
    I have bought a Used 3 axis CNC/router. I am going to use the 2.2kw Chinese Spindle and VFD.

    Please can someone advise me to which 2D design software to use with Mach3 ? I would also like to use free online Cad files to make stuff too, so I guess I need software that converts these files to G code ?
    Please bear with me, I am new to CNC/router software.

    I want to mill small pieces of Alu and wood and engrave some work.
    I started using V-Carve pro which has a free download and virtual code run, to see what it will make in three Dee, as for Mach3 i just made lots of files to get the part i needed and once i was satisfied i Bought the sorfware, best thing i ever did... easy to learn how to use it ...you tube tutorials.. Magic..

    Rick
    Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other - Abe Lincoln

  4. #4
    If you're after free software then for 2.5D machining and engraving then CAMbam free edition is pretty good. You'll be able to import drawings from most programs into it since it accepts .dxf format.
    For more complicated 3D parts your options are more limited, CNC Toolkit is one which can do just about anything (3D models, V-carving etc) but isn't the easiest to use.

    To control the machine LinuxCNC is excellent and contrary to popular belief, is no longer hard to configure. If you need help with any of these programs just ask...
    Old router build log here. New router build log here. Lathe build log here.
    Electric motorbike project here.

  5. #5
    Did you get my PM Wilfy? Can't speak for dedicated cnc stuff but any design program like corel or illustrator will produce vector files which can be exported as a dxf file. A cam program such as cambam or lazycam to produce the gcode & then mach3 to run the g code which the machine understands. Depends what you want to do really, some software is really easy to use other software is more difficult to learn but is far more versatile. Jonathan says there is a free version of cambam & lazycam is free from arcsoft but don't think there is that much support for it so you may be on your own learning how to use it.

  6. #6
    If you want to do your own drawings then Draftsight is free and almost as good as AutoCAD.
    Neil...

    Build log...here

  7. #7
    Students and some other people can get a free version of autocad:
    Autodesk Education Community
    Old router build log here. New router build log here. Lathe build log here.
    Electric motorbike project here.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by njhussey View Post
    If you want to do your own drawings then Draftsight is free and almost as good as AutoCAD.
    Yes but how easy is it to learn & are there tutorials available for it Neil, I'm lucky in that I can just use my signmaking software so that's at least one thing i won't have to learn lol.
    Suppose it is down to each individual but personally I am prepared to pay a reasonable price for software if it comes with the right support especially if it is going to be used to make money.

  9. #9
    I did a Mech Eng degree so used Autocad and this is pretty similar (although they do call some functions different things) but if you've go no experience then, as with anything I guess, it can be a bit of a steep learning curve. It's by the people who do Solidworks and there are tutorials on the web, they do a 186 page getting started PDF which does what it says on the tin!

    DraftSight Functionality Tutorial Videos - Dassault Systèmes

    http://www.3ds.com/fileadmin/PRODUCT...RTED-GUIDE.pdf
    Neil...

    Build log...here

  10. #10
    Nearly newbies view so far .... 2/2.5D toolpath generation, CamBam is pretty good, full flavour version runs for 40 starts before needing purchase , but will sit miinmised happily.

    Inkscape is free vector based drawing with good inbuilt bitmap tracing from Portrace

    Inkscape. Draw Freely.

    DXF export improved with

    Big Blue Saw - Big Blue Saw's DXF Export For Inkscape

    Engraving and V Carving F-Engrave:

    http://home.comcast.net/~sskroch/Fengrave/fengrave.html

    For more engineering drawing, ViaCad 2D/3D,not free , good DXF export in 2d and Sketchuo style push/pull tool for 3D

    ViaCAD 2D/3D | Consumer CAD Software | PunchCAD

    Site worth looking around

    cnc4free.org homepage

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