Switch from .dxf to .gcode

To mill your first part, you usually start with a “.dxf” file, either downloded or created with your favorite CAD software.

To work with our machine, .dxf files (CAD files) must be converted to .gcode files (machine language files). A .gcode file is a script in which each line is a command that is sent to the machine. For example, a command might direct the machine’s cutter to an X and Y coordinate at a specific speed to begin, continue, or finish work.

To convert .dxf files to .gcode files, G-code generator software is required.

  • Cambam is an expensive, full-featured program designed for professional use.
  • Estlcam is an inexpensive and easy to use option, and the trial version is unlimited. This is a good option for you if you are just getting started and you don’t want to get lost in the choices presented by a professional package.

Tutorials for both of these products are available online.

After you have converted your .dxf files to .gcode files, transfer them to an SD card and you are ready to begin using the machine!

R-CNC first use

  • Be sure the machine is powered off.
  • Fix your “raw” (your material to be milled) on a “martyr” (usually softwood plate that is put between the plate and our workpiece to spare our beautiful tray!)
  • Firmly clamp the material to be machined so that it does not move during machining and check the machining path to ensure that your clamps are not in the path of the end mill. These steps are critical to good results.
  • Mount in the machine an end mill of the same diameter that had been specified in the g-code generation software.
  • By pulling the gantry and using the machine’s X and Y knobs, place the end mill at the “origin point” as specified in your G-code generator. Usually, the “origin point” is at the bottom left of your material to be milled. When your X and Y positions are correct, lower the end mill to the correct Y position. Cigarette papers can help to make the Y positioning precise.
  • With the end mill at the starting point, power on the machine. If you forgot to power off the machine before positioning the end mill, power it off now and power it on again. This is critical because if you have moved the axes with the “move an axis” function on the LCD, the point of origin will remain at the position in which the machine was when it was switched on and will automatically leave this position at the start of the program!
  • Insert the SD card containing your .gcode file(s). On the LCD screen, select and validate the .gcode file you want to use. Adjust the spindle’s speed using the speed control knob or dial on the spindle.
  • Begin the program!
  • When the program has finished, the end mill returns to the starting point.


Precautions to be taken with each machining

  • Wear protective goggles and especially a dust mask while machining and cleaning the machine. MDF (many brands contain formaldehyde) and carbon dust are toxic.
  • After each use, vacuum with a vacuum cleaner dedicated to the machine (not the household vacuum!) Be certain to get the belts, pulleys, threaded rods, motors, lcd, chains, pass cables, etc. Wear that dust mask!
  • The machine must be kept under surveillance during machining.
  • If you have children, remove the machine’s power cord when you are finished using the machine.
  • I am not responsible in case of physical harm or material degradation!


  • Clean the threaded rods regularly and lubricate them with PTFE dry lubricant.
  • Check for correct tension of the belts and the X/Y perpendicularity
  • Check that dust does not accumulate on the electronics
  • Check that the height of the tray is always set correctly

You can help me for the translation, as you can see, my English is not perfect, you can copy the page, correct it, and mail me at romaker@makerfr.com , I would be very happy 🙂

For technical questions, you have the forum .

14 thoughts on “R-CNC Use”

  1. Salut,
    J’aimerai me lancer dans la fabrication de cette superbe cnc pour une utilisation fraisage carbone principalement, est-ce envisageable avec les bonnes conditions de coupe ? J’aimerai récolter des infos à ce sujet avant de me lancer.

    merci 🙂

    1. Bonjour, oui j’ai déjà répondu à cette question dans les commentaires ! Il n’y a pas de soucis du momentq ue l’on utilise la bonne fraise avec les bons paramètres de coupe. Et que l’on se protège bien de la poussière de carbone 😉

  2. Bonjour j ai une question plus technique pourquoi il n’ y a pas de end stop fin de course sur cette machine ? Cela aurait été intéressant.merci de la réponse et jolie travaille je pense me lancer dans la réalisation de cette machine

    1. Bonjour,
      Il me semble avoir répondu à une question similaire dans les commentaires quelque part !
      En fait sur ce type de machine les endstop ne servent à rien car le point d’origine de chaque pièce est différent ( pas comme sur une imprimante 3D), il faut caler la fraise manuellement au point d’origine sur la matière brute à usiner (qui est différent à chaque fois) puis lancer le programme.

  3. Grâce à vous, je vais essayer… J’ai l’impression que c’est possible…. Pouvez-vous peut-être conseiller des sites en langue de Voltaire pour les paramétrages de fraisage SVP. J’ai étudié ça quand j’avais 17 ans et j’en ai 3.706 fois plus ! Merci encore pour cette belle initiation !

    1. Bonjour !
      C’est un trop vaste sujet avec trop de paramètres, en fait c’est du cas par cas les paramètres de chaque fraisage, le mieux c’est de faire des tests sur des chutes de matières et de prendre des notes 😉

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