Back to Basics: Image Vectorization and Tool Changes

Posted by & filed under Milling, Project, Software.

Two useful CNC techniques to know when you’re first starting out and looking for projects are image vectorization and tool changing. Being able to create toolpaths from jpegs and performing multi-step milling operations will open up a lot of project possibilities. Here’s the results of my own experimentation with these techniques. Some other thoughts: Inkscape… Read more »

A Quick Introduction to Using MeshCAM

Posted by & filed under Shapeoko, Software.

  One of the most difficult parts of starting out in CNC is the software, that digital purgatory between idea and product. There are dozens if not hundreds of CAM software options floating around on the internet and figuring out where or how to start is a problem the guys (and gals) over at Inventables… Read more »

MakerCAM – a web based CAM program

Posted by & filed under design, Shapeoko, Software.

I have a little story to tell you. Years ago, maybe 7-8 at this point, I finished building my very first CNC machine. It was not named Shapeoko, you could not build it for anywhere near $300, and it was not assemble-able by nearly everyone. It was in fact, the exact opposite of Shapeoko. But,… Read more »

Better DXF exports from Inkscape

Posted by & filed under Shapeoko, Software.

If you’re using Inkscape as part of your CNC software stack, you may have found the default Inkscape DXF export utility to be um… lacking. To say the least. Exporting vector images as DXF from Inkscape with the default DXF module will result in a mangled mess of layers, lines, and long evenings trying to… Read more »

Flashing grbl to Arduino, clear EEPROM

Posted by & filed under electronics, Shapeoko, Software.

On a few occasions over the last several months I’ve wanted to flash a *fresh* install of grbl to an Arduino. As you may know, the problem with this is the persistent EEPROM settings that define your Shapeoko’s setup. Here’s the situation: To save you the hassle of having to re-input your grbl settings each… Read more »


Posted by & filed under design, Shapeoko, Software.

Yesterday I received a tweet from @savorywatt: @shapeoko what software are you using to design shapeoko in? Freecad? BrlCAD? On your website it said your stack was FOSS I could see right away there might be a problem. I felt like there was a chance that I was misleading in some way if someone was… Read more »

Software info

Posted by & filed under Shapeoko, Software.

I’ve received quite a few questions since the kickstarter launch relating to software. For anyone who is starting something new, it’s often difficult to wrap your head around the process and adding “options” to the process makes it seem more complicated. At least that’s how I work. For anyone who is new to this whole… Read more »