Our brand new giant machine took its first few baby steps yesterday… did it’s first real-world cut, and its first ever job.
I feel like a proud parent
Anyway… once you start seeing examples (which we’ll post over the coming days, weeks, months etc), your mind will probably start brimming over with ideas… and it will probably help to know which software works best.
There are a fair few different applications for doing 2D and 3D stuff… a lot of people use Autocad, Rhino etc… All of these work – we can take any .STL file, and a fair few other file-formats (that may require a bit of tweaking)… so use whatever you feel comfortable with….
If you’re interested in learning something new though, or would like to streamline the process, saving time/money… we recommend the following:
This is a series of 3D apps that are downloadable for free – a little easier and more intuitive to use than those preferred by hardcore CAD jazz-purists. This includes software that can turn photographs into 3D models. It can also turn your designs into machine-ready slices.
Which saves a phenomenal amount of work.
This is a series of apps that you can download as trial versions… you can use these to create your models. We can then use our licensed copy to create your creations. This software is incredibly useful because it calculates all the tool-paths, and allows you to see how long each job will take, based on material.
- Cut3D : to create cool 3D models ready for machining on our router.
- Cut 2D : to create your 2D cut toolpaths for use on our router.
- VCarve Pro : to create awesome Carvings and models and 2D for use on our router.
All of these applications have a bit of a learning-curve attached, but the power of them is fairly phenomenal, and well worth the effort.
The laser cutter is in the process of being stripped-down, calibrated, improved… should be up and running in the coming week. We will make another post for 2D software when we figure it out
Ponoko recommend Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW or and have made some fantastic tutorials for laser-cutting… we’ll provide more detail for our laser-cutter’s software requirements/abilities when we find out what they are.