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CNC DIY Build: Design | Electronics | Gantry | Assembly | Z-Axis | Spindle | Software

Software

Being an open-source enthusiast I am looking for FLOSS solutions for machine control and CAD/CAM.

I am using LinuxCNC to control my mill. It is available from the LinuxCNC site as part of a tailored Ubuntu distribution and I found it to be easy to install and it runs well on relatively modest hardware (old Core 2 Duo with 1GB RAM in my case). For latency reasons, LinuxCNC connects to the mill via a good old parallel port so make sure you have one.

So far, I have been using QCAD on both Linux and Windows for 2D CAD designs and HeeksCAD, so far just on Linux (Fedora 20), for both CAD and CAM functions.

I had some minor issues getting HeeksCAD/HeeksCNC to compile on Fedora. For dependency information check here. For Linux build instructions check here. And for a small fix required re. libheekstinyxml.so.1.0.0 check here.

I am not sure if HeeksCNC will meet my long-term CAM requirements but I hope so as CAM software in general seems expensive to me considering what you are getting for your money.

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