What is QCAD/CAM?

Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) with QCAD

QCAD/CAM is a CAM (Computer-Aided Manufacturing) add-on for QCAD, the Open Source 2D CAD system. The QCAD/CAM software includes every tool and feature that QCAD Professional has - but in addition it also has some CAM specific tools to export drawings to machine readable file formats such as G-Code. Such files are usually used to control computer controlled machines (CNC) such as milling machines, engraving machines, LASER cutting machines, plasma cutting machines or water jet cutting machines.

QCAD/CAM is a new version of the software that you might have previously known as CAM Expert.

Maximum Flexibility

While QCAD/CAM is specialized in generating CAM specific output for use on a CNC machine, it can be configured to generate virtually any output from any given CAD file. This is made possible through our new ECMAScript based output configuration. The output can not merely be configured - instead, the output filter is programmed in ECMAScript. This opens a vast number of possibilities for QCAD/CAM users. The output can be configured to produce G-Code, G-Code dialects or other open or proprietary, even binary formats. If the specification is known, it can be produced.

Main Features

QCAD/CAM adds the following features and tools to QCAD:

  • CAM Export - Export CAD drawing to configurable CAM output (for example G-Code)
    • Optimizations
      • Identify connected entities (paths) and cut them without interruption
      • Path optimization (reduce tool movement)
      • Force orientation of closed paths to clockwise or counter-clockwise
      • Cut nested paths from inside to outside (usually used for sheet metal cutting)
    • Interpolations
      • Interpolate splines as line segments
      • Interpolate ellipses as arc segments
      • Interpolate TrueType font texts as arcs and line segments
      • Optionally process full circles as two halves
    • User defined, layer specific parameters (e.g. cutting depth per layer)
    • Automatically add ramp-in, ramp-off from center (typically used for cutting Gerber imports)
  • Gerber format import (GBX, RS274X)
  • G-Code import