Getting Started Guide

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We receive a lot of questions regarding what to do after someone gets a CNC machine. There is often a large amount of learning and software knowledge required in order to use a CNC machine. Most commercial CNC machines have a CNC Programmer and a CNC Operator working with a single machine. For most hobbyist users, you will have to do both!

CNC Workflow

There is often a lot of confusion on how CNC machines work, what software is needed and how to get going. There are several prerequisites required in order to use a CNC machine and we will outline them here:

An Idea

The first thing you will need is an idea or object to create. This is often limited only by your imagination, but don't forget you have to actually make what you design!

CAD Software

You will need some form of CAD Software to design your creation. Software can range from free to tens of thousands of dollars.

CAM Software

Once the object has been designed, you will need CAM Software this software will convert the CAD drawing into a G-Code program that your CNC machine can understand.

CNC Control Software

Now that you have a program created by the CAM software, you will need CNC Control Software to operate your machine. CNC Control Software converts the G-Code program into a digital signal that your CNC machine can use to operate the motors.