I’m asking similar questions on the CNC forums but I thought I’d ask here too.
I intend to purchase a pretty basic CNC kit based on the OX. I know enough about the mechanical aspect of the kit and could customise so that it perfectly suits my needs, but have decided to start with something that just works OOTB then create its replacement separately after I have the workflow dialed.
The part of the CNC process I don’t quite understand yet is the CAD->motion.
Most of the kits seem to be targeted towards people with no CAD experience, so the software seems to be more wizard based where you feed in a DWG and it gives very little control but spits out G-code.
I understand that CAD data needs to be interpreted by CAM software (ie. MadCAM) which will export toolpaths (assume these are g-code?) MadCAM is the software I intend to use since I’m already comfortable in Rhino and since I’m studying again I’ll get access to their education pricing.
I also understand the stepper motors need to be driven by ‘driver’ like the Gecko G540.
so just to clarify, my understanding of the dataflow is this:
Toolpath file->Mach3 (or other CNC controller software) ->Ethernet Smoothstepper -> Gecko G540 ->motors
is the Mach3 required? or does it just handle converting CAD into toolpaths?