Cnc cabinets with SketchList 3D

Sketchlist 3D Professional produces dxf files that can be imported to your cnc cabinet `software flow to create files necessary to cut your parts.

What is a dxf file anyway?  Some confusion exists around this question.


Let me quote from an article posted on Woodweb [LINK]

From contributor S:
It’s not possible for you to be “cutting DXF’s on a CNC.” A DXF is a computer file composed of binary digits.

From the original questioner:
Excuse me… We are using DXF’s to cut cabinet parts on the router (usually out of some kind of sheet good).

From contributor L:
DXF files are actually text files. Once you learn the keys, you can actually read them and work out what they are doing.

From contributor S:
You are correct – a DXF file is in fact a text file. I was thinking of computer files in general. I stand corrected.

Hmm.. I guess they got to an agreement.

Very, very  basically the dxf file is a text file that specifies the size and location of parts on the material for cutting.  It looks, in part, like this.

cnc cabinet

Several years ago we implemented dxf file output to our material layout function.  The cutlist layout lays out all the parts of a job [both sheet goods and dimensioned lumber] to optimize material use.  The layout diagram looks like this – take it to the shop and cut it.  See more on that [LINK].

Or export the dxf file and import it to your cnc software flow. Notice the export button at the bottom right of the form.

cnc cabinet optimzer

I believed some of the advertisements of the time. “Draw you cabinet – push a button – and out comes the parts you need.”  Well maybe that’s not exactly it – but that is the impression of cnc newbies.


A local maker shop offered a week end workshop on working with software to cut parts on the cnc machine.  Without revisiting 16 hours of workshop, and due to my memory, I summarize by saying the dxf file imports to a software program CamBam.  we used another program – maybe to set the tool paths – but I’m foggy on that.

CamBam is an application to create CAM files (g-code) from CAD source files or its own internal geometry editor. CamBam has many users worldwide, from CNC hobbyists to professional machinists and engineers. LINK

I found it easy to learn and do.  And since it generated the necessary files for my cnc cabinet – experienced success with it.   To be fair the instructor pointed out that more complex jobs require a skill level way beyond that of the class!

If you need help bringing in CNC to your shop Ralph Bagnall’s knowledge base and willingness to help is a great source.  [LINK]

Currently using SketchList 3D on your CNC setup – send me and email or call me.  I’d love to hear about it.