So, you assembled your E3. It’s beautiful isn’t it? But if all it does is set in your shop it's all beauty, no brains. This a fundemental, inescapable truth; CNC's are as dumb as a brick. To make them functional you're going to have to get well acquainted with a few open source software programs, That is unless all you want to do is show off your assembly skills.
First, you need a program that lets you design and create text and drawing files. Because I own a Microsoft Surface Pro 4, I use Microsoft’s Publisher to create the designs I want my E3 to engrave or carve. I also use Paint.net to manipulate photos and save them in a JPEG format. Of course, you might own a Mac with its own publishing suite or use a program like Corel Draw. Whatever, the only thing that matters is that you save the files you create as a JPEG.
At of this writing BobsCNC recommends that you download three software programs. The first is F-Engrave (http://www.scorchworks.com/Fengrave/fengrave.html#download), this converts JPEG and bitmap files into G-code. The second is NC Corrector (http://www.nc-corrector.inf.ua/index_EN.htm), a program that enables you to visualize the tool path programed by a G-code file. The last program is NetBeans Platform 8.1 (https://netbeans.org/downloads/) which feed s your G-code file, line by line into the Arduino board which controls the E3’s stepper motors.
Once you’ve got these programs downloaded I’ll walk you through how I’ve used them to create my first project.
Remember, you can build great things with BobsCNC,