Newbie - Software & Setup Workflow

Hey Mates.

Okay so i'm fresh meat.  Built my frame yesterday, waiting on my Malow kit to arrive (used purchased on this forum).  I've spent considerable time reading the forums in the last few weeks.  I am highly visual so i made the following Image.

2 primary questions:

  1. If i make a SOC (system on a chip) machine such as a raspberry Pi, cubieboard, etc my Dedicated Maslow computer, can i perform my CAD and CAM there. These would all be Linux distros.
  2. Any where i went wrong? Very happy to be correct before i get a mental image and go off of bad data.

Thank you in advance!

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On a RPi? Depends, simple signboards might work. For detailed workflow my approach is design on a seperate PC from an image -> inkscape -> freecad -> Maslow and for structural stuff freecad -> Maslow. Never used estlcam, so just a witness, for me estlcam issues have a high presence in this Forum.

Edit: If you try to make a g-code for this, you wait long on the RPi or it stalls…

what are the estlecam issues you refer to?

@C_Allen - I like your diagram. I use a rpi on the maslow and it resides there without a keyboard. I use a laptop to design stuff on the couch in the house and then send it to the rpi in the garage so the laptop stays in the house. I use coreldraw or inkscape for jpeg to svg, then carbide create or estlecam to gcode. Both have worked so far.


Lets say you got me nice on this one. Since my history search did not bring up evidence, it is not more than a feeling. Accept my apology please.

I’m trying to decide between estlecam and carbide create and I’ve cut a few things with each with the only issue being carbide create put a T command in that stalls webcontrol, but once edited, no problems so far with either. I wasn’t trying to call you on it. I wanted to learn what to watch out for.

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No hard feelings Buddy. Am with g-code for about 12 years now and tend to look for the ‘clean one’ created. Not found it yet, either because there is no standard, or everyone has their own. Post-processors do their own thing. Linux-cnc for 12 years on the desktop-cnc on a pentium 1 :slight_smile: (need to change that but it refuses to die).

I got the last resources together that i had for the night and put estlcam in the search-bar and sorted by latest. It shows allot, but allot could be recommendations. Will not run it via Wine on linux and will not discredit it for the reason of not being able to test it.

Well I may in the future go to a raspberry pi, it’s just as easy for me to put a decommissioned machine at my CNC and do RDP connection. I dug through the bone pile and found a core i7 with 16 gigs of RAM and a 256 solid state hard drive.

My experience with the military and hostile environments, I’ll in case this small form factor machine in pantyhose. That will prevent any large chips and the static will pick up small dust to prevent it from going in. I will have to clean the pantyhose periodically or change them but at $0.99 and you get about four uses that should last me forever and next to no cost.

@Orob thanks mate. I am a very visual person. If you are not opposed I wouldn’t mind adding some appendixes to your newbie guide/experience post. Well very comprehensive it would be great to add a few more pictures! Did you by chance post it in the wiki?

which guide? I’ve done a few… If it isn’t in there and you want to make the wiki post, please put it in there and make the changes, that would be great! I’m short on time now, but your contribution is more than welcome.


I like your diagram - and I stick my hand up to make a visual that covers the OS side of things. I have been lost in the reams of text and different pages for weeks. #newbie_too Would you like on that together?

Specific to the diagram I would do step 1-4 on a laptop and let Pi only do the G-code execution ( the headless Pi seems a good idea to get the PC/laptop out of the dust…

I shall look up some of the software you mention: the process from png/jpg/image to G-code still daunts me I am starting w inkscape 0.9 for now because it is free and runs local (no internet required).

Can you point me to "all your guides, please? Maybe I can make a graphic that links them?


There are several wiki guides, but many of the 101 simple guides are scattered across different user posts… I’ll send you a pm with links. These visuals would be very useful in the maslow manual wiki entry that discusses software and workflow, which is a section I have not quite finished.

Inkscape trace tool isn’t as easy to use as coreldraws trace but it works. My system lags badly if preview is enabled, so I usually trace the graphic a few times to get it right and that ends up being faster than waiting for the preview.


Check this one out:…/the-maslow-manual…/12368/

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