sliptonic

is creating and documenting Open-Source CAM / CNC software

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I need CAM software to run my machine.
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I need CAM software and I have some opinions about how it should be done
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Thinking beyond the next feature or bug. Let's talk strategy and long term goals.
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About sliptonic

I've been a maker my whole life.  Making software became my career but I never lost the love of making physical things in the real world.  Almost twenty years ago I started playing with CNC as a hobby but I ran into a huge roadblock when I found that there was no CAM software tool for Linux.

I quickly learned that I wasn't alone in my frustration.  There was a whole community of people that wanted a Free and Open-Source CAM option.  A lot of those people became my friends and mentors and still are.

Along the way, those people led me to FreeCAD, the excellent cross-platform open-source parametric modeling software.  A fantastic tool and a great community. I was hooked!  Unfortunately FreeCAD didn't have a CAM workbench either so we banded together and started working on one.  That effort continues to this day.

We're going to build a world-class, fast, and user-friendly CAM tool in FreeCAD. It won't happen fast and the journey will have plenty of bumps but time is on our side.  

Let me tell you why I think this is important:

First of all, you don't have to use open-source software to benefit from it.  The fact that great open-source alternatives exist keeps commercial alternatives honest.  It spurs them to engage the users, to innovate, and to price competitively.  Without open-source competition, companies can ignore inconvenient platforms and lock users into their own ecosystem.

Older equipment often finds its way into the hands of hobbyists, hacker spaces, and startups who can't afford new equipment. This vintage equipment is often unsupported by commercial software.  I believe empowering the hackers, artists, and innovators is worthwhile work.

CAM is an essential part of the manufacturing process.  A manufacturer whose business depends on creating tool paths quickly and efficiently can be destroyed if an essential feature is eliminated. 

CAM is becoming an important element in the artist's toolbox.  Parametric and computational design is showing up in every domain and these ideas often cannot be fabricated by hand. These techniques are often extremely niche and don't have enough users to warrant a commercial development effort.  Open-Source makes innovation in this area possible.

Most important, at least to me, is that this is fun!  Watching a machine cut parts with precision and accuracy gives me the same satisfying feeling I got when my first software programs ran without crashing. Working with and learning from people smarter than me makes the process of building great software a joy. 

By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 2 exclusive posts
1
Writing
1
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By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 2 exclusive posts
1
Writing
1
Video

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