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Good CAD / CAM package for "flat-pack" parts, boats?

Hi all,

So I’ve been using Fusion360 for most of my needs with the Maslow, but it feels a little clunky when you want to design 3d parts from 2d parts, especially when they have to interlock. I end up having to design all the interlocking features myself, with essentially no help from the computer except maybe adding dogbones with a 3rd party “script” in F360. The CAM part works pretty well, though.

Now I’m starting to get into more complex shapes like boats and I have absolutely no idea how to get started designing that in Fusion360.

I’m thinking that this is absolutely not a unique problem, so surely it has already been solved by someone, right? Is there a more “specialized” software I can use, or just some F360 features I don’t know about? Boat designers, what’s your workflow?

I’m working on building a maslow specific CAD program. It’s taking a long time, but it is in the works.


Could you post some example cuts and point out the difficulties? For “flat-pack” design you usually just make a 2D design and add depth (3rd dimension) via the cutting depth (z-axis). Which would be classic “2 1/2 D Design”?! If thats it, i recommend CamBam which also can do auto “dog-boning” and can add “tabs” automatically which you can manually move after auto placement :slight_smile:

Drawback is that its very slow under Linux.

Hi @bar, hope all is well, When you say:

is the program ready to be used? if so where do I go to use or download, ever since makercam is no longer useable I haven’t been using my cnc, that was the only program i used for gcode.

2 examples:

  • Last summer I designed & cut a table. This was mostly fine; it involved drawing everything (tops & legs) as sketches & extruding it by whatever thickness my plywood was. The annoying part was designing “tabs” so that they all fit together. The technique I used was to design my tabs myself as part of the sketches, and use the extruded body as a “tool” to cut into the other body where I wanted slots. Adding dogbones after that was a very annoying process.
  • In the near future, I’d like to design a “cab” for my small tractor / riding lawnmower. I hooked a snowblower behind it, and the current cab I have was built by the snowblower’s previous owner for a different tractor so the fit isn’t great (it’s also very heavy). This design will involve compound curves, as I’d like the thing to be narrower near the top, in a smooth curve. This is a very similar problem to designing boats.

So I guess what I’m really after is a CAD program that will:

  • Help with interlocking features
  • Allow me to extract flat shapes from curved surfaces (think the bottom & sides of a small boat)

So the problem is the correct placement for interconnecting dog-bone joints so they actually interlock?
When it comes to creating the overcuts/dog-bones, CamBam has built-in function for this and there are add-on scripts for this for other popular 3D packets like autocad. But i dont know of any software which will test if the interlocking works. I think you need to do this “manual” by using “helper lines” like in this example:

This is the drawing for a simple bench from an online tutorial.


You might want to check for a 3D software which offers a “slicer” like you need it for making parametric furniture and look for tutorials like this:

Otherwise its 2 1/2 D with helper lines, i guess. But then i am not an expert on the topic :slight_smile:


Not really, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try! It’s free after all. It’s live at I’m responding on my phone right now, but when I get to a computer I will post a quick introduction.

Create helps with interlocking features. When you join two parts in an assembly they automatically generate holes where they intersect.

Yes! This doesn’t work yet, but it’s in the roadmap. Unfortunately I think that rhino is the only program which can do this right now. I will have an “unfold” feature for 3d shapes soon though.

That’s pretty interesting, but while you’re here I have a bug report for you: I’ve never been able to log in with Maslow Create. I’ve authorized the app with Github, but it just opens & closes the authorization popup and I’m still stuck at the login screen.

I’ve got 2-factor authentication on my Gihub account, and I also have the uMatrix extension on Chrome (but I’ve authorized everything from

Here’s a screenshot of the Javascript console

Capture d’écran, le 2021-03-18 à 13.26.16

Interesting, I haven’t seen that before. Thanks for pointing it out.

It will be a little bit tricky for me to fix since I can’t replicate it, but I’ve updated the page with a first attempt at defining worker-src which might do it.

Will you try again now?

Thanks. I managed to get it working; it was my uMatrix extension. When I disabled it, login worked properly. However, it’s asking me to re-login every time I refresh the page even with the extension disabled, is that normal? If so, I suspect it’s linked to my issue. I can usually log in without any problems on other websites, it seems like your OAuth implementation is slightly different than “normal”.

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Hmmm maybe. Is it making you enter your username and password every time, or just press the login button?

Just the “Login with Github” button; when I click it there’s a popup but since I’m already logged in to Github and the app is authorized, it closes immediately.

Got it, that’s just the way it workes right now. I should probably be checking to see if you are already logged in when you hit the main page, but there are still a lot of core bugs to fix before I’ll get there :pensive:

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Oh yeah, I can definitely understand that, don’t worry! Keep up the good work!

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