Are you looking for cnc machine training? Well there are many places where you can get cnc machine training. The good thing is that there are a ton of available resources online where you can get started. Below is my guide on cnc training, cnc schools and where to go to get the best possible cnc machine training.
First up, what is the essential cnc software?
Let’s split this one up into two different categories, the cad software and the cam software. The cad software is used to create the 3d or 2d project. This is then fed into the cnc machine and the cam software converts this 3d or 2d data into g-code for the cnc machine to read and manufacture your design.
2d cad software
There are many free and paid options here. I will discuss some of my favorites.
1. AutoCAD – I started using AutoCAD back in 2006 and have seen it progress ever since. Of course, the one thing that has stayed the same is the command line. AutoCAD now does quite well with 3d, but I use it predominantly for 2d. There are a ton of free tutorials out there and Lily Allen has a blog that releases great AutoCAD tips for each new release of the software. AutoCAD LT is fine for 2d drawing and is a lot cheaper than the full package. AutoCAD is now available for both Mac and PC.
2. Adobe Illustrator – This is a vector based program from Adobe and really is the benchmark for all vector based design. Available for both Mac and PC, Illustrator has been around for a long time and has been constantly refined to the great product it is now. There are also plenty of tutorials out there for free to get going on this program.
3. Inkscape – Inkscape is the free, open source alternative to Illustrator. There are lots of tutorials out there and a great community that means you will see further future development with this program. It is also a lot more lightweight (less memory and hard drive space) than Illustrator, which is great if you want to run the program on a less powerful machine.
4. Solidworks and Rhino convert to 2d, but are primarily 2d programs, so I do not use these programs for 2d work, but I have heard of others using it for a good mix between 2d and 3d successfully.
3d cad software
1. Blender – Strictly speaking, not for cad/cam work, but it is free and open source, with a massive community, it would be a great program to learn how to 3d model with before switching to a paid parametric based software package.
2. Inventor – Made by Autodesk, it packs more features than just t he regular AutoCAD 3d program. This is a good one as it integrates well with AutoCAD, which is a good thing if you are a power user of AutoCAD.
3. Solidworks – A solid program for 3d modeling and used aby many people in the design industry. This program is reliable and packs a good history list and easy to do changes. A bit expensive, but well worth the investment if you were to be 3d modeling al lthe time for cad/cam purposes.
4. Rhino – Another great 3d modeling alternative for cad/cam. There are also a lot of add ons for Rhino, including sheet unrolling and nesting for cnc production.
There are of course many other programs, but I have no experience in them. I do recommend for you to have a good look around to find one that suits. You want a program that everyone uses too, so keep that in mind. Many of these programs let you download and trial for a limited time to see if the program would suit you or not and it helps before making a large investment on a product.
Also, you should train on the latest release of a cad program. Many update every year, so it is easy to fall behind if you train on something that is outdated.There are cnc training schools or cnc machining schools that may offer short courses to get you up to speed on 2d or 3d cad programs.
What about cam, cnc training software or cnc machinist schools?
Well there are many different programs available to convert to g-code, such as MasterCAM. A lot of these programs differ depending on the cnc machine. A lot of manufacturers have their own software. This means you will have to receive cnc machine programming training and cnc machine operator training to get used to the new machine when you buy one. Many manufacturers will usually offer you this as part of the package of buying a new cnc engraving machine or 3d laser engraving machine.
Of course, if you get cam software that is a bit more widespread, then looking at cnc machine training schools could help, but these are few and far between. So I guess the best option is to look around online to see what others do and look for free tutorials online.
If you are more looking into cnc machine repair training or cnc machine maintenance training, then these classes would be more specific, and it is best to approach each manufacturer individually to find out what they need or want, as each place will be different.
Cnc machine training schools and cnc programming schools are also out there to help any individual learn more about the cnc process and cnc machines for engraving, routing, milling and cutting.
It really depends on what level of training you are willing to commit to. Like I said earlier, there are many different paid or unpaid ways that you can learn.
You can save a lot of money by doing tutorials online and getting free or cheap software for doing what your job needs instead of buying something fancy when you may not need all the bells and whistles.