Newbe software learning curve

I am a total newbe to CNC and I ordered a Onefinity today. Can I get the software to practice with while I wait 3 months for delivery?

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There is demo software for download on the Buildbotics site. When I asked OF they said it would be very similar to their version, and would provide good insight and practice.

That software is called camotics.

Easel is free and easy to learn. Is web-based so you can open it and use it anywhere with an internet connection.

Hi Erik - start by getting familiar with the workflow. You generally design your product in some sort of CAD software, then develop the machining (i.e., tool paths) in a CAM software, and export the tool paths as gcode using a post processor (PP). Then send your gcode to the machine using a controller. The OF has an integrated controller, so you don’t need a separate computer. I have a video series that might be helpful.

Camotics is a CAM simulation SW that lets you validate your tool paths by visualizing your gcode.

Easel is a combination of light weight CAD/CAM and controller SW. You can do some very basic designing, build your tool paths, and generate gcode (and send it to the X-Carve but not the OF).

Other SW packages include CamBam, Vectric V-Carve/Aspire, Fusion 360, Carveco. All have varying levels of complexity, cost, and learning curves.

Hope this helps.


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As a fellow noob, welcome to the world of CNC, I’ve watched a lot of different youtube videos, so far I’ve played around in Fusion 360 with limited success. I’ve had the most success using Carbide Create, but I’ve also only had my 1F for less than 30 days. Carbide Create is free software designed for the Shapeoko, but it works great on the 1F using GRBL in the post processing. @MyersWoodshop has some great youtube videos related to all things CNC and specifically Carbide Create. I also use GIMP and Inkscape for creating SVG files to import into Carbide Create. I was pretty overwhelmed at first, but just take it one step at a time. And feel free to reach out if you need any tips noob to noob.


Is there a way to import from Powerpoint? or a scanned line art?

If you can get it into a JPG, PNG, or Bitmap file and it is black and white, you should be able to bring it into Inkscape and convert it to SVG. Here is a youtube videos I learned from. Inkscape Tutorial: Vector Silhouettes - Logos by Nick This guy has some really good Inkscape tutorials.

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I did a little tinkering with powerpoint and discovered that i can save a drawing as a SVG file as well as jpeg


Any vector format (SVG) is best. I would, however, take a close look at the output file. Sometimes programs generally a lot of nodes in their vectors, which can choke some programs (like Fusion 360).

If you’re outputting in SVG, I’d just start in Inkscape instead, but use whatever makes you most efficient.


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What did you mean by this?
Sorry, I’m totally new at this and I have no experience with machines and my husband is useless when it comes to these things too haha

I’m waiting on my OF and have been making simple projects on Easel. Will I not be able to use them on my OF. Am I just wasting my time? I find it the easiest, so far, to figure out

Hi Robin - at at super high level, the basic CNC workflow is:

Concept → Design (CAD) → Manufacturing (CAM) → Post Processing → Machining (via a controller)

Easel provides very basic CAD and slightly less basic CAM. It is capable of post processing the CAM, which generates the gcode, which is the language of CNCs. It can also send the post processed gcode to most hobbyist CNCs connected via USB. In this case, the computer you use with Easel is also used to send gcode to the CNC, acting as part of the controller in this case (in addition to the motor drivers on the machine itself).

The OF has a builtin computer that sends the gcode to the machine, so you don’t need a separate external computer to send gcode to the CNC. As such, you can not send gcode directly to the OF using Easel. You need to export your gcode from Easel and upload it the OF to execute.

Exporting from Easel is fairly easy, but it is buried the menus and not very intuitive.

I hope this helps.


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Hello Tom, and Robin I hope you don’t mind if I jump in on this conversation. I have been researching CNC machines for hours on end. I have wanted one for 20 years. I only have one very simple question. If I purchase the 1F, which I am planning to do, and the Vetric VCarve Pro software, am I set for what I need? Would I need another Post Processing software like Mach or something like that? I’m not looking to make shop signs I would like to make detailed carvings in 2.5D, I guess is the way to say that, and other things. Thank you so much for your help. I have been through every post in this forum and I cannot find anyone that directly asked this question.

Thanks again for helping the guy not even a newbie yet!!


Hi Matt - welcome to the forums. Great question, and the simple answer is, yes. Vectric has a post processor that outputs gcode that you can upload into the OF. There was a bug in earlier versions of the post processor, but it has been resolved, so you should be good to go.

As for the more existential question of “are you set” - well, that depends on a lot of other things :wink:


Hi Tom,
I got as far as mounting my 1F on my bench but have yet to make anything yet due to time. (and a little fear) My regular work hasn’t allowed me to spend much time on it.
I like your YouTube channel it is very informing BUT, sometimes you go into too much detail.
ie; some menus go way too deep for the beginner ( my eyes gloss over and I lose track).
I would find it helpful to have a work flow description which outlined from set up to carving to see the process without elaborating on every potential setting change possible along the way.

Hi Erik - thanks for the feedback. It is always hard to balance detail with brevity; I’m sure you know if I left anything out someone would complain the opposite! :confused:

Anyway, I did a 101 series that talks about the digital manufacturing workflow and then dives into each step separately. Curious if that is more of what you are looking for?


This should help: Onefinity Controller Software Manual

I started off playing with the trial version of Vectric. It actually felt more intuitive for me than using Carbide Create even though it’s a more complicated piece of software. I eventually decided to go with Carveco Maker though, as Vectric Desktop will only allow a 24"x24" work area which would artificially limit the Onefinity. The $15/mo for Carveco is reasonable enough and can always be paused when you’re not needing it. They’ve also got a solid amount of video tutorials posted on their website if it’s something you decide to try.

I would recommend tinkering around with a few different options to see what feels best for you. Even if it’s just to run simulations, you will feel much more comfortable when it actually comes time to start cutting wood.

I’m a newbie. I use Fusion 360 to design and generate the gcode.

The frustration I felt was getting something milled quickly, a successful output, and to get over the first cut jingle-jangles when the cutter rotating at 20,000 revs makes a dive for your workpiece and board while you hiver over the stop button.

I’d suggest finding any package that you find easy to understand to get to some gcode you can run. I found carbide create good for this purpose but limiting after that. Then tune your taste and workflow later.

What would be good, and something that Carbide3d do is deliver their cnc with an example file to run through carbide create to create gcode and a piece of material (bamboo off-cut) that is married to the file.

One of the tutorials above may give you this opportunity with a standard thickness piece of plywood, can’t remember; I’ve watched so many.

As a heads up, except to spend more time at your computer than you envisaged and then loads of time watching your first few attempts get milled out; hours (will it miss the hold-downs, is it too fast, too slow, too deep, will it stop before it routes a hole through the table?).