Desktop Machining



Desktop CNC Machining is quickly becoming one of the more popular methods of Rapid Prototyping small sized parts.  Follow these links to some of the sites with more information in this field.

Desktop CNC Related Sites:

Taig Tools International - Manufacturer of low cost, yet precision desktop lathes and milling machines for the past 30 years.  A true leader in the field of affordable desktop equipment with many, many accessories to offer.

Tony Jeffree - Model Machinist and more from the UK.


Step Motor Control Software:

Mach 3 Windows software.

Flashcut CNC Windows software.

Deskcnc Windows sofware.



Yeager Automation



3D Modeling Software:

TrueSpace - A very low cost yet powerful program to create 3D models which can be exported in DXF format.  Basically, TrueSpace 5 (at $200) has all the 3D model design capabilities you need.  The latest version 7 (at $600) provides more advanced features such as NURBS surfaces and DXF or STL export.

Rhino3D - A more popular 3D model generating program, still reasonably priced ($895), that allows full NURBS surface generation and more that can be exported in STL or DXF formats.


Tool Path Generating Software:

MeshCam - An incredibly low priced 3D tool path generating program.  It will import DXF, STL and BMP files and offers many machining strategies to create the final part.

Millwizard - A low priced tool path program made by the UK software giant DelCam.  It imports DXF, 3DS or STL files and creates the toolpath with the use of an easy to use wizard driven system.  You choose the part profile to machine, specify the roughing and finishing tools and off it goes creating a raster tool path.  At $250 it can't be beat.

DeskProto - Perhaps the most powerful of the affordable ($1275) 3D G-Code generating programs on the market.  It can import the STL or DXF files you create in TrueSpace or Rhino3D and create optimal 3D tool path codes.  This program offers more sophisticated abilities than Millwizard and can not be beat if your interest is in doing some serious 3D surface machining!

BobCad - A low cost, yet very good design and tool path generating program for both 2D and 3D work.   There may be a slight learning curve to it, but once mastered you have a powerful part programming tool at your disposal that didn't empty your pockets.

Deskam - A very inexpensive (almost pocket change) program that imports DXF files or allows the direct creation of simple parts with the output of standard G-Codes.

Deskcnc - An integrated package consisting of all the Deskam modules.  Allows import of DXF, STL, BMP, JPEG files and much more.  At $300 it can't be beat.


High End Jewelery Design Cad/Cam Software:

ArtCAM - An excellent all purpose jewelry design program that allows the design and generation of 3D G-Code files all in one package.  Highly touted by many MicroMill users involved in the creation of complex jewelry molds.  A little on the high side in terms of cost ( $7500 ), but well worth it for the serious designer.

Cimagrafi - Another excellent all purpose jewelry design program that creates 3D or even 4D G-Code files.  Comparable to ArtCAM in functionality and price with the added ability to perform 4 axis machining.  Also used by many happy MicroMill users worldwide.    - Note the .net extension NOT .com

Type3 - An artistic design program that has all types of sophisticated engraving capabilities such as raised lettering along with embossing and all types of jewelry design templates.  It also supports 4 axis machining.


High End Design Cad/Cam Software:

SURFCAM - A great all in one design program for 2, 3 or 4D machining.  Allows the design of sophisticated part geometries and creates optimal G-Code tool path files for machining.  Used by many educational institutions for the teaching of CNC machining.   Many MicroMill users are very pleased with the combination.  Intro versions start at around $4000 and go all the way up into the 10's depending on how much complexity you desire.

Mastercam - Perhaps the most used and standard of the industry in complex part programming.  Comparable to SURFCAM with some advantages and disadvantages relative to different user preferences.  Again, employed by many satisfied MicroMill users around the world.  Probably the most expensive package available, but well worth it to the serious and sophisticated CNC machinist.

GibbsCAM - Another very sophisticated high end solid modeling Cad/Cam program.


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Last modified: September 26, 2019

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