What are the steps from design to cut?

Hello all

I am a novice to cnc and design. I do not have clear understanding of what software’s are required and for what purpose. i see inkscape, Fusion360, opendesk etc mentioned.
I am trying to understand what is the work flow most people use, e.g., design in software A, then export to software B then …

I am having difficulty wrapping my head around the process from design to cut.


You are not alone! Maslow uses the industry standard file types and protocols so there are literally thousands of programs you can use. We made videos about some common ones to help you understand what the process is like:

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short version:

design = create your objects in CAD

CAM = convert your CAD design to GCODE (Computer Aided Machining). This is where
you decide how the part will be cut.

cut = load your GCODE into ground control and go

now, as always, the devil is in the details.

some people do a 2d design in inkscape, the load the resulting .svg into
makercam (a web based cam software) and then load the resulting g-code into

some people use fusion360 to make a 3d design, and then use the CAM built in to
fusion 360 to create the gcode

some people design in one program, convert that program to svg, load the result
into makercam


first, find a CAD program you are comfortable in, then look to see what options
you have to go from there to the CAM step

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thank you guys this was really helpful.

I will be using Inkscape to do the design work.
i will be designing arabic designs similar to pattern in link.
These will be size of window frames.
material will be ply wood.

Since it is all 2D I can go from Inkscape --svg–> makercam —g-code-- > ground control —> run

another question
Will Maslow CNC will be able to cut out the white areas?


assuming you have a small enough bit, I would expect it to (remember, bits are round, they can’t cut sharp corners)

@dumguy, There is an alternative to MakerCam called Easel. http://easel.inventables.com
It is free once you signup. It has a nice feature where it will preview the cut design using router bits you select. Just upload your SVG, select the bit size (top left), and it will preview the quality of final cut.

Here is a sample project using 1/8 bit. Note that the left wing feathers (on left) are not cut (on right) because the router bit is too thick.


They can’t cut sharp inside corners. They can cut sharp outside corners.

thanks you and signed up

true, but if you look at what he was asking to cut, there are a LOT of small
inside corners in that design. :slight_smile:

David Lang

Looks like i have to manually make inside sharp corners.
Is there anything i can do during machining to make the
manual process easier?

I haven’t tried this myself. Before or after removing the bulk of the material, you could load a pointy bit with very shallow depth of cut just to mark lines where to go back and manually chisel out the corners. Whatever software creates your toolpath, tell it you have an impossibly narrow tool and you want an impossibly narrow chamfer. Gives a spot for the chisel to get started, or marks where to stop if using a coping saw to clean up the corners.

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Good idea.
@dumguy Fusion 360 gives you the option to use a larger bit initially, leaving corners for a smaller tool. Or just use a coping saw; that’s what I do.

I have not tried it yet but I got an 1/4 to 1/8 adapter for the router and some very fine engraving bits (0.8 - 3mm). I plan on using Fusion 360 to make multiple pass cuts with decreasing bit sizes as @WoodCutter4 said.

I have already used 1/8 bit on 1/2 oak which worked nicely.