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Another Newbie question - what's Design software has lowest learning curve?

I’m looking to use fairly simplistic 3D modelling software so don’t need anything at all sophisticated as I’m just using my Maslow to cut fairly simple MDF cabinet shapes with the odd curve. So the software will really just be to check measurments and make sure things fit together and then interface ultimately with Ground Control.

Any suggestions on what software to look at that won’t make my eyes bleed?


It’s not the lowest learning curve there is, but it’s not too hard if you keep to the relevant parts: Fusion360

The sketch environment is pretty much what you describe (you can enter your measurements as constraints, and your design will auto-update if you change these). Once done with the sketch, you simply extrude to the thickness of your plywood to get a solid part.

The CAM environment is a bit harder to learn (simply because there are a lot of options), but there is a simulation mode that lets you see what the machine will do. Focus on the “2D Contour” and “2D Pocket” operations for now, that’s pretty much all you need with a Maslow anyway.

I found Easel to be the easiest but it is limited in design capability compared to Fusion 360. Easel plays very well with the Maslow. You can get going in Easel very rapidly.

I eventually learned Fusion 360 but still use Easel more if you only need 2D shapes.

Fusion 360 is better for creating a large number of shapes in a linear fashion, or in circular path.

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I agree fully about Easel being a good on-ramp to CAD/CAM. For what it does, it does well with a relative simplicity. Easy to outgrow, but it will help you determine what you like to make and if Fusion360 is your path forward or something else. For me it has been Vectric VCarve which is pricey, but perfectly meets my needs.

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For simple 2D CAD I recommend QCAD. It’s old school, but works just as you would expect. Use QCAD to draw your parts, then DXF2GCODE to convert them to G-code for Maslow.

Fusion 360 is not free, so watch out for that.

Hobbyist license for fusion 360 is free (non-commercial). The CAM cababilities of Fusion 360 are worth the trouble to get familiar with it.

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Easel - by a mile. The best, no - Fusion 360 is where I landed, but your question was easiest :wink:

Start by starting!