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Thread: CAD/3D Modeling software for CNC Mill

  1. #1
    Spyderco Forum Registered User jabba359's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    North Hollywood, CA U.S.A. Earth

    CAD/3D Modeling software for CNC Mill

    I've wanted to pick up a CNC mill for years, but never have done it. There are some guys that are running a Kickstarter campaign right now and I decided to jump in. It seems like a simple setup that I can use to make small items and parts and should hold me over until I get a bigger workspace and I can build my own larger CNC mill.

    There seems to be a bunch of different CAD/3D modeling programs out there. I checked out Solidworks and a few others, but many of them are extremely expensive (from a hobby point of view). I know that SketchUp is free to use and seems to have a pretty large user base. I thought, however, that I'd check in and see if anyone here had any recommendations for programs I can use to build my models.

    Also, as a first time CNC mill owner (well, not until it ships in December ), does anyone have any suggestions, tips, or tricks they can offer? I'm super excited to get this and start making things, as I've always got a bunch of ideas rattling around this skull of mine.

    Here's the mill I'm ordering:

    On the Fence: Tuff, Techno
    Latest arrivals: MT19 PSF27 Mule, Des Horn, Dialex Junior

  2. #2
    Spyderco Forum Registered User xceptnl's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
    Moonshine Country, Virginia
    Very nice compact setup. I have used AutoCAD (Generic, LT, 2000, 2004, 2010, 2013) for close to 18 years. I also sampled a few classes for Solidworks in college. IMO the two are opposite ends of the spectrum. One is way more right brain (Solidworks) and the other is obviously left brain. I have no experience with inexpensive versions, but perhaps Steve (BOOMER52) can offer some advise. Wish I had the funds to back and secure one of these desktop machines! Looking forward to seeing what you plan to create.
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  3. #3
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Pinetreebbs's Avatar
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    Jun 2010
    It looks like it would be just the tool for making custom knife scales.

    No real recommendation on CAD software, I have some experience with Microstation and Smartsketch, Microsoft does some amazing things, but it's expensive and works like no other software I have ever used and Smartsketch is pretty easy to use, but really drags with complex drawings or files with multiple sheets.
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  4. #4
    Spyderco Forum Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Man that looks amazing!! $1.5k is a bit much for me right now though, hopefully later though! For now I'll just have to stick to my dremel and hand-file for all my shaping needs.

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