Task #48

finding CAM software

Added by jcw over 4 years ago. Updated 21 days ago.

CNC - software
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For CAD, 2D design can be done with Inkspace, and 3D can be done with Sketchup - and others: FreeCAD, BRL-CAD, TurboCAD Mac.

But that’s just the design phase. The next step is generating “toolpaths” in the form of gcode.

With 2D, that’s fairly easy - same as for a laser cutter. But for 2.5 or 3D, the free and low-cost software out there is limited, especially for Linux or Mac.

Only ones I’ve found in a brief search:

  • CamBam €108 (40 free evaluation runs allowed) - Windows 2000 and up
  • HeeksCAD and HeeksCNC (CAM) - Win/Lin - both last updated Oct 2011


#1 Updated by david over 4 years ago

I've used DeskProto (€ 145, "": which is pretty decent but does not run in a Windows virtual machine.

A free alternative is "PyCam": . Development is slow, as is generating toolpaths. It's open source and can be used at no cost, so it might be worth spending some time on this and figuring it out.

#2 Updated by jcw over 4 years ago

Deskproto looks good - any idea why it can't be run inside a VM? Does it have some sort of protection?

#3 Updated by david over 4 years ago

Yes, it's a protective measure against piracy. I've contacted the seller/programmer directly (he's Dutch) and he told me there's no workaround. I generally do not like that sort of attitude, so my search for suitable open source CAM software continues.

#4 Updated by jcw over 4 years ago

  • Category set to CNC - software

#5 Updated by jcw 21 days ago

  • Status changed from New to Closed

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