New guy- software questions

Hi- I just bought the crossfire pro and am would like to know which programs need to be downloaded (not very computer savvy) ? I also purchased the THC.

inkscape (free) for design work
Cad Program (2d a lot of them out there for free)
Fusion 360 (free but a pain in the butt)
Sheet cam (150.00) will save you hours of frustration.

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Obviously you will also need fire control but you can’t do anything with it until you get your machine.

If you aren’t very computer savvy I recommend you watch some Inkscape vector design tutorial videos.

Draw a simple shape Inkscape. Export it as a plain svg. Watch the fusion videos on langmuirs site, import your svg and follow the Langmuir videos. Boom. Your first design.

Just to be clear for @BossGobbler, you don’t need all of those software apps.

You need a design program and a toolpathing program.

Fusion360 does both so it’s one app to learn. It is free for personal or hobby use (you sell less than $1,000 of stuff from designs you create). If you sell more than $1,000 of Fusion designed products you’ll need a full license which is real money.

You can go the dual app route where you have a design and a tool path app. The toolpath one is easy - Sheetcam. It’s officially okay by Langmuir - they are providing a post-processor for it. Sheetcam costs $150 one-time.

For design you’ve got a ton of options - anything that can create an SVG or DXF file is good. SVG file formats are cleaner BTW. Inkscape is free and very common with lots of YouTube videos on how to use it. Other good ones are Affinity Designer ($), CorelDraw ($$$), Adobe Illustrator ($$$$). If you’re only doing 2D flat stuff this is the way to go for simplicity. If you’re doing 3D then Fusion or Tnkercad or SketchUp are all good options.

I use Corel or Inkscape (I teach CNC for the local Makerspace so use Inkscape for classes, been using Corel since the 90s) for flat work. I use Fusion for 3D. I really like Fusion’s sheet metal support. It takes care of flattening the design for folding and handles dimension adjustments with the material K-factor automatically.


@jamesdhatch - good info!

Im still trying to learn to get my first cut, watched all the videos, still having problems “seeing” the start to end and actually cutting.
Is there a sample program that cuts “123” in something like .063 metal that I can load, cut, verify all is working, and then go back and see all the fields in Fusion and Mach3? Just a simple 4 by 6 sign.
The tutorial videos bounce from bottle opener to sign, I cant find one from start to end to get my first project done.

@shadow I know exactly how you feel. I took me several times through the videos to finally comprehend the process.

I’ll try to type up the simplest way to explain how I finally laid out the workflow in my head.

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I don’t think so. When I started I created a little 3x5ish project that cut out a couple of squares & circles of different sizes. Then I matched the Fusion setting pop-ups with what was in the videos and I took screenshots which I pasted into a doc as a chest sheet I printed off. I can look for that and post it if it would be useful but I haven’t modified with the changes in Fusion over the past year or so.

awesome, thanks!!

Langmuir, how about a simple start to end video as well? Thinking create a file called sample, I download it, an follow a few steps,

With all the posts and questions, seems like it would make it simple for us rookies.