CNC Frustration

The 3D printer has been great. The laser engraver is nice, but very slow with the underpowered 200MW laser (I wish I had the 500 MW laser that was originally promised).

My biggest issue now is getting the CNC to work. I followed the instructions to download the personal post on my mac and there was no posts folder as shown in the tutorial. I created a posts folder but then when I attempted to learn how to bring an image into Fusion360 it was a pain in the butt.

Why isn’t there an easier way to do this? What is the point of SnapmakerJS? I can generate G Code for laser printing and 3d printing with SnapmakerJS/Snapmaker3D and start my project. Why can’t I bring an image into SnapmakerJS and use it with the CNC just like I do when I use the laser engraver? I understand now why we see plenty of examples of 3d printing and a few of laser but almost none of the cnc. Right now, all I have is a fancy 3d printer and nothing more. How can we make CNC more user friendly?

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So no reply at all to this? I’d appreciate somebody from Snapmaker to step up and at least tell me they’re working on this.

Having same frustration with CNC.?
are there and examples of the Fusion Files that i can look at.

Comparing Laser Engraving an image onto a flat surface to CNC milling an image into a 3d object is like comparing putting a bandage on a paper cut verse getting stitches.

Laser engraving an image into a flat surface is a matter of passing the laser over the surface and varying the laser intensity based off the color/brightness of the pixel that is directly below the laser.

CNC milling requires understanding things like vectors, tool paths, spindle speed, depth of cut, total depth, etc. Things that are not easy to figure out from a simple image JPG. At the very least you need to have a vector image like an SVG file. Converting an JPG or the like into an SVG file is no simple task. It requires using something like Adobe Illustrator or InkScape. Even then not all images can be turned into an SVG file.

Honestly Fusion360 is the best free to use software out there for CNC milling. Take some time and watch a few tutorials on the subject.


Hi Mutter, I just got my Snapmaker and I too worked around the softwares and everything to get all 3 modules working. As you say the workflow for 3D print and laser are pretty straight forward, but CNC is something different. I got a Hello word carved in a piece of wood successfully, and I’m not using Fusion 360 since its a proprietary software that would not allow you to sell anything you make using it without you paying them for it. So I got it working from freecad, an open source software capable of creating Gcode (the one you need to feed the snapmaker with) and it works perfectly on a Mac :wink: I’m now seeing how far I can go with it and I think is enough for the kind of things I have in mind.
About your picture in CNC, that I think is a very complex process, you can’t use flat things for the CNC, you need 3D, so the first step in your process should be to convert it to a 3D shape, I have seen a tutorial ( that might get you there, but the CNC strategies to engrave, let alone carve that I don’t think they will be an easy thing to do.

I am interested on the same Topic, but decided to start with Snapmaker Step by Step. A good way to learn is, to start with Laser Engraving, than 3d Printing and at last 3D Carving. On the first step I printed Objects, which are already to print and just have to be downloaded. In the next Step I searched for Programms and learned Modeling (such as Fusion 360, Blender). I also bought a Book to learn Basics on 3D Printing and the Software to make Models. After finishing some Basic Tutorials I want to start with the Carving Module because of very complex Topic and expensive Tools (Carving Bits) which could also be damaged if handling fails. Maybe it could be helpful for the forum, if some Models would be created from the community and introduce new members in a step by step tutorial to materialize some sample models.

Don’t forget - this is a complex Machine Tool. 20 Years ago you had to pay plenty of money and learn for years, before doing something with an CNC-Machine. This is not like a Copy Maschine in the Super-Market, where you can simple put a paper on and get a copy for 10 Cent, just for pushing one button - there is to learn a lot about, before holding the first samples in the own hands.

@MutterMaker I am curious if you have tried CNC with the newer software? It’s still much more advanced than laser or 3d print… But has gotten better since original software.

I’ve used it some. My laptop (which is decent but not a beast) handles cura and the laser/3d print fine but struggles when generating/loading/previewing CNC code in JS.

However, it is now possible to load a jpg straight and have it break out based on dark/light of the original image, as far as I can tell. I poked around with the software when I first got the machine and quickly decided, this was the weakest link of the Snapmaker. However, it’s worth giving a shot now.