DIY csCNC – 8 (PC softwares)

This is Just a follow  up post of my csCNC ver 1.0.  to warm up my hand after a long idle time in this blog.

After building hardware, I searched for available software options for running G-code, CAM jobs in PC. Options are the same as hardware. It must be free or opensource and also not a complex one. In short, I selected the following options.

SketchUp (Formerly from Google) 2D and 3D drawing software for drawing/cutting wood, plastic materials

Inkscape (open source vector drawing tool) for drawing vector image of bitmap image to vector converting

Eagle (Schematic and PCB designer, limitted but value worth free version available) my fav schematic and PCB tool

HeeksCNC (CAD/CAM software, opensource, but not free, for only £10, a bit confused 🙂 , source code is opensource and final application is not free. There is also trial version here. ) for converting drawing to G-code

OpenSCAM (opensource CAM simulation tool) for viewing and simulation g-code

Grbl Controller 3.0 (Gcode sender for Grbl) to send GCode to CNC machines

There are some important issue tips on using Grbl v0.9i with Grbl Controller 3.0.

  • At the first run, try to move Z first with axis control buttons. It will set feed rate first. If you jogs X,Y axis first, grbl will show “error:Undefined feed rate” error message. Grbl wiki said “Older Grbl versions had a default feed rate setting, which was illegal and was removed in Grbl v0.9.”.
  • Try soft-reset “$X” and try “$H” for homing. Home button from GUI is will not work after the first homing cycle is finished.


1# The first test was simple letter test. Draw some English and ျမန္မာ (this mean Myanmar ) in Inkscape. Save in “.dxf” format.



2# Convert “dxf” file  to G-code by HeeksCNC.


3# Simulated the G-code file and tool path with openSCAM.


4# After simulation result is satisfied, then run actual job with Grbl Controller + csCNC.


Small one, csCNC is moving !!!

DIY_CNC_TestRun (7)


The first result is not bad at all.

Ready for next test.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s