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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am totally lost. I am versed in the use of 3D printers. I just added a cnc machine to my stable. So its built, etc, but I cannot figure how to take a design I want to make and make it on the cnc machine. Can anyone please help?
John
 

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I use VCarve Pro. Others use Fusion360 (free license). Design your project, then save the file with the appropriate file extension for your cnc.

Check You Tube for either of the software packages. Lots of tutorials for the Vectric Vcarve products.
Hope this helps.
 

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There is a very steep learning curve in design. The actual projection of a part is simple compared to the design. I have a "Startup License" for Fusion 360 and it is a great program. The learning curve for using Fusion 360 is moderately steep provided you have some background in design. If you have no background in design then Fusion 360 is not intuitive and not easy to master. There are several Free CAD/CAM programs like Carbide 3d Carbide Create and the Inventables Easel. These are more elemental programs but are free and you can get your feet wet. Both Carbide Create and Easel are targeted at their respective machines the Shapeoko and XCarve. So they will output gcode but depending on what machine you have it may not run properly. The higher end pay programs by Vetric and others have post processors that tune the gcode to your particular machine. There are several open source (free) CAD/CAM applicaitons available on the internet.

Youtube has many tutorials for applicators as well as design advise.

So logically you need to figure out what you are going to make, watch tutorials about your particular interest, look for a suitable application to use then do tutorials on those applications.

I will not sugar coat it it is a lot of wark to learn all of these new subjects. Just take small steps and soon you will be off and running.
 

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One of our CNC experts not long ago wrote a book for CNC beginners. He goes by Gaffboat (Oliver) and writes as Prof. Henry. Get it at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Newbies-Guid...sor+Henry+CNC&qid=1563858132&s=gateway&sr=8-1 He walks you through the process pretty well.

I also wrote a piece on making money with a CNC and attached it for your information. I taught marketing as part of my consulting 35 years of consulting.
 

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Mike
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John you need some kind of design (CAD) software to draw the design and then you will need a CAM program to output the gcode to cut the project.

There are combination programs that do both CAD and CAM.

Fusion 360 is free and is CAM/CAD so you can do it all but it does have a large learning curve.

For hobby use, I recommend Vectric software and start with Cut 2D and as your needs grow you can upgrade to VCarve or aspire for the difference in the price of the two. Of course you do have to pay for these.

You also need a control program for your CNC machine. What control program does your CXNC use?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi. I have several 3d printers and I know how to make designs and print them very well. So I decided to purchase an inexpensive cnc machine for small items: keychains, etc. I have Inkscape, Corel Draw 2017, I use Tinkercad also. So I get the machine but am stuck on loading a design on it. Grblcontrol is the software that came with the cnc machine.

John
 

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David - Machinist in wood
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Mike "You also need a control program for your CNC machine. What control program does your CXNC use?" what do you mean by cxnc use?

John
My guess is that's a typo and should simply read 'CNC'.

Welcome to the forum btw, John! Add your first name to your profile to clear the N/a in the side panel.

David
 

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Mike "You also need a control program for your CNC machine. What control program does your CXNC use?" what do you mean by cxnc use?

John
That is a typo should have been CNC
 

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John you might check out this software if you are looking for free. It is a basic level design software for grbl based hobby machines machine and is free for the basic version.
 

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Hi. I have several 3d printers and I know how to make designs and print them very well. So I decided to purchase an inexpensive cnc machine for small items: keychains, etc. I have Inkscape, Corel Draw 2017, I use Tinkercad also. So I get the machine but am stuck on loading a design on it. Grblcontrol is the software that came with the cnc machine.

John

You need CAM software to take your designs and create toolpaths, and export G-code for GRBL.
 
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