I ordered my machine Thursday and I’ve been learning Fusion 360 for the past week. I have a light background in 3D printing with my Ender 3 so CAD, CAM, gcode, etc isn’t completely foreign to me but I don’t have a ton of experience.
I see F360 and Mach3 obviously recommended by Langmiur but would you suggest alternate or additional software? F360 is working wonderfully for me, I’m not having the issues with lag or crashes that I’ve read about. I’ll be making signs and metal art most of the time and 4x4 suspension parts or brackets.
So I think I can see why Inkscape is a good idea. Looks like it allows you to convert actual pictures into line type drawings/scetches and a lot more. ('m limited on what I can view at work i.e. no Youtube, FB, etc)
So I’m kind of lost on what SheetCam is for. It looks like it creates the tool path but I thought F360 did that in the Manufacture mode. (I haven’t made it that far, I’ve only been doing 3D modeling all week)
Does Mach3 only control the Crossfire stepper motors and not actually generate the tool path?
Yeah mach 3 is just for reading the file the cam software makes and controls the crossfire.Fusion 360 is unique because it’s cad and cam integrated into one program.The art stuff you will need inkscape or something comparable…brackets and tabs can all be done in fusion.If your happy with Fusion 360 you won’t need sheetcam.
Sheetcam is only about toolpathing. Fusion does both design & pathing.
Sheetcam is a bit quicker to define toolpaths though and is more streamlined because that’s all it’s doing. It also allows for some more advanced pathing operations (like speeding or or slowing down when going in or out of a curve, setting defaults to automatically change speeds within a certain distance of a curve, etc).
If you already do 2D design in something like Inkscape, Corel or Illustrator then Fusion can be overkill just to define toolpaths and sometimes hard to wrap your head around.
But Inkscape & Fusion are a good no-cost toolset to get designs ready for the Crossfire.