No free cnc software cant make sled

i cannot find any free cad software, all programs listed in previous posts are no longer free please help

onshape and fusion360 both have free options.

David Lang

I have used the free version of Fusion 360 for a couple of years. I recently moved over to the paid version because I needed the additional storage and support functionality. As far as I know the free version still exists for hobbyists and students. You will have to “apply” for the license but you’ll pretty much get it. You will also have to renew it as well.

It is a full fledged CAD/CAM package so there is functionality that the home jobber will probably never use. However, I can say that going through the struggle to learn it has been worth it for me. Autodesk has also released a Maslow post processor for it so generating the G-Code is easy as you can do it directly from the CAM side of the CAD software. You don’t have to muck around with any other tools.

I will try this tonight, thank you for the advice. I tried vcutpro and it was nice, but 600 is alot for software imo. The program let’s you get all the way to saving the g code and then you hit the pay wall.

Easel, from Inventables, and Carbide Create from Carbide3D both have free versions that have been relatively easy for beginners to use. Both provide CAD and CAM functions, and are much simpler than Fusion 360.

From what I’ve tried, Easel doesn’t let you import files from outside sources, ill try Carbide 3d. Fusion 360 defiently isn’t as easy to use as the paid programs so far.

I second onshape, plus kirimoto add-on. This one is really good piece of software and you can use it on mobile devices for designing. Add-on have to be used on PC if I remember correctly. Workflow is similar to SOLIDWORKS. There is a lot of helpful tutorials and forums with helpful people. For some there can be one disadvantage that with free subscription your projects go public.

OpenBuilds CAM Gcode Creator - Public Beta might be worth looking at.
maslow should be fine with generic grbl.

When you say

Easel doesn’t let you import files from outside sources

what are you trying to import that isn’t working for you?

If you are trying to cut a sled as your subject indicates, it is fairly much 2.5D.
For that, I would suggest using Easel and either design the whole thing there or import the sled SVG that used to be available.

I finally got the sled cut, turns out you have to adjust your z axis pitch if you aren’t using the rigid router, took me a bit of digging to figure this out, didn’t see anything about it in the build instructions. I thinking about writing a setup manual for people new to CNC, I feel like none of the other write ups are clear enough, and personal I had to go through several build guides, and forum posts just to be able to cut the final sled. At this point I’m just trying to find a good software to design in, I will keep trying the free programs, but it seems although vectric products may be worth the money for ease of use.

TLDR: Have sled cut now just (z axis pitch) just looking for a good program to design in now.

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I am using FreeCAD for both CAD and CAM. I am new to CNC work and just completed my first successful build using my M2 and FreeCAD. I used FreeCAD for everything, the design and drawing work as well as the CAM work to generate the G-Code. I had initially tried to use Easel and an SVG file, but that combination did not provide me with enough options for what I want to accomplish with the Maslow.

Within FreeCAD I was able to successfully add Dogbones and Tags to path with a high level of control regarding the size, shape, and placement of these features. It was nice to keep the project self contained and then generate the gcode file and upload it directly to the Maslow.

There was a bit of a learning curve, but it wasn’t too bad.

LibreCad is free and has nice features. much better than FreeCad in my opinion.

If you just need profile shapes you can make them easily using SketchUp. I designed the ramp transitions for a 12x20 skate ramp and cutout 3 sheets of plywood. (2 trainsition slopes per sheet).

SketchUp | Jays Custom Creations (This is not my site but here is the free SketchUp 8 download and tutorials)

LibreCAD is only 2D (I think) FreeCAD had a post for Maslow and is 3D. there are lots of videos on youtube if you need help.

If you need 3d then yes Freecad has that but it does not always see all of the layers or just misses a line when I bring in a drawing from AutoCad that I have done.

if you happen to have a .edu email account you can get tons of free software. Easel also has a 1month free trial.

Do sled by hand.
Print on paper in 1:1 scale. Glue it to wood. Cut.

Assembly sled. Then Cut it using maslow. Realize… you made it better by yo hand.

can you export the drawing into an svg and use estlcam or carbide create to make the gcode? I find the cad programs take way too much time to do the simplest of operations and I don’t need all the overhead of 3d. I use coreldraw, which isn’t free, but it works well since we are only doing 2.5D. I’m not sure how to convert what you have though. I have had issues with freecad crashing so nothing I’ve drawn on that has gotten to the point of cutting with Maslow, though I think having that as a possible tool to use would be very empowering. But I also don’t make cabinets either and so the CAD route may ultimately be the best option for you. There has to be a way to convert your drawings so you don’t lose the lines in the transfer…

I posted a few responses ago that I did get it to cut through, it was a z axis pitch issue. I’m just leaving this up for any other people who run into that issue, or are having a hard time finding usable free software, I believe the list we have from responses has more programs then the actual thread listing free programs. I appreciate everyone’s contributions, and I’ll pit down which program I liked best once I can do some more testing.