anyone help me to find a cnc cad/cam software

  • Advertise with us

« back to CNC Woodworking forum

Forum topic by tombomb92 posted 05-05-2015 02:25 PM 878 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View tombomb92's profile


1 post in 539 days

05-05-2015 02:25 PM

Topic tags/keywords: router scroll saw milling

im a furniture restorer who also makes small items using a scroll saw and fretwork as well as building a few bigger things

im new to cnc and im thinking of buying a small cnc router something that can do some of the detailed cutting to replace my scroll saw (i probably only need a 300mm x 400mm cnc router)

but ive been looking at software for them and im so confused im only really going to be using it to cut shapes out and maybe engraving to make candle holders / small boxes and that kind of thing but i have no experience with any of the software and i need something simple like google sketch up but i would need a simple way to take it from a simple shape lets say a circle cut out of ply wood with some fretwork on the inside (easy enough to draw on sketchup or something similar) to it working on a cnc router

i keep seeing things like dxl ,gcode and stl been mentioned and don’t understand any of it
but i remember at school they had a simple cnc router where you literally dropped your design and pressed go and it cut it out of plywood and thats basically what i need is something where i design it make it 3d / line up to wood and set its position and the thickness of the wood and press go and have a cut out item when its done

any suggestions and advice as would be great help as im really confused by it all

4 replies so far

View Ger21's profile


1047 posts in 2552 days

#1 posted 05-08-2015 07:29 PM

Try Vectric’s Cut2D. It imports sketchup files and creates g-code from them.
There’s a demo you can download and try.

-- Gerry,

View oldnovice's profile


5654 posts in 2789 days

#2 posted 05-26-2015 12:05 AM

I have a Shopbot which came with Partworks and Partworks 3D both from Vectrix.
These are not the full blown version of the Vectrix software but they have been enough for what I am doing currently and I have been happy with the projects and the the results.
As with all software, creativity as to how you use it is as important as the tool itself, in other words, buy some inexpensive software and use it until it no longer is sufficient for you purposes.

If you took a poll of the CNC users on I will bet a lot of them use Vectrix.

It is also a good place to get more input as to what to use for your specific purposes!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View AndyPitts's profile


122 posts in 499 days

#3 posted 06-14-2015 08:50 PM

I agree that Vectric software is the way to go. You are looking for 2D/2.5D software and Vectric has a ton of tutorials, plus they let you download a trial to work with. It’s a very solid company and you can’t go wrong with them. I use it all the time in my work. I demonstrate a lot of it in my videos (

-- Andy Pitts, Heathsville, Virginia,, YouTube AndyPitts1000

View oldnovice's profile


5654 posts in 2789 days

#4 posted 06-15-2015 05:00 AM

You mentioned CAD/CAM in the same title with CNC software however, these are two different applications. Everything mentioned above will allow you to create 2D artwork that the application will post-process to the CNC you are using. All of the above packages will include post processors or at least GCode for every CNC available today.

A CAD application will allow you to create an object in 3D as part of an entire project. These objects can then be imported by the CNC application for creating you tool paths to actually cut the object.

Some LJ’s use Sketchup a free 3D modeling program, while I use Creo Elements/Direct Modeling Express 6.0 which is also free.

I use Creo as I was trained on the full version and was very familiar with the user interface. I started using the free version in 2002 because it allows me to create 2D PDF fikes/prints, directly from the 3D models, which I can import directly into PartWorks as input files to setup my toolpaths.

I hope this answers more of your questions. You can also PM me for more details that I may be able to supply!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics