CNC output

I use 3-axis CNCs for machining solid wood. Sometimes I mill other materials but I mostly focus on wood and sheet stock The majority of my work is 3D carving abstract sculpture and 3D design details and 2-1/2 D part cutting for my different furniture lines.

Mecsoft’s RhinoCAM and Visual CAM come with hundreds of post processors covering just about every commercially available 3,4 and 5-axis CNCs. Post-processor creation software is included that lets you develop or modify your own post. Plus, they’ll help you create a customized post processor for your CNC if needed.

Mecsoft’s RhinoCAM and VisualCAM trial versions do not allow you to save files or produce G-code files for testing. So, the trial is fully functional but with these limitations is very limited. I do not agree with this approach to trial software. Let’s just say that I have complained about this. Besides my creative work, I teach digital woodworking and advanced furniture making design and techniques.

Thank you for your response…

Have you ever used, or ever heard of EnRoute?

I know they started as a sign making software company…

For me, it’s a long story, but I bought my first CNC machine for a project I got back in the middle 90’s.

It was to build 140 custom speaker boxes for the Bank One

Ball park in Phoenix.

I had a buy working for me that picked the CAD and the NC part up quickly. So I didn’t learn it myself.

That all changed in 2011. I had to let the guy go. So, I found on Craigs list a guy that tottered me in

CAD and the EnRoute package I owned. In 3 months, I was completing drawings and code that would out run the guy I had for 14 years.

Anyway, im a small sjop, like 5000 sq ft, I build for the concert touring industry. I celebrated 25 years in business February this year.

But im getting tired. I cant do the 90 hour weeks like I use to be able to do.

Don’t mean to bend your ear, but I do appreciate your input……

Thank you


Robert Blackhurst


Stagegear Inc.


Enroute is a CAM package popular for larger commercial CNC operations. It’s a well-known program but it’s a long way from the elegance and power and modern UI of RhinoCAM. Give it a try.

Thank you, I think that’s what I needed to hear.

Im really a small shop. 5000 sq ft. And at that, mostly custom custom stuff at that.

But I have to be ready to duplicate a previous order quickly at times. Its kind of my niche in my industry.

Along with everything else, accounting, customer service, Californias new laws!!! And just having the ability to want to keep doing it…

Sorry, no. I haven’t ran across that one.

I bit the bullet some time ago and got Mecsoft’s RhinoCAM. It’s great–and their tech support has always been there for me. The bummer is that now there’s a ~$300 annual subscription fee and only through paying that fee can one get the bug fixes & new features. Having the plug-in within Rhino speeds up things immensely. I (1) draw, (2) generate the g-code both from Rhino at my “CAD desk”, (3) save the g-code on a network drive, then (4) walk down to the CNC, open the g-code file and press [GO]. It saves me a bunch of time since I’m a one-man-show.

I’ve written a Python Script that exports simple G-Code for laser cutting (and on a very basic level for punching, too) directly from Rhino. Few manual changes have to be done before uploading to the machines (materials, program numbers, comments, …) but saves a lot of time in comparison to exporting DXF and creating NC with a special CAM software. Sure, a simple script cannot do all the things of feature-overloaded CAM software is able to to, but for simple shapes with just a few holes I run my script and have a result whithin seconds.

I would add my 2 cent in and advocate for RhinoCam. My thinking is that I do this for a living and having good tools is worth paying for. I have had great support from Uday at Mecsoft. I can generate code from within rhino, I can modify my post processor based on what I am doing, flat bed routing or lathe work. I can simulate the machining process etc. They have stepped up their game with on line tutorials. For me RhinoCam just works really good. Just a lot of good stuff there, all within a rhino window.
25 years in business!!! you must be doing something right!!!


Thanks. Along with the 25 years comes a crap load of life…

Anyway, from your recommendation, I will check it out.

I really appreciate you taking your time to share your experience.

I only wish I did this kind of research before buying the CNC machine I have…

Hein sight is 20/20. It’s a good machine, it’s the support that sucks.

What are you running??


Huh, I would like to learn more…

If you have time to share.



Does it allow for a tool changer? I have an 8 tool changer. Im basically a custom shop that does limited production runs. But I need the “digital notes” so I can reproduce the same thing as a customer requests…

Thanks for your input…


Unfortunately it’s an ugly hack I really don’t want to share yet. It needs some polishing, then I might upload it to the public domain (Github or somewhere else).

The principle is simple:

  • Initially the script asks for a file name
  • then it demands to select polycurves or curves in the order they have to be cut
  • it outputs a “G00 X… Y…” to the coordinates of the first curve
  • now it outpus the commands for “Head down” and “Laser on” (if not done yet), iterates through the selected curves and writes “G01 X… Y…” for lines and “G02” / “G03” for arcs
  • Laser off / Head off follow
  • after that it demands for the next (poly)curves. If no curve is selected it stops the infinite loop, outputs the NC tail and exits
1 Like

Re: [McNeel Forum] [Rhino for Windows] CNC output
I don’t have a tool changer so I can’t answer that question with authority. It’s comprehensive software with a long list of post processors including FANUC. You can create a tool library including setting feed speeds etc. My suggestion: either call Mecsoft @ (949) 654-8163 & ask for Uday in tech support. You are able to download & install the software for free evaluation at It’s good stuff.

RhinoCAM? Sure. You just need to set up the postprocessor with a toolchange block. Works fine.



I have a 4 1/2 axis machine from Legacy Wood Working. They are a small company out of Utah, Sandy Utah I believe. I have an 18 tool changer on it, as well as their lathe. I run it with Rhino and RhinoCam. Support from Legacy is pretty weak, but I don’t really want to throw them under the bus because their machine is awesome. And on the few things that I have really needed from them Legacy did come through. Support from Rhino and RhinoCam of course is awesome. We use Mach3 for the controller and it has been flawless. Hope this helps.

It does. Thank you….

Everyone on this board has been extremely helpful. I think ill hang around more….


Robert Blackhurst


Stagegear Inc.


With Fusion 360 breathing down everyone’s necks, I hope that Rhino3D responds be adding some kind of rudimentary CNC solution. CNC is no longer a vertical thing that people enjoy spending a lot of money for.


$300 is reasonable. You would have a heart attack if you knew what the cost of annual maintenance is on other products.

1 Like