Design and Make

As I understand it, this was a 3rd party site selling 3D files for Vectric software which the company bought:

Basically you go to:

and download the software, ‘Design & Make Machinist’ and install it, then you can access the free content:

after making an account:

but of course, what they really want you to do is to purchase files, which is how they monetize.

They offer a couple of different file formats:

The files seem to be provided in a .exe archive which unloads them at: C:\Users\Public\Documents\Vectric Files\Design&Make

Note that there is an option to indicate which Vectric software you own so that the web site will indicate which files you already own.

Launch the application — you can manually load the file if you know its name and location by navigating to it — given the obscure filenames, it’s a shame that there isn’t some sort of interactive browsing option other than the web interface.

Once you have loaded a file you will get a 3D preview:

Click the Next button

Adjust size and placement as desired

Click the Next button again

Select a suitable endmill and assign suitable feeds and speeds for the roughing toolpath using a chart: chipload calculator, or by testing:

Click Next

Repeat for the finishing pass:

If desired, add a toolpath to cut out the 3D design all the way through the specified stock:

(you would skip that if machining the design in place on the stock)

Click Next

Simulate and verify the toolpaths:

Click Next

Select a suitable post-processor and save the file for machining:

Apparently the only option is a .v3m file which you can then load into Vectric software (Cut2D is the least expensive specified) — rather than allow directly opening, the file has to be imported, then one can arrange toolpaths as desired — which seems rather redundant given the need to assign endmills, feeds, speeds, and post-processor in Design and Make.

Articles on Vectric about it:

EDIT: Note that Design and Make makes one assign everything needed for machining and will write out a G-Code file without further edits (see below). See — note that it is possible so as to allow Cut2D (which usually only does 2.5D) to integrate these 3D files with 2.5D designs:


So, is the only solution to buy Vectric software?

I believe that you could:

  • make an account
  • download a file as an STL or pixel image file
  • use an opensource CAM tool such a pyCAM, or a free one such as FreeMill

I will say that Design and Make integrates nicely with Vectric products such as VCarve Desktop. I have purchased several models and have been very happy with them.


I was able to cut this after signing up for free using the design & make software. I exported it to Grbl and was able to run it in Carbide Motion. 1 hour for roughing and 1 hour for finishing using a 1/8" Ball nose. The design I cut was 6" X 6".


Thank you for pointing that out. I’ve edited my post above.

One can export toolpaths from this — just click on the toolpath buttons:

I was excited that it worked. 1st full 3d cut that I have made.

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Does this work with carbide motion?

Yes. Carbide Motion (and Grbl) accept most G-Code.