Here you will find software that will enable the functionality and toolchain for
your CNC machine. I will be providing various software solutions including: the
direct interface from the computer to the machine, and CAM applications that is
used to create the path that the cutting tool will need.
This is software that actually controls the machine which takes g-code that is
created form the CAM software and moves the machine accordingly.
The g-code is generated with this software. If the word g-code scares you, don't
worry, this software allows you to visually create machining operations (where the
machine will move and cut, carve or shape the material). The software will automatically
generate the g-code which is processed by the above control software to move the machine.
Step 34 - Software Toolchain Part 1 - Mach 3 Installation
Now we come to the software section of this tutorial series. What's a software toolchain anyhow? Well, my fine feathered machinist... A software toolchain is a "chain" of software that enables the completion of an entire process from design to implementation. When I say chain, I mean a few programs. Read more.
Step 35: Software Toolchain: EMC2 Under Linux
Before I get farther in the software toolchain for the Windows operating system, I will cover the primary software for Linux. If you are partial to Linux, or you think Linux is some kind of animal and don't know what the heck I'm talking about, this alternative software toolchain may interest you. This tutorial would not be complete without covering the open source side of CNC computer controls. You may find that using EMC2
(the CNC control that runs under Linux) may be a bit more problematic than Mach3 since there is limited CAD (design software) out there for the Linux operating system. Yes... I said, operating system. I you don't know already, Linux is an operating system about as old as the Windows operating system. Read more.