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Which CAD programs to use for scale modeling

Hi, my E2 just arrived this week and I’m pumped to start using it, but up till now I’ve only worked in 3D CAD. So some very basic questions for the brilliant makers I see on this forum:

I have Inkscape, is it possible to produce scaled drawings using it? Similar to how you can in freecad, or do I need to do the scaling in Laserweb?

Is there an online library for Gcode similar to grabCAD?

Is there a good learning/teaching resource for laser CNC similar to the ones for 3D print produced by Make magazine?  

G’day Timothy.

I do architectural and ship modelling in Inkscape, everything is drawn to scale there and laserweb is only used to send the finished .svg file to the laser. Not sure what your modelling interests are so I can’t be too helpful. If its architectural or ship modelling then I can point you to some tutorials on using Inkscape.

Keen to help.if you let me know some more specifics.


Chris J

Thanks for the offer Chris, any help is welcome.

I plan on making toys and maybe some scale models. I didn’t think measurements ( " or mm) could be entered into Inkscape? I thought it worked in pixels. But I’ve only used it to make lettering to then export into freeCAD.

Post your tutorials links below and I’ll be happy to check them out. 

Inkscape px to mm change can be done in the Document Properties option under the File menu. Theres a dropdown box in Document Properties near the top right, however it doesn’t set them permanently and must be reset each time you start a new project.

Here are a couple of Inkscape tutorials that show how to make model buildings and train carriages so should hopefully be pertinent to you. One is an initial intro, the second is a bit of a rewrite but goes further into it. Most other tutorials focus on the graphic arts side of Inkscape, making bunches of flowers or 3D beach balls etc, so these are much more useful.

They are intended to produce an .svg file to use on a computer cuting machine, but since thats basically what a laser is, it applies well for use here.

Some tutorials can be a bit dry and long-winded but these managed to hold my attention the whole way through and gave me pretty much all my current Inkscape skills.

Additionally they are for Inkscape Version 0.48 but if you have 0.91 its all pretty much the same, except 0.91 has a measuring tool which is useful.



Thanks Chris!

Those are really helpful. I found some other threads on that form good too.

Between there and youtube I’m well catered for :slight_smile:

My first project is some radius gauges for bogging fillets at work, sure will be beat making them by hand!  

I’ve found that there is a great set of tutorials on Lynda.com. I’m not sure what the cost is, I’m fortunate that my work subscribes, and I can access the site for courses of interest to me.

For those who might not have the benefit that your work provides, some public libraries have licenses with Lynda.com. Our local library is one of them. Signing in with a library card number and a huge collection of the high quality Lynda.com videos are yours to enjoy.

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Thanks Fred - Good to know for the future!

Possibly another answer:

I use Corel Draw to make up HO scale model buildings, etc. for my layout.

The beauty of vectors is the facility to scale any drawing up or down.

Also, I found Laserweb allows me to resize a .svg image.

Also e.g. a drawing done for an inlaid birthday card was scaled down (plus a bit of removing of cut lines) to make a pendant and then smaller earrings.