Below is a growing list of resources that we feel would be useful for you.
Universal Desktop CNC systems that can quickly go from a CNC mill to 3D printer to Foam Cutter and more. The German-made, all-in-one systems start at under $1000 and offer full service and support right here in the USA. Visit www.stepcraft.us for more information.
Sketchup has a version called Sketchup Make that is free for personal and educational use. This is a very powerful CAD drawing program with tons of free support available on the web and on YouTube. It is capable of both 2D and 3D modeling and the files can be easily exported for both 3D printers and CNC machines.
Fusion 360 is a cloud-based 3D CAD/CAM tool for product development that combines industrial and mechanical design, collaboration, and machining in a single package. The tools in Fusion 360 enable fast and easy exploration of design ideas with an integrated concept-to-production toolset. Fusion 360 is natively written for both Mac and PC, allowing you to use your preferred OS or both at no additional cost. You can subscribe to Fusion 360 for $40/month or $300/year.
Cut 2d is a basic 2 and 2.5D drawing and CAM program. At $149.00 you can not beat the power and value of this program. It has the ability to preview all parts in 3D with a material layer of your choice so you can see what a part will look like before you send it to your CNC machine. Cut 2D toolpath creation lets you assign tool paths for pocketing, profiling and peck drilling. It is a must have for any beginner in CNC.
The Makers Guide Triple Edge Finder is the only tool that will let you find your work piece zero position in all 3 axis and accurately locate your starting point in event of mishap while cutting. The TEF works with Mach3 probing screensets. It will save you time, stop wasting material and give you peace of mind. Click HERE for more information.