iPad Pro + Apple Pencil.....Workflow in general

CNC CAD and CAM are simple — it’s drawing which is hard.

The usual programs I’d suggest are:

  • Serif’s Affinity Designer
  • Cenon
  • Inkscape
  • Macromedia Flash (yes, I know Adobe sells it, but I can’t accept that)

all of which are Mac OS X desktop apps (and available for Windows and/or Linux).

You’ll want an SVG drawing program — I’m sure that there are some for the iPad — then you need to draw/create an SVG which:

  • is a proper outline representation of the paths which you want the machine to consider for cutting
  • has correct winding (outermost paths are counter-clockwise, next is clockwise and alternating
  • is appropriate to the style of cutting which you wish to do — if you want to do through cuts w/ a square or ball-nosed endmill, then you’ll need for any corners or angles to be suitable rounded

I’d really suggest starting w/ Carbide Create — it will help you to understand some of the concepts of vector drawing — once you have those down, you can find a suitable app for the iPad, use that to create the SVG, then import the SVG into Carbide Create and do CAM there.

These links may help:

There are some iPad-specific apps on the App store which may be of use — Shapeoko CNC Router, Rigid, Accurate, Reliable, and Affordable — or perhaps not — if you find them to be useful, or find others, please let us know (I’m a big believer in pen computing, and have been tempted by the idea of an iPad, but I find it hard to limit myself to Apple’s “walled garden”)

Additionally you may want to look into: http://www.indeeo.com/idraw/ and https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/freeform-vector-drawing-app/id364875544?mt=8

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