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Software for generating gcodes from gerber files
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README

README
Source code file for G-Code generation, simulation, and visualization
library. This software is Copyright (C) 2006 by Justin Shumaker

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 - 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.

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.
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