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.rbCAM
- 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