Anyone CNCing their Rhino designs? (using GRBL?)

I’m in the process of building a 1000x1000mm CNC router kit (from Open Builds) and since Rhino is my go-to 3D program, I was wondering if anyone else is CNCing their Rhino designs?

If you are, what CAM software are you using the generate the G-Code? I see that there is a RhinoCAM plugin which looks very cool, although I don’t see it having a post-processor for GRBL. And there are a lot of other alternatives… CAMBAM, etc. I don’t want to spend money on something that won’t work with my Rhino designs, or won’t work with my CNC. What are you using?


I use RhinoCAM. It works very well with the Rhino ecosystem.

This is the first time that I’ve heard of GRBL, I’m going to look into this!

GRBL is described as “An open source, embedded, high performance g-code-parser and CNC milling controller written in optimized C that will run on a straight Arduino.”

It is very popular on hobby-grade CNC machines offered by a lot of companies, and now I’m seeing it used in a lot of Chinese machines as well. It seems to support only a subset of G-Code commands ( ) so RhinoCAM having the proper pre-processor would be important to making it is compatible.

I did see that Fusion 360 specifically lists GRBL and has a pre-processor for it.

I checked out a few RhinoCAM videos Ryan, and it looks pretty easy to understand. The price is pretty steep (for a student here) compared to some alternatives, but I do like how it integrates right into Rhino3D. Offhand, do you know if RhinoCAM is able to save the CAM files even if Rhino3D itself is unregistered? I have a single Rhino licence in my office, but plan on doing the CAM and CNCing in my shop on a different computer.

I’m not sure what you mean by unregistered but from what I understand–as just a Rhino user–Rhino does not save or load plugins (including RhinoCAM) without a license. A student license would be sufficient.

I think you can save RhinoCAM plugin data separate from your 3dm file.

As well as g-code. you can export g-code to a .txt file.

Thanks Ryan. I was under the assumption that since I have my single-user licence Rhino already installed at my office, I wouldn’t be able to run a second registered copy in my workshop. But according to it seems like I can install it on multiple computers… so I could have RhinoCAM running in my workshop, which is promising.

I use the could zoo. It’s the best way IMHO (assuming you’re running on Rhino 6 or 7)

I’d personally go with Fusion360, since it’s CAM tools are great, it’s popular - meaning that you’ll find lots of resources only -, and even the paid version is way less than RhinoCAM (which may be a bit overpriced?). It also has a free version that can do a little less, but still has basic CAM utilities I believe.

I mainly do two-dimensional CNC-ing using Inkscape to generate the GCode and GRBL to execute it on my homebrew draw bot.
For 3D-printing, I use Cura. I’ve done milling a couple of times, but haven’t exported GCode myself for it.

With a single cloud based Rhino 6 or higher license you can download and install Rhino on any number of machines but can only use one at a time. Rhinocam also can be downloaded and installed on any number of machines, It runs within Rhino and needs an active copy of Rhino to run .

A Rhinocam license is managed seperately from your Rhino license, so for example you can leave your Rhinocam license on your workshop computer and open it within Rhino in demo mode on your home machine, This way you don’t need to release the Rhinocam license every time you leave your shop. You will still be able to use Rhinocam at home in demo mode- all the functions are active but it will not save the operation or post G Code in demo mode. If you want you can also release your Rhinocam license automatically each time you quit Rhino so it is available for saving operations and posting G code when you open Rhino on a different machine.

Integration with Rhino is excellent, Also Mecsoft will write postprocessors for you if they don’t have one included in the standard package.

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I use Vcarve Desktop. It’s not integrated with Rhino but does directly import Rhino5 3dm files for further CNC setup work and G code generation. It comes with a large selection of G code generators so you’ll probably find one you can use for your machine. It’s also a lot less expensive than RhinoCAM.

I use RhinoCam for a ton of CNC work. RhinoCam has a post processor editor. Which allows you to modify your post processor. Plus I think they will write a post for you. if they don’t currently support what you are using. Their customer service is fabulous. I have talked with Uday at RhinoCam literally a hundred times. In the past I have used Vectric and ArtCam as well a featureCam. None of those three are in the same league as RhinoCam. RhinoCam is one place where I spent some serious money and it is worth every penny.


Today I called Mecsoft, the makers of RhinoCAM and asked them about GRBL support. They said a post-processor has been added to the latest version specifically for GRBL - one in Inches, one in MM and they have customers successfully using it to control a GRBL 3-Axis machine.

It also seems like the entry-level version of RhinoCAM is on Sale right now for $299 USD for the next two weeks. While this is still more than I anticipated spending, I will likely put this in the “buy once, cry once” category and be done with it.

Thanks everyone for the feedback and opionions!

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