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CNC Software programs

Discussion in 'CNC Routing & Laser Cutting' started by zigns62, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. zigns62

    zigns62 Member

    Apr 13, 2007
    I got that itchy hand feeling for a CNC router set up. Question on the software. How hard is to to operate and learn the software. I know Adobe, Corel and others will this help me on how to set up the cutting program for the CNC? I'm still looking around.
    Thanks for your Input
  2. Pro Signs & Graphix

    Pro Signs & Graphix Very Active Member

    Apr 18, 2006
    The learning curve can be quite steep. If you are accustomed to Adobe & Corel, your easiest avenue will be via Cadlink or SAI packages (I prefer Cadlink). This would keep you from having to spend lots of time learning the usual CAD and CAM programs.
  3. Kottwitz-Graphics

    Kottwitz-Graphics Very Active Member

    Sep 25, 2006
    Ridgely, MD
    I don't know that the learning curve will be that bad. Everyone learns programs at different rate.

    I have a Gerber Router, and I use the Artpath software. Its all pretty much point and click. The trick is to doule check your rout paths prior to sending to the router.

    I have also used Enroute, years ago.

    Are you thinking of a router with 3-d? I personallly don't have any experience with those.
  4. zigns62

    zigns62 Member

    Apr 13, 2007
    For right now I just want to do Sentra,foam letters and MDF lettering, as I learn more I like to get into the 3D.
  5. SebastienL

    SebastienL Active Member

    Jul 14, 2008
    I use Type 3, but then again, I do "3D" stuff. You might want to shop around for software. You want to consider what type of work you want to do with your router first. And get the appropriate software. I know there are a lot of shareware type applications out there, so you don't have to spend a lot of money for software.

    On the other hand, if you know illustrator, your halfway there. I do all my layouts in Illy, save my files as .eps and import them in Type 3. Illy can export in dxf and dwg , wich are standard "cad" files that can be open by all cad or cam software.

    As for programming itself, the process usually consist of associating an operation (cut, pocket, drill...) to a vector path (be it from autocad or illy) with a particular tool with associated feeds & speeds.

    It gets a bit more complicated with 3D stuff.

    :Canada 2:
  6. zigns62

    zigns62 Member

    Apr 13, 2007
    Thanks for the info.
  7. Jackpine

    Jackpine Major Contributor

    Cadlink, ProfileLab.
  8. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

    Jun 24, 2003
    very steep learning curve,, and you will spend money on training. And you will have a few head crashes thta will cost you as well. Its not may,, its ,, you will.

    Good luck..
  9. simso

    simso New Member

    Dec 8, 2008
    I have a home made cnc router, and have tried out numerous programs, the best and easiest is a program called vcrave from vetric, if you want to do 3d modelling then vcraves aspire package, "not cheap though the aspire package".

    Vcarve allows you to import draw trace merge weld you name it and ouput directly to the machine

    Highly recommended
  10. ksc

    ksc Member

    Dec 29, 2007
    #What kind of router do you have??/ Thanks Dennis ksc
  11. simso

    simso New Member

    Dec 8, 2008
    Here she be, home built with a 1/2 router fitted

    Attached Files:

  12. J.D. Iles

    J.D. Iles Member

    Oct 29, 2008
    I would take a serious look at ShopBot. It is the router we have (Lincoln Sign Company) and it is a great balance between a "do-it-yourself" router and a really, really expensive router.

    If I needed another router, and God came to the door and said I could have any router I wanted for free, I would get another ShopBot.

    The other thing that is great is they have so many software options (including software that is included WITH the router when you buy it)

    Take a look,

    J.D. Iles
  13. We've had a AXYZ router for just over 10 years. Never had to purchase a service contract. As a matter of fact, AXYZ discouraged us from doing so, telling us we could call them anytime and that they would figure out what was wrong, then send us the parts to change. To this day, they have been true to their word. No major problems and we can still pick the telephone up and get support to any question or problem. These are built to last. We have the 4008 model and it has done everything we have ever needed it to do. Their website is: http://www.axyz.com/
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2009
  14. 3dsignco

    3dsignco Active Member

    Feb 19, 2007
    My shopbot is over 8 years old now and still works great.. I just overhauled it last year with a new Controller box. The newer Gecko drives.. We use AC. Very steep learning curve. There are some other programs out there that are good and Lot less priced and will do just about everything you want. If your just going to do Cutouts the stock software that comes with the SB is good.

    We are finally gonna build a new table for ours and I am going to make into a 5x10 machine.
  15. BlueRidgeFabrication

    BlueRidgeFabrication Active Member

    May 11, 2007
    Gotta say, we love our ShopBot! My husband has worked on several CNC tables that were MUCH more expensive, and he likes the ShopBot best and hasn't had any real problems with it.

    As far as software goes, there is going to be a learning curve no matter what you get, but as long as you are willing to put in some time and effort--owning a table that works like it should is worth it's weight in gold.

    If you ever want to talk more about CNC tables & software, feel free to shoot Larry an email at design@blueridgefabrication.com and he will be more than happy to share his experiences with the different tables/programs he has worked with.

  16. synergy_jim

    synergy_jim Very Active Member

    we have a multicam w/ the vision registration system and 8 tool changer. Do not underestimate the value and time savings of a tool changer....

    It runs with enroute cam software and I absolutely love it!

    if we stay on pace, we'll do enough business with this thing to pay for it in 6 months!!!!
  17. jlperez2k8

    jlperez2k8 New Member

    Jun 5, 2009
    If you know Adobe Illustrator it will be ease for you. I'm uning illustrator and Enroute 4
  18. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

    Sep 24, 2004
    AXYZ here too - 2d stuff is super simple with their program (tpwin) -
  19. encadtech

    encadtech Member

    Sep 8, 2008
    Higganum CT
    VCarve from vectric is the easiest way to go. You will be cutting in 15 minutes if you follow the tutorials. Having built my machine as well- I am running Mach3 for the CGODE engine and use Vcarve, Cut3d, and Photocarve. This is alot easier than running Enroute. I also use VIACAD3D to create my 3D .stl files to carve my 3D objects. Happy cuttin
  20. Biker Scout

    Biker Scout Very Active Member

    Jan 24, 2008
    Las Vegas
    VCarve or Aspire from Vectric.com

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