In response to the needs of the community, this guide was made as part of a response to one of the most frequently asked questions by new CNC users: What software do I use, and where do I get it?
As an open source platform running GRBL, our CNC's can be used by a vast variety of different programs in combination in the following workflow:
- Designing a Project: This is done primarily through CAD (Computer Aided Design) or 2D vector based software such as Adobe Illustrator, Aspire or InkScape.
- Generating Toolpaths: This is done by CAM (Computer Aided Machining) software, which takes the design you created and, via toolpaths, allows you to carve your project from a larger piece of "Stock" material, and export these toolpaths in a form that your CNC can understand, called "G-Code"
- Running G-Code: Taking the exported code from the last step, you run it either by your offline controller, or by CNC controller software on your computer, such as Candle.
The software we are highlighting today is Autodesk Fusion 360 for use with your CNC, a free Integrated CAD and CAM package, which conveniently lets you design your project and generate the gcode all in one place. Even better, it is free to download and use for educational and hobby purposes.
Things you may need to utilize this guide:
Take a look here for the full guide and let us know what you think in the comments below!