New To CAD ....Open to Suggestions


I’m new to the Maslow forums as I have just ordered my unit (due to ship in June).

From what I have read I understand there are multiple software options to accommodate design, file conversion and gcode creation.

With that being said the Maslow’s recommended workflow starts with design in OnShape, and although I am fairly savvy with computers…I am new to the design world, and will need to learn design software.

When researching within the OnShape learning center…it says that Mandatory Prerequisites: Proficiency in parametric 3D CAD systems. This is something I do not have.

Is there a specific version of CAD or better yet a specific training course/path that I should look at to get started?


There isn’t really an easier CAD system than onshape, but it may seem like another world if you have never done any 3D cad before. But there are many youtube videos on how to do designs on onshape, that should get you started. But the basic workflow is you create 2d sketch, then extrude to 3d shape, and repeat for various features.


I think Sketchup is the easiest but is limiting with precision and complex drawings. When I just want to knock something out quick Sketchup is my go to.

Personally I’m probably going to start playing around with freeCAD. You know, just to complicate things.


What is it that you want to do with the Maslow? Are you looking to model things in 3D then cut the parts out on the Maslow to assemble it, 2-D only designs (cutout shapes, engravings, etc.) or a combination?


I think that is a great question.


I think a reasonable approach for me starting out with the Maslow would be 2D designs and engravings to cut them out.
Eventually I would love to gain the skills to do 3D modeling and then cut out the parts for assembly…I have to think that takes more advance skills to be able to develop cut paths etc.

For some of my first projects I’d like to engrave features on and cut out state maps …something simple. Possibly make some logos like the Maslow logo for example.

I’ll check out Sketchup…thanks for the reply

I’ve used sketchup for 3D (though I now use Fusion360), but I wouldn’t recommend it for 2D. Look at a simple 2D cad or drawing program. I’m sure many people can recommend one. I primarily use Visio because I have it, but inkscape is also an alternative (and sometimes I go from Visio to inkscape to clean up the svg Visio outputs and then to makercam).

You can also do drawings in makercam directly… so if you have an svg of a map, then load that into makercam and work with it.


I use a program called Draftsight. Its a free 2D software that isnt very complicated and has the potential to do quite alot with lines, angles, shapes, and tons of other stuff.
my main functions that I use are line, copy, trim, circle, and mirror. play around with it a bit. it can be frustrating but once you get the hang of it, its super easy.

that software can export your file to an svg file that I then stick into to produce Gcode.

scaling can sometimes be weird when importing into makercam but I just scale it accordingly.

try this!


I’m a Draftsight user. I really like it. For 2D work, it’s about as good as it gets for free. In fact I’m working on a manufacturing plant layout right now.

On a mac, I’ve used LibreCAD in the past with some success.


A really good free 3D Cad Program is Creo Elements. They offer video tutorials and in program tutorials.


Download this free 3D CAD software and create assemblies with up to 60 unique parts. Use it as long as you like. Once you’ve registered and downloaded the software, it’s yours to use indefinitely.

It can be found here:

I use to use this all time until I needed a much bigger program to handle my +60 part assemblies. I would think that you could export the parts into a format that could be used in MakerCam. Hope this helps.


I use FreeCAD, It has a lot of youtube videos and great support for the assembly2 workench.


what software do you guys use to go from .svg file to Gcode?
I use makercam but have heard about other programs like jscut and easel.
Im looking for something new and more powerful that I can use offline for free…too much to ask? :smiley:
Any suggestions?

Good that you asked! I never searched till date but interesting stuff out there like

if you are thinking in terms of devlopign cut paths, you are in the wrong

model what you want to have, and let the software create the cut paths to cut it

you have to take into account the limits of your machine, but if you model a 3D
object made of sheets of plywood, the sytem will create all the cut paths for

take a look at the ‘kitchen helper’ thread and the onshape document (clone it
and tinker with it to experiment)

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