Re: [SherlineCNC] G-Code Generation
- My company lets users choose OSX, Windows or Linux laptops. I thought the
mentality of 'my OS preference is better than your OS preference' had died
I do things with my Mac and have thus far the operating system hasn't
stopped me. I guess I need to try harder. Personally (and this really is
a personal choice) I prefer OSX or Linux over Windows. However I keep a VM
with Windows 7 installed, 'just in case'. In practice, I rarely use it. I
use many native OSX applications, depending on my design needs (mechanical
design, PCB design, modelling - mostly miniatures via molds).
The real difference between the OSs is market penetration. They are all
three very capable. In the CAD/CAM world Windows holds the lions share of
the market, followed by Linux and finally OSX. However, there are plenty
of high quality native OSX applications available.
My setup: MacBook Pro, 16G ram, Intel 2.6Ghz Quad-Core I7 2.6 GHz, turbo
boost to 3.7Ghz. Retina 15.4" display with a 2880 x 1800 resolution.
But, back to the question at hand. Native OSX CAD-CAM options for a
Sherline mill. I'm a CNC hobbyist, with a hobbyist budget, and I'll assume
everyone else is as well. The following are packages that I use, or have
used, with success. Most are free.
My favorite CAD packages are freecad and openscad.
For 2D / 2.5D design work, I really recommend inkscape.
As a bonus, inkscape has several plugins for g-code generation directly
If you are designing PCBs, Eagle is my go-to.
Fritzing is gaining a lot of momentum lately:
For 3D modelling software there are several options:
My favourite is sketchup:
There are gcode plugins for sketchup, however I export as stl and use pycam
to generate gcode from sketchup.
Blender is also very good:
There is a gcode generator for blender as well:
Another comprehensive package is DAZ3D
Again, I use pycam with DAZ3D.
I use Tinker CAD for many of my 3D printing projects, I plan to try
machining a design 'one of these days'.
Now, for the CAM side of CAD-CAM. As mentioned, pycam is a very good
choice for generating gcode from 3D models. I don't remember, but I
believe it also does 2D/2.5D file formats such as DXF.
I plan to evaluate QCAD/CAM, it looks to be a native OSX package with
similar features to cambam. It may replace CAMBAM as my rapid prototyping
These are the native OSX software packages that I have used. They have
proven to be stable and capable. Not included are the packages that I
evaluated and found lacking for my needs or packages that are too expensive
for my hobby budget.
For real-time motion control I'm unaware of a OSX option. And frankly OSX
isn't cost effective. Mach3 or LinuxCNC running on a surplus PC is the
norm. I've been wanting to try something like
http://labs.nortd.com/lasersaur/manual/driveboard since motion control
doesn't really require a full-blown PC.
On Tue, Jul 2, 2013 at 6:05 PM, Garry Foster <gmfoster@...> wrote:
> What you missing is an operating system that can actually do something.
> That is why there are no native answers, and I am sending this from an
> apple device. But I don't try and cross the ocean in a car or the desert in
> a boat. When you try and use a device the manufacturer doesn't allow for
> the tools to do the job that is what you are doing. Your same question has
> been asked for 10 -15 years now. I know the hardware is up to the job but
> for whatever reason the tools are few to use Apple devices in this field. I
> suspect cost enters in to this somewhere.
> Sent from Garry's iPhone
> On Jul 2, 2013, at 2:08 PM, JB <jambomac@...> wrote:
> > On Jul 2, 2013, at 12:48 PM, Garry Foster <gmfoster@...> wrote:
> >> Wine
> >> Sent from Garry's iPhone
> > Mac OS X native, please� I'm tired of updates, patches, emulations and
> > Or am I missing something?
> > Thanks,
> > JB
> > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> > ------------------------------------
> > Yahoo! Groups Links
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- This is getting to be a bit too much bickering.
I'm on my 25th personal computer since 1980, and must have used over fifty versions of OS's over those years.I don't know how many different mainframes I've dealt with over the years or work computers.
That's what colors my views. Never mind which OS or hardware I prefer to use.
I was always able to repair, maintain, and enhance my relatives computers. I was glad I never had the like problems with my computers, even when we had very similar computers.
One thing I've known for a long time is that Windows computers deal with a file according to the suffix or filetype that is attached to the name of the file. While Macs and Amigas went by the the embedded filetype identification you have in the first few characters of the file itself. Text handling on Windows needs an end-of-line hidden character and a carriage return hidden character at the end of each line while Amiga and Mac used just the end-of-line hidden character.
It's a minor point. But it sure was a bit slick how the Amiga and Mac would correct PC text by removing the unneeded command code on the ends of the lines and if you were sending something to a PC. would add to the text the expected command codes.
All I'm saying is that all computers work with minor changes between them and most any computer of a different make or OS can deal with files from another OS.
Best to ya...
Milwaukee, Wi, USA
On Jul 5, 2013, at 1:45 PM, Andy M <trumpy81@...> wrote:
> GDay Jeffrey,
> I agree with most of your points but Windows does destroy itself over
> time. This is particularly true of Windows XP. In fact Microsoft even
> alerted people to that fact in their documentation and recommended that
> it be reinstalled after a period of time.
> As you may or may not be aware, when running Windows XP, simply clearing
> the temp folder can have a big impact on it's overall performance. There
> are a number of reasons why that is so, but it was one of the first
> things I would do whenever I serviced a PC running XP.
> Apple software is rubbish in many ways, even today on the iPhone/iPad
> they still insist on doing something that was changed back in the 80's.
> They give duplicate filenames for images in email ... argggghhhhhh! That
> can be quite frustrating when trying to save the images on a PC or Linux
> box ... lol
> And a Mac generated web page displays fine in Safari, but not in any
> other browser, another failure to adhere to accepted standards.
> And iTunes on the PC at least is a disaster as well. I hate using it but
> when you have 6 iPods and an iPad in the house you don't have a lot of
> The only saving grace with Mac OS is that you don't get as much crapware
> but even that is changing and so is the virus scene apparently.
> Andy M
> Jeffrey Birt wrote:
>> "Well, I mean to imply that Mac hardware is a lot better than the lower end
>> hardware used for the lower end machines of Windows. Midrange and above
>> Windows machines are nice things. But you still have that problem where
>> Windows gradually corrupts itself and fails while the hardware remains as
>> good as the day you bought it.
>> If only Microsoft would fix their OS so that it wouldn't destroy itself over
>> If your Mac hardware makes you happy then I'm happy for you, really. But
>> your statement about is a load of rubbish. I'm writing this on a low end HP
>> PC that I bought from Staples last year for less than $500. The PC it
>> replaced was about six years old (Asus barebones that I built) and cost
>> about the same. The old PC had a couple of larger HDs fitted and is now my
>> home server. The old server was a 10 year old low end HP. All of these PCs
>> have run 24/7 for years without a problem (except for the occasional reboot
>> after an install or a shutdown for a bad thunderstorm).
>> None of these machines have been the latest and greatest HW available. They
>> have been low end to middle of the road. All have worked very well.
>> Windows does not destroy itself over time, PC users destroy their PCs over
>> time. Sometimes it is not their fault, some software is crap, and installs
>> all sorts of services that refuse to go away unless you are computer savvy
>> enough to manually root them out. Interestingly ITunes and Quicktime fall
>> into this category, their phone-home update/license checking scheme will
>> cause a short duration bog down of the processor, any time sensitive
>> application will hiccup because of this (Adobe Acrobat Reader did this a few
>> years ago as well.) Then you add in the crapware that gets installed, etc.
>> and you wind up with a mess.
>> Apple has their own issues and any user that can screw up a PC can also
>> screw up their Mac. Apples SW updates can also wreak havoc, the university I
>> work at has given up on Apple's Active Directory support as they screwed
>> things up so bad with every other update. The last straw was a bug that
>> locked Mac users out of their own computers. It took a hack and a good deal
>> of work just to allow users to log back into their own PCs. I have a friend
>> who has been a Mac user for years (and is a savvy person) who has had no end
>> of troubles with ICal screwing things up.
>> Macs are OK, no better or worse than Windows PCs. The operators are
>> generally the weak link :)
>> Jeff Birt
> Yahoo! Groups Links