Tuesday, April 19, 2011

CAD CAM CNC routing workflow

After experimenting with many different programs for CAD (3D design) and CAM (turning that design into code for a CNC router), I've come up with a good workflow using easy and free tools:

The process that works for me is
  1. design a 3D model in Sketchup
  2. export the model to an STL file using the guitar-list.com plugin
  3. load that STL file into FreeMill
  4. generate the toolpath and post it to a G-code text file
  5. import the G-code into Mach3 and run it on the CNC machine
Hopefully this will be simple enough for students to start designing and cutting things.

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