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What software to design in?


#1

I have my maslowcnc set up. I cut all the frame pieces and am now ready to cut some projects.

I am a cad user and have designs in different cad programs, Fusion, Draftsight, AutoCad. I use these programs becuase I know them and can make things certain sizes.

I guess what I really need a step by step as to how to take a design I have and get it into gCode for ground control. I am not looking nessasarily for a file type converter, I think too much would be lost. But MakerCam is so basic with the shapes, inkscape is only a sheet of paper, easel has a small work spaced my ideas are to be cut from a whole sheet.

I guess I am just overwhelmed and this is my first foray into CNC and could really use some guidance. I have a desk design I have sketched out and would like to cut it on my Maslowcnc.

Thank you,
Zachariah


#2

the first thing to recognize is that design is CAD, and you can use whatever you
are comfortable in.

CAM is what converts the CAD to the toolpath that the machine needs (resulting
in g-code). It’s not a file type converter, you have to do things like tell it
what size bit you are using, how deep to make cuts, etc

fusion360 includes CAM functionality, so if you have your model in it, you can
just use that to create the gcode.

But MakerCam is so basic with the shapes

makerCam is designed to take 2d shapes, you shouldn’t use it for creation, just
to convert 2d stuff you’ve done in inkscape, easel, or autocad

inkscape is only a sheet of paper,
easel has a small work spaced my ideas are to be cut from a whole sheet.

you can set the work area to any size you want, you aren’t limited to the
default sizes.

I have a desk design I have sketched out and would like to cut it on my
Maslowcnc.

what program do you have it designed in?


#3

Fusion360 has built in gcode generation in it’s CAM module. It’s discussed here


#4

I have drawn it in draftsight and fusion360.


#5

My work flow right now goes like this.

  1. Design in OnShape
  2. Export a .dxf file of a 2D Drawing of all the parts
  3. Convert to .svg file in inkscape (Open, then save, that’s all)
  4. Open in MakerCAM and generate Gcode
  5. Cut

It’s a couple more steps than I’d like it to be. Fusion 360 lets you do it all in one, but I really like designing in OnShape, and I try to use MakerCAM because it’s the CAM program we recomend (and I really do like it, even if it is pretty simple)

Welcome, Good Luck, and let us know what questions you run into along the way!


#6

May I suggest that you install the free kiri:moto app, it lets you desig in
OnShape and then pick parts from your design and create the g-code for 3d
printing, milling, or laser cutting.

David Lang


#7

Thank you. I am downloading OnShape right now and kiri:moto.

Can any of these Gcode generators do different depth cuts from the same drawing.

Thank you


#8

Thank you. I am downloading OnShape right now and kiri:moto.

these aren’t downloads, they run directly in the browser.

Can any of these Gcode generators do different depth cuts from the same drawing.

I’m not sure what you mean, OnShape and Fusion360 create a 3D model and then cut
that out, so it cuts to whatever depth is appropriate for the model


#9

You can vary the cut depths within a project. For example, different depth pockets, variable depth vcarving, and even some 3D. The slow z axis will limit how much true 3D you can do, depending on how patient you are


#10

I have signed up for OnShape and will take a look at it tomorrow.

as for different depths, I was thinking of cutting out the shape with tabs and then cutting hidden mortises. Was wondering if this can all be done at once.

This might be answered when I jump into OnShape.

Thank you


#11

I am not worried about speed right now. I just want to learn how to CNC what I see in my mind.

Thank you for all the help,


#12

Probably not the correct place but when I try to open the DXF file in Inkscape it says failed to load requested file. is there a specific way to do this?

Thank you


#13

Try using import instead of open, open only works with svg files.


#14

I’ve had the opposite experience, I’ve found that open works more consistently than import for some reason. The dxf version also has to be R13 or earlier for inkscape to open it. Changing the DXF version is usually an option in the CAD program


#15

ok,

Now after reinstalling twice, I have it working. I can open in Inkscape. It opens not to scale. does that matter? should I convert it to the proper size?

Also, the origin (home) for the Maslow is in the center of the workspace, correct?


#16

I have been trying everything under the sun. If I import my dxf into inkscape I can get it to cam. Now I need to work on scaling it correctly.

Thank you!!!


#17

The home position of Maslow is in the center, but you can move it anywhere using the “define home” button.

The scaling issue is a tough one. This thread has the details of the system which is working for me: MakerCAM Frustrations

The general things to look out for are what the units of the document are
-is everything 25 times to big/small? If so that’s an inches->mm issue)
-is everything just slightly too big/small? If so it’s probably a resolution issue in makerCAM


#18

Might some refer to it as a 2.5d? If not, what is 2.5d?


#19

I’m not sure if there is a precise definition of 2.5D, but the gist is that it is somewhere between 2D and 3D. In the case of the Maslow, the fact that the z-axis has a very limited range, combined with the fact that the sled needs a surface to ride on means that you can’t do a full 3D. You’re not going to render a replica Mt. Rushmore from a block of maple with a Maslow.