There are several CNC machines available at makersmiths and each one has their own settings and usage scenarios.
CNC Plasma Table (Archived)
CAD and CAM
There are a lot of different options when it comes to CAD and CAM software available. We currently use the following tool chains:
- Fusion 360 - CAD and CAM in one. This is available for non-commercial use for free and is a reasonable cost for commercial use. Fusion 360 Home
- VCarve Pro - Easy to use CAM software especially for 2d and 2.5d objects. We have a Makerspace License Edition available for users to use. This allows users to install the client on your local laptop and then run the final files on the computer that will be connected to the CNC machines. VCarve supports output to the Roland and Roland Tool Chain. VCarve Pro Home
- Inkscape: Inkscape Home
Places to Buy
Some suggestions for places to purchase endmills for Makersmiths CNC machines are:
Kodiak Cutting: http://www.kodiakcuttingtools.com/
Think & Tinker: http://www.precisebits.com/
Woodcraft: www.woodcraft.com - online or at the store in Leesburg
Types to Buy When Starting Out
If you're just getting started in wood CNC projects, a 1/4 downcut or 1/4 downcut straight, 2 flute endmill is one you'll regularly use. These are about ~$20. If you find that 1/4 is too large to get the detail you want, a 1/8 downcut or upcut straight, 2 flute endmill would also work. If you plan to cut large objects out or clearing a lot of material in your projects, a 1/2 downcut or upcut straight 2 flute endmill is also a good buy, but they are a little more expensive at around ~$50. If you want to carve signs or do inlays, a 60 degree or 90 degree Vbit is also good to start with.
Solid carbide is what CNC endmills are usually made of. High speed steel is a little less expensive but doesn't stay sharp or last quite as long.