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Design programs

793 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  WillAdams
I have an e4 cent router I bought from bobs cnc and I am having limited success with it. Can I get any suggestions for design software that I can use like the cricket software my wife uses. I have ideas for signs and carvings, but can't make them work with what I have access to.
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At the most basic level, you need something that will convert a vector drawing into g-code. Here are couple of free options.
Fusion 360-a full feature CAD and CAM program that allows you to draft and then machine your designs. It has a high learning curve and is free for hobby use with some limitations
Carbide 3D Create-This is Shapeoko's basic design software that they offer for free to everyone. I think that you can design (or import) and create the g-code needed to carve your designs. I have not used it but it seems to get fairly high reviews for basic functionality

In the not free area, I would look at Vectric Software's different options. They range from basic cutting to full blown 3D design. You can download a copy of any of them and try it free for 30 days. One nice thing about their pricing is that if you start with the most basic (Cut3D) and later decide you need features of of a more expensive package, you only pay the current difference in price between the one you have and the one you are upgrading to. I use their V-Carve Pro solution and it handles most of my needs because I do not do much 3D stuff.

BTW, have you looked at the Bob's CNC website to see what they offer? I don't know anything about it but they offer Estlcam? They also have Basic Cam which sounds like it might just create g-code from imported drawings?
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A free option is Carbide Create:

(ob. discl., I work for Carbide 3D)

There's an optional paid mode.
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