CAM on Mac

i’m hoping to finally invest in CNC this year.

any new info/rumors/speculations with regards to CAM on macs? or better yet, rhino integrated cam?

has the new plugin support improved chances of seeing something come to Rhino for Mac?
(i mean, i’m sure it has in some way/shape/form… just to what degree?)


The 5.1 release introduced the Software Development Kit so now is is possible to develop plug-ins.
I haven’t heard anything from any CAM developers about working on one so far.

Have you contacted them so they know you’re interested?
If they don’t think there will be enough sales to fund the development work, they will not do it.

thanks @John_Brock

I haven’t contacted any developers yet but ,good idea ; )
i’ll do so tomorrow starting with madCam then RhinoCam.

The RhinoCam folks will be hearing from me.



well, one down…

mecsoft responded ‘we will not be releasing a Mac version of Rhinocam - sorry’

Are there any stand-alone CAM tools that run in OSX?
Certainly Rhino supports enough file export formats to make that a viable alternative.

Yeah, I heard that already - didn’t want to dash your hopes. I think there is no real interest there since they’re already plugged into SolidWorks and have their own stand-alone CAM as well as RhinoCAM. The possible Mac market share probably doesn’t look big enough to them to re-write everything just for that one platform. Mac is just not taken very seriously on the actual nuts and bolts manufacturing end of things.


fusion360 runs on Mac, imports .3dm directly, generates toolpaths/processing, etc…

that’s looking like the option to use right now as far as staying strictly on Mac.

I have a few months to research/experiment… I’m not completely ruling out bootcamping to Windows… I know that’s what I ‘should’ be doing anyway regarding manufacturing (as Mitch says)… but, I want to make sure I need to bootcamp prior to going down that path.

I’d suggest a second Windows system with a better graphics chip that what comes in the Macs these days. The embedded Intel HD chips work pretty well under OSX applications but not so well under Windows for OpenGL based applications like Rhino. It’s a driver issue.

The reason is when you’re booted into Windows on your Mac, you’re in Windows and do not have access to all the other OSX tools you’re used to. For that reason alone, I’d suggest a hybrid graphics system with an nVidia GeForce card. Good performance and not expensive.

I’m using two macs right now and both have nvidia.
(750m 2GB in the laptop & 780m /4GB in an iMac)

so I should be good to go as far as running rhino via bootcamp on either machine. do you agree or do the M cards pose a problem as well?

Something to look at maybe

I have an old MBP with a GeForce “m” and it works great booted to Windows.
The key is if there are decent OpenGL Windows drivers and there are for the GeForce cards.

Got the same from Mecsoft but I would encourage everyone on this list to drop them a line. My sense of CAM software is that while its a pretty nichey thing at present, the wave of $1000 CNC routers is changing that paradigm daily and a lot of the “artisan” type people I’m personally acquainted with are all Mac people.

Moving on. I’m hugely interested in this graphics discussion as my present CAM solution is RhinoCAM on Windows XP under VMWare Fusion and frankly its pretty klunky. I’ve not run Bootcamp in a number of years as my other Windows based CAD solution does really well under Fusion. However, Rhino 4 and RhinoCAM have some pretty significant graphics problems. I’m hoping upgrading Fusion to version 8 will help with that (I’m currently running 7) and I’m not opposed to trying Parallels out. I’ve got a pretty good spread of hardware and would not be adverse to doing a little testing to come up with a better solution. Although, I would definitely lean towards emulation vs Bootcamp.

I’ve got a:

I’ve also got a 2008 17" MBP that I’m not using daily but I’m not sure what that has for graphics. The other question I would raise is has anyone tried running Rhino and RhinoCAM under something like WineBottler?


messed around with fusion 360 for a bit tonight… was able to generate toolpaths and .nc without reading instructions and whatnot :slight_smile:

…appears to be a lot of controls for an experienced cnc user.
seems ok plus it looks like there may be some other tools in fusion that i might like.

i don’t know… ultimately, i’d like to keep it all inside rhino for mac… i just think it would be easier for me to keep track of everything that way… (for example, last year i did a job in which 86 sheets of 4x10 were processed (outsourced)… more typical would be 10-25 sheets per week)… for me, the least amount of file types and versions and locations – the better… i’d rather not have to track a job between different operating systems or applications.

since it’s not looking like i’ll be able to keep it all in rhino (#1), i’m faced with
2) use rhino files inside another application
3) switch OS when needing CAM features but stay using rhino
4) switch OS altogether

that’s the order in which i’d rank my wishes… and maybe option 2 is actually viable…
does anybody have experience/knowledge with the cam features in fusion 360? good/bad?

nice :smiley:

I use Rhino and madCAM on a 2009 17" MacBook Pro and it runs very smoothly. I’m using bootcamp and while it’s a pain to switch OS’s, I find that I’m actually more productive because I’m only in Windows to get work done and the rest of life (checking email, browsing, etc.) stays on the Mac side.

I’m really hoping madCAM will release a Mac version.


I am cam-mac user for both cnc milling and 3d printing, tried from linuxcnc to Fusion 360, and other tools like heekscad. At the end the linux platform was best alternative to mach3.

Toolpath making there is plenty done in python (pycam) and recently the folks at tinyg and grbl have created a browser front end for cam processing (chilipeppr), while fusion was quite nice it felt non compatible with my workflow (keeping files on the cloud was a bit of an overkill).

So, best alternative I presume best choice is to create plugin for rhino GH as some folks have done for other specialised workflows such as architecture or jewelry. This plug in could leverage plenty of the existing work done for slicing, toolpath and gcode handling both in C or python.

just my 2 cents,

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that part doesn’t bother me since all of my working files are on cloud anyway (i use multiple computers in multiple locations)… that said, using fusion, i have to upload my rhino files to autodesk specific cloud so that’s sort of a hitch i’d rather avoid…
but i’ve been using fusion for cnc the past few months and i’m happy with it as well as the direction the software seems to be heading… i’d still rather stay in rhino only for CAM but i just don’t see that happening if i plan on staying on macs.

indeed, I use also dropbox, if FusionCAM would allow 3rd party services like dropbox may be better, but the current case the files are not locally synced on any machine and you can not depend on connectivity for a sw package to work.

I wouldn’t expect a Mac version of madCAM. There’s still much to do with the Windows version.