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PixelCNC: CAM For Artists

CAM software developed by artists for artists to create unique and original works on a 3-axis CNC router or mill. · By Deftware

I need some help getting started...

A topic by created Feb 26, 2021 Views: 104 Replies: 3
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Upgrading from a Cravewright system ( simple software - I'm a novice to CNC) to possibly the Shapeodo Pro.  My application is very specific and the manufacturer agreed to run a test if I give them a G-Code file - since their software doesn't handle my application easily.  I've created a PixelCNC file as best I can but need some help before I send it to them.  Is there anyone who might take a look at it to see if I'm on track.  I think it would be pretty simple for someone who knows CNC.   I'm also thinking about to finding someone to program projects for a fee - if I get the new machine.  Thanks



Hello. I wouldn't mind taking a look but I'm a little unclear about what you need. What exactly do you need to have looked at about the project? Are you looking to have someone confirm it's possible to actually make on a CNC router, or if the G-code will actually run properly? As long as you use the GRBL post-processor (the default one) when exporting it should be fine. If you can provide more details and information about what exactly you need that would help me wrap my head around what to look out for specifically.


Hi.  I really appreciate your help.  As a retirement project, a year ago, I started making glass panels with images inspired by indigenous art I use the CNC to carve MDF to use as forms that I make clay molds from - then melt the glass into the mold.  Attached is a MDF panel that I made with my Carvewright.  I'm hoping the Shapeoko Pro machine will at least be able to replicate what I'm doing now - I need a larger workspace than Carvewright.  Also attached is a PixcelCNC file of the bark texture that I attempted.  Mostly, I was guessing after watching the YouTube video.  In addition, included is a .png file of the raven figure.  Tried to merge it with the bark texture but didn't get very far.  The Shapeoko folks said they would run a test if I can get them the g-code.  Their software doesn't handle images well and that's all I use.  At this time, it would be great if you could look at the bark file to see if I'm close and possibly make improvements if needed.  Since my application is so narrow, I need to make sure their machine will work before I buy it - (a recommendation for other machines to look at would be much appreciated).  As for the raven image - I'm going to assume that eventually I can make that work.  I am also thinking about hiring someone to make my first few projects so I can ramp up faster.  Again, thanks for helping me.   p.s. It looks like I can only upload one image to this post.  Please email me and I'll send  a closeup and the PixcelCNC file  Roger  425-870-4608

Developer (2 edits)

Hi again. Yes you can blend together the images using different blend modes for their respective layers. What are the dimensions of the MDF you're carving? I'm pretty sure the Shapeoko will be able to handle it, size-wise, as long as you get the 32x33 version.

In PixelCNC I'd start by setting the canvas Z-Fill to the top of the project's canvas volume (click Canvas Properties on the left). From there you can load in your images as raster-layers and depending on whether they are black-on-white or white-on-black you might need to invert them (edit; toggle the invert option on the layer's properties) , and then use either the subtract or minimum blend modes, then scale and position them. The bottom-center layer handle moves the layer along the XY plane when left-click-dragging and it will move the layer vertically when right-click-dragging. For the top-center layer handle the left/right click are reversed. Left-click-drag it to scale the layer vertically.

You can email your PixelCNC project to [removed] and I'll take a look at it for you :)