DeskCNC Demo

This mini tutorial will demonstrate the drawing to toolpaths to G-code conversion capabilities of DeskCNC.

The first step is to draw a 2-inch square with a 1 inch circle centered inside it using a simple CAD drafting program such as AutoSketch. The origin is the lower left corner of the square. The drawing is saved as a DXF file. We have already done this for you. Download the DXF file named  "2x2circle"  by clicking on the link under the drawing below and put it on your desktop so it can be used for our demonstration.

Click here to download    2x2circle.DXF

Don't worry about the acronyms now. All is explained in Easy CNC. Open DeskCNC.

The program opens expecting a drawing of some sort to be imported for use. Find and open the DXF file 2x2circle by using File>Open DXF (select Open DXF from the File drop-down list).

The drawing will appear on-screen. The square and circle will be light red until they are selected. Select them by using Select>Select All. The square will now be blue and the circle will be dark red.

We will pocket out the material between the circle and the square to a depth of 0.050 inches leaving a circular raised area in the middle of the part.

Toolpaths>Pocket.

Click Pocket to save the parameters.

The toolpaths will appear on screen.

Notice that:

In order to improve the situation, we will first add a finishing pass to the pocket operation. We will specify zero stock to leave. The result will be simply the addition of a circular toolpath around the circle.

Toolpaths>Pocket.

Finishing Parameters:

Finish islands/boundaries - checked.

Click Pocket to save the parameters.

The toolpaths will appear on screen.

Now there is a red circular finishing pass around the outside of the circle.

To further improve the situation by removing the projections at the corners, we can add a toolpath where the centerline of the end mill follows the edge of the part. This can be accomplished by contouring around the edge of the part with no cutter compensation as explained in Easy CNC.

The G-code for machining the part has now been generated automatically and saved as an NC file ready to be used to machine the part.

This short demo tutorial gives you a feel for the ease with which you may draw a portion of a part and create the toolpaths and G-code needed to machine the part.

Some G-code interpreter programs include limited capability to generate G-code from toolpath drawings. That means that you are responsible for drawing all the toolpaths yourself. I like to draw, but not that much!


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This page last updated February 22, 2008