Traditionally, gcode is created from a CAM program, like CAMBAM, Vectric, Fusion 360, etc.
Here is the workflow:
- A design is created in a CAD program. The CAD operator draws lines, points, arcs, circles, polylines, etc. (called geometric primitives). These primitives will form some kind of full drawing that will represent a thing that will need to be cut on a CNC router. For example, a square will consist of four lines of the same length with each lines perpendicular to its neighboring line.
- The CAD design is then loaded into a CAM program where machining operations are established. These machining operations are drill, profile, pocket, engrave, etc. For the square example: if the square is intended to be cut out, the vertices of the square are joined to form a closed polygon, then an outside profile machining operation is established. An outside profile is a machining operation that cuts along the outside of the square making sure that the cut is adjusted by diameter of the end mill (router bit).
- Once all of the machining operation are established using the CAM program, in CAM, the operator will produce the g-code (a function that CAM programs have).
- Then this g-code will be loaded into the control program (mach3, linuxcnc, etc.) and the control program will move the machine according to the g-code and the machining operations.
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How to set up gcode