CNC router – software flow

For the CAM software I found a nice affordable solution on www.estlcam.com.
It has a lot of video tutorials explaining what you can do with it and how to use it.
There is a free download with full functionality, the only limitation is that it has a delay in the OK buttons which gets longer over time.
Designs in a number of vector graphics formats can be imported, a.o. SVG, PLT, AutoCAD DXF format, 3D STL and bitmap formats like jpg, png and GIF.

Estlcam also has the possibility to directly drive the router via an Arduino board and motor driver boards, but as I have the Sainsmart control board for that I’m exporting the designs to Mach-3 G code.

Countersink holes of the z-plate in Estlcam
Countersink holes of the z-plate in Estlcam

After some experimenting I developed a workflow consisting of the free vector drawing program Inkscape exporting DFX files to Estlcam and Estlcam exporting G-code to Mach-3.

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