Online (Cloud) CNC (drawing/CAD/CAM) resources for students

We’ve fielded a couple of requests about this from teachers, and I put together a few suggestions, but was wondering what I might have missed. Please share anything here which you think might be useful for teachers and students.

My suggestions were:

Basically there are 3 options:

  • use a program to make an SVG or DXF and import that into Carbide Create running on a Mac or Windows machine to make toolpaths
  • use an online tool which will make an STL, then import that into a 3rd party 3D CAM tool such as MeshCAM, pyCAM, or FreeMill — examples include OnShape and TinkerCAD
  • use an online CAD/CAM solution such as Autodesk Fusion 360

I have been using BlockSCAD: which can then be exported to OpenSCAD, and either a DXF or STL exported (it’s also possible to export an STL from the web interface, but it’s not really feasible to make a DXF suitable for export from it beyond the most basic of shapes) — see: Knapp Joint with CNC — mostly I use it and a search of “blockscad” on the forums should review a lot of options. Working on a bit of a tutorial at: but haven’t done the 3D part yet. Your students may find the 2D section of that of use and if there is an online 2D drawing program which you find which suits you, I could adapt the text to it if that would be helpful.

One could use any online program which will make SVGs:

(those are all from a quick search — I haven’t used them)

One notable option in this space is GraviT which is available for Chrome OS — I’ve used it in the past (even donated when they were stumping for money as Quasado), but haven’t since Serif’s Affinity Designer became available for Windows.

Naturally, anyone with an iPad or Android tablet could use any SVG editor to make SVGs.

For advanced students who are interested in obscure data processing technologies, please see the paper:

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STL2PNG exists, and I am considering making that a javascript/web tool so that STL -> CC can be done more easily…

so it’s at


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Solidworks has begun a beta of design tools for children:

Looks to be oriented for 3D printing, but the design tools are interesting.