First time cnc user/ buyer/ operator

About a year ago my old man showed me the power of producing cad drawings . Within a month I had designed an entire 4 link suspension for our Ford f600 project. Having my drawings come to life was awesome. I spent many restless nights in the shop with my laptop surrounded by 50 empty cans of soda to keep me going and at the end of the day when the truck went down the road I was filled with pride. I’ve also been using another company to have a pile of prototype parts cut by fiber laser. Fast forward and I’ve become pretty good at running my cad program and I’ve decided rather than paying somebody to have stuff I want made and having to wait it was time to take the leap and buy my own CNC table. So I did. Today I purchased a crossfire table along with a razorweld 45 and a xl expansion kit. As I’ve been reading I’m unsure of where to start in producing “G” code, as I understand the Langmuir machine comes with a “trial” of some sort of g code but I’m wondering if I should bite the bullet and buy the sheet cam (yes it’s only $140 I know). But I’m a cheapskate! If it truly will make my experience better should I do it? Also what else does a first timer need to know? I’ve been doing my due diligence to read nearly every post on this forum but there’s stuff I’ve missed I’m sure! Let me know! What do you wish you would have been told the first few days of ownership?


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What’s the CAD program you’ve been using?

If it’s Fusion then you’ll have no problems generating the G-Code without buying other software (although to be honest I used Sheetcam even when I designed in Fusion because it was easier to get what I wanted and I even wrote a custom post-processor for Fusion - Sheetcam was just better).

If it’s something else, I’d say go with Sheetcam. You’ll save yourself more than $140 of grief :slightly_smiling_face:

You just need to be able to save or export your design faces in a compatible file type. I use SVG although it does support others. SVG just gives me cleaner files (truly closed objects, bezier curves, etc).

In either case you’ll get Gcode that works at the click of a button after you create your toolpaths in the software - also a point & click exercise but with a little more nuance. Based on what you said you were able to do with CAD you shouldn’t have any serious issues getting going. Lots of folks here to help too.

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Honored to have you comment. I’ve seen lots of your posts!

I’ve been using “libre cad” which is a free 2d software that sucks but I’m very comfortable with it and it does what I need to do, So far…

I spent $3000 on a table and upgrades today what’s another $140? Am I right lol?

Thank you

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James is right…Sheetcam is easy and there are lots of videos on youtube to learn it…I did and I am a 55 year old noob to plasma and CNC