Category Archives: CNC Software

Pulled the trigger! Bought RhinoCAD/RhinoCAM today.

I’ve been using CamBam for a while now, and I like it, but I’m running into its limits, when it comes to non-geometric shapes. CamBam is fine for rectangles, round-rects, circles, etc, but just doesn’t cut it for more complicated shapes.

So, after talking with a few other CNC folk, I’ve decided to get RhinoCAD and RhinoCAM. I’m a bit daunted by the learning curve, and the huge number of commands, but it should work out OK. Loads of support, and many videos on line.

I’ll still be using CamBam, for anything simple, or where I just need to machine some simple shapes, but I’m hoping to migrate to Rhino for anything complicated.

Rhino prices out like this:

  • RhinoCAM 2012 Standard $1250
  • Maintenance Service $300/year
  • RhinoCAD $499
  • Shipping $35 (apparently, it comes with a USB dongle, which I hope will work with my mac running parallels)
  • Visa Service Charge $65.
  • Total: $2,249.52

Which is more than I’ve paid for just about any piece of software, ever. Yikes.

Converting Raster Images to GCode

One of the projects I am considering is converting some line drawings to something CNC routed… So, how to do this conversion? A quick search turns up a few possibilities:

Nice Overview article:

Looks good, though complicated:

More for cutting:

Really powerful. Good. Expensive! What the pros would use. I’m quite interested to try this software, and quite horrified by the price. I’m hoping for a “once a year” sale, or some bundle deal.

I haven’t had a chance to try any of these yet – but I will, and I’ll update this post.