CNC Applications (Recommended Freeware)

All types of topics and discussions can be found here.

CNC Applications (Recommended Freeware)

Postby Sparky » Thu Feb 10, 2011 11:57 pm

For CNC on a tight budget, here's a complete, no cost (FREE) CAD, CAM, Controller package:

CAD - Google Sketchup http://sketchup.google.com/download.html
Google Sketchup plugin - DXF or STL file export http://www.guitar-list.com/files/sjp_to_dxf.rb

CAM - Google Sketchup plugin - Phlatscript Gcode generator.
Review, info, forum and download links here: http://sketchuppluginreviews.com/2010/04/30/phlatscript-google-sketchup-plugin-review/

Controller - EMC2 (Enhanced Machine Control) runs on Linux in real time, but hold on, EMC2 can be loaded onto a Windows PC in dual boot mode so that the same PC can be used for all operations whether under Linux or Windows operating systems. A somewhat more convenient alternative would be to press an older PC or notebook into operation as a dedicated Linux controller connected to the Zen CNC driver.
Note that in addition to using imported 2D gcode files from Sketchup or other applications, EMC2 can generate gcode from imported graphics files such as .jpg, .png, etc. for 3D carving and stunning lithophanes. Depth of carving is selectable based on the image's shades of gray, i.e. black = deepest cut, white = Z home, or vice-versa.
EMC webpage: http://www.linuxcnc.org/

Manual jogging in EMC2 with an inexpensive USB game joypad:
http://wiki.linuxcnc.org/emcinfo.pl?A_New_Approach_For_Using_Joypads_With_EMC2
User avatar
Sparky
Forum Moderator
 
Posts: 402
Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 7:12 pm
Location: Texas
Zen Model: Zen 0712 (Ext. Mod)

Re: FREE Complete CNC Applications (not trial)

Postby calexander » Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:55 am

Adding to the list of free applications...

PCB_GCode: http://www.pcbgcode.org/
Enter the Software area...

If you're designing circuit boards and working in Eagle demo or professional version, John Johnson from Artisoft and John Johnson Software, LLC. has built a plug-in for Eagle that does a great job converting your Eagle board design into ready-to-use GCode. I use it for many of my circuit designs that I etch into 6"x4"x3m double-sided copper clad blanks. At the risk of sounding like its marketing manager... the functionality and quality of its output puts this application in the same classification any other high-priced product. To John I must say - "Thanks for sacrificing all of that development time and then offering open source to the community! The application is fantastic!"
User avatar
calexander
Zen Toolworks Official
 
Posts: 489
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:53 am
Location: Ephrata, Pennsylvania, USA
Zen Model: More than one
Other CNC Info: 0707 1212 3DP

Re: FREE Complete CNC Applications (not trial)

Postby roller » Wed Mar 09, 2011 8:15 pm

Found HeeksCNC today:

http://www.heeks.net/

It offers basic CAD and CAM kind of like CamBam. I have not tried it but seems you can do 2D and 3D drawing and profiling.

There are a collection of unofficial tutorials on YouTube (if you can hear this guy with the really soft voice) and some positive feedback on CNCZone.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idV54AqNbPo&feature=related

If anyone has time to try and give feedback to the forum that would be great.
User avatar
roller
Forum Moderator
 
Posts: 474
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:54 pm
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Zen Model: Zen 0712 (Ext. Mod)

Re: FREE Complete CNC Applications (not trial)

Postby DaveK » Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:41 pm

For those of us who think in code, OpenSCAD is a nice, free, opensource, option for CAD:

http://www.openscad.org/

For machine control via parallel port TurboCNC (without source) is available for free. Runs in DOS, so it is fast on even ancient hardware. It is light on features relative to Mach3 and EMC2, but easy to set up and use (provided you remember how to make DOS/Win98 work).
User avatar
DaveK
Normal User
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:52 pm
Zen Model: Zen 0707
Other CNC Info: 7x7 3D

Re: FREE Complete CNC Applications (not trial)

Postby Sparky » Fri Mar 11, 2011 4:55 pm

I just previewed Siemen's Solid Edge Free 2D. Impressive. It's a full fledged CAD program and all they seem to require for download (429MB) is contact info.
http://www.plm.automation.siemens.com/en_us/products/velocity/solidedge/free2d/index.shtml
User avatar
Sparky
Forum Moderator
 
Posts: 402
Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 7:12 pm
Location: Texas
Zen Model: Zen 0712 (Ext. Mod)

Re: FREE Complete CNC Applications (not trial)

Postby Yahma » Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:24 am

I tried out HeeksCAD and the HeeksCNC plugin, and I can say that I highly recommend this combo. HeeksCAD is easy to use, has Windows and Linux versions and is completely free and feature packed.

roller wrote:Found HeeksCNC today:

http://www.heeks.net/

It offers basic CAD and CAM kind of like CamBam. I have not tried it but seems you can do 2D and 3D drawing and profiling.

There are a collection of unofficial tutorials on YouTube (if you can hear this guy with the really soft voice) and some positive feedback on CNCZone.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idV54AqNbPo&feature=related

If anyone has time to try and give feedback to the forum that would be great.
User avatar
Yahma
New User
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:22 am
Zen Model: Zen 0707

Re: FREE Complete CNC Applications (not trial)

Postby calexander » Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:31 pm

Sparky wrote:I just previewed Siemen's Solid Edge Free 2D. Impressive. It's a full fledged CAD program and all they seem to require for download (429MB) is contact info.
http://www.plm.automation.siemens.com/en_us/products/velocity/solidedge/free2d/index.shtml

I went through this. For those who wish to skip the personal info, you can try these two links to just get the file:

Public License File:
http://free2ddl.ugs.com/pub/Free2DRenew.zip
Program Download:
http://free2ddl.ugs.com/pub/SE2DDraftV103ENGLISH.exe

They support the following languages:
Chinese (Simplified), ChineseT (Traditional), French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish

Replace "ENGLISH" in the download name with the name of the language. Use upper-case letters.
User avatar
calexander
Zen Toolworks Official
 
Posts: 489
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:53 am
Location: Ephrata, Pennsylvania, USA
Zen Model: More than one
Other CNC Info: 0707 1212 3DP

Re: FREE Complete CNC Applications (not trial)

Postby Sparky » Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:38 pm

Need a sprocket? Try Sprocketeer 2.0. Create a sprocket then generate its G-code.
http://idleamusements.com/Software/sprocketeer2.htm
User avatar
Sparky
Forum Moderator
 
Posts: 402
Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 7:12 pm
Location: Texas
Zen Model: Zen 0712 (Ext. Mod)

Re: FREE Complete CNC Applications (not trial)

Postby Technosteve » Fri Apr 01, 2011 10:15 am

Dont forget viewplot, which is a gerber file viewer that allows you to stack the files to check soldermask, silkscreen, etc. http://www.viewplot.com/

Here is my personal favorite, CncSimulator, which allows you to see exactly what the bord will look like before cutting it out. http://www.cncsimulator.com/index.php?page=download.htm

Lastly, the best gcode optimizer. Be sure to change the file extension of your gcode to *.nc first. This makse sure your machine is cutting in the right order and not going back and forth for every other cut, ive been using it for years. http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?tkznizncteh

Steve
User avatar
Technosteve
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 9:53 am
Zen Model: None or Other

Re: FREE Complete CNC Applications (not trial)

Postby wodkreso » Wed Apr 20, 2011 4:54 pm

I'm working on "all in one" suite that would do 2d, 3d, image->cnc and cnc controller at http://www.camaxis.com/.. I need at least one more month to get in first public beta, but someone is interested I can keep him posted on progress.

And I'm doing all tests with my ZEN :)

Kreso
User avatar
wodkreso
Normal User
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 5:09 pm

Next

Return to General Discussions

x