The Mill One allows you to work with your favourite CAD (Computer Aided Design) and CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing) programs to design and control your CNC. If you wish to design your own parts, you will need a CAD program which will allow you to model your parts in 3D. Once you have created your parts, you will then need a CAM program to generate the commands (gcode) which your Mill One will use to make the right movements to carve your item.
For beginners, here are some recommended programs to get you started. All of these are free to use and have been tested to work well by us and other Mill One users.
This is a great cloud-based 3D modelling software recommended for both beginners and experienced modelers since it’s quite powerful but also free. Since it runs completely on your internet browser, you can run it on almost any modern computing device without having to download anything. Your CAD projects are automatically saved to the cloud, making sharing and collaboration easy. We use Onshape to allow makers access to our designs, and the latest design of the Mill one can be found here. Onshape already offers a very comprehensive list of CAD tutorials which will easily carry you along in getting to know their software.
Fusion 360 offers a suite of powerful CAD and CAM software which works on a variety of devices, as well as great training resources and a Youtube channel to get you get you familiar with the program. Fusion 360 is free for makers and hobbyists, as well as startups and businesses which make less than $100,000USD per year.
Kiri:Moto is a super simple but very powerful 2.5D/3D CAM software which allows you to create gcode toolpaths using STL files on your browser. Kiri:Moto also can create gcode for 3D printing and laser cutting. Stewart Allen (the creator) also has provided resources to learn how to use Kiri:Moto on Github. We have also created a video on how to use Kiri:Moto for your first project.
A great free tool that you can use to either turn existing pixel images into vector images or create your own vector drawings. Also great for importing Solidworks DXFs and turning them into vector images. Here’s a great video guide for converting pixel images into vector images (courtesy of Glenn Langton):
This program is designed for 2D cutting and etching. It’s very simple and also browser-based. The makers of MakerCAM put together their own instruction set that you can follow if you’d like to become more familiar with the program:
You could also check out Caleb Peters’ three part tutorial outlining a gear coaster build he did on his Shapeoko 2, where in the first two videos he goes through making a model in Inkscape then importing the SVG into MakerCAM and generating the G-code for it.
F-Engrave is a free and open source software which provides several features useful if you are looking to do engraving work such as v carving, b carving, importing DXF and bitmap files, and more. To learn how about how it works, check out the documentation online or watch the Youtube tutorial videos.