Here is a quote from Edward Ford’s blog:
I’ve looked high and low for a nice open source, entry level CAM program. As luck would have it, after YEARS of searching, I found one mentioned in another forum, and tracked it down to find out it had been abandoned but the source was released before said abandonment. It was created by a guy named Jack, and I’m planning to do an entire other blog post explaining how this came to be. For now, just know that Jack’s creation (which he called PartKam), is now available on my github page, and is being hosted at one of my other domains. You can find it here: www.makercam.com. You will find a basic ‘help’ and ‘tutorial’ links at the top of the page.
Source is available on github.
(from the programs' about page)
- arbitrary profiles, pockets, and drilling operations
- true shape nesting
- automatic island detection
- sketch-to-CAD tool for easy prototyping
- svg import and export
- Profile --- a 2d cut into the material. The depth parameter specifies the depth of cut into the material and should be negative.
- Tabs --- can only be made after a successfully calculated profile operation
- select the profile, then CAM | add tabs to selected
- enter spacing for and size of the tabs
- (optional, possibly buggy feature) drag tabs around to move them, or delete a selected tab by pressing delete or backspace
- Pocket --- removes material from the interior of a path down to the specified depth. Note, that square corners will be rounded, matching the radius of the cutting bit.
- Follow Path --- moves the cutting tool along the selected path, down to the specified depth without using offsets. Suitable for effects like engraving and provides complete control.
- Drill --- drills to the specified depth.
From forum discussion Re: Burned Out and can't get started with CAD
Diamond Circle Square 3D Example
Having drawn up a file as shown on the Inkscape page, it may then be prepared to be imported into MakerCAM and readied for machining:
- First note the need to ensure MakerCAM and Inkscape agree on units, this is best done in MakerCAM's preferences by Edit | Edit Preferences and changing SVG Import Default Resolution from 72 to 90.
- Second, due to limitations in MakerCAM, it's most expedient to:
- break the file up into multiple discrete files
- add outline paths so that pocketing operations may be used to remove material
- import each part, process it at a different, then export G-code
- concatenate the G-code files