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GCAM Special Edition - 2.5D CAD/CAM with G-code output
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README

README
Source code file for G-Code generation, simulation, and visualization
library.

Copyright (C) 2006 - 2010 by Justin Shumaker
Copyright (C) 2014 by Asztalos Attila Oszkár

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
(at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the
GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with this program. If not, see <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/>.


GCAM Special Edition - GNU Computer Aided Manufacturing 
=======================================================
GCAM is a free CNC milling package that was designed to make generating 
g-code a fast and robust process. New projects in GCAM start by asking 
the user to enter in a set of parameters that correspond to the material 
and machine being used. Once completed, a block of virtual material 
appears in a 3d window. This block of material represents the same 
block of material that will be cut on the CNC mill. In addition, a set 
of default "code blocks" appear in the block list. Additional code 
blocks must be inserted to mill away material from the block to achieve 
the desired part. After completing this process the user can export the 
corresponding g-code for use on their CNC mill.


History
=======
GCAM was started by Justin Shumaker in February 2006. He had recently 
purchased a CNC mill and wanted to download a free CAM package that 
would allow him to generate tool paths through a GUI. After discovering 
a plethora of $100 - $200 packages and only a handful of free packages 
in the form of command line scripts he endeavored to make a robust CAM 
package free to everyone. His hope is that free CAM software and low 
cost CNC hardware will motivate individuals to create parts in their own 
workshop.

Nearly a decade later very little seems to have changed - easy to use, 
free CAM software for simple 2.5D milling is still exceedingly scarce, 
which means maintenance of GCAM continues to make sense even if it isn't 
expected to compete with professional CAM packages available today. 
By 2014 the original website was gone, so an archived copy of GCAM was 
picked up by Asztalos Attila Oszkár and GCAM Special Edition was born.

CNC Milling is not a particularly inexpensive hobby to get into. A 
micro CNC mill can cost on average between $1,000 - $2,000 USD. 
Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) milling software can cost between $100 
and $10,000 USD. The purpose of creating this software was to help make 
CNC Milling as affordable as possible for anyone to get into.


WARNING
=======
Perhaps needless to say it is entirely your responsibility as the machine 
operator to ensure that the G-code produced by GCAM will not harm the tool 
or the machine it is executed on - any changes are extensively tested, but 
there is ALWAYS A POSSIBILITY that GCAM will do something unexpected or 
unsafe, and each new version could potentially introduce errant behavior 
even for things that used to work just fine before. This is particularly 
true for the Special Edition of GCAM, which has seen massive changes in its 
code compared to the legacy version - identical conduct was pursued as far 
as possible, but clearly incorrect behavior HAS BEEN occasionally corrected, 
so please do consider that your existing projects MAY POTENTIALLY GENERATE 
UNEXPECTED RESULTS with the Special Edition. You should ALWAYS verify the 
output of GCAM with a G-code simulator to avoid potentially costly mistakes!
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