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Up and Running with RhinoCAM

with Taylor Hokanson

Video: Introduction

Learn how to create models for CNC milling machines with RhinoCAM.
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Up and Running with RhinoCAM
Video Duration: 0s 54m 16s Appropriate for all


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CNC milling, or computer numerical control milling, allows you to carve digital 3D models out of blocks of solid material like foam, wood, plastic, and metal. Using RhinoCAM, an add-on to Rhinoceros 3D, you can create your own models for desktop CNC milling machines, and build objects that are stronger than those created by additive means, including 3D printers.

In this short course, author Taylor Hokanson explores RhinoCAM, focusing on converting a 3D model from another graphics program to a "toolpath", or a set of instructions for a CNC mill to follow. From there, you can import the toolpath into the mill of your choice. Note, however, you should already be familiar with model generation in Rhino (a Windows-only program) before attempting this material. We recommend viewing Rhino 5 Essential Training to learn more.

This course was created by Taylor Hokanson. We're honored to host this training in our library.

Rhino RhinoCAM


Welcome. My name is Taylor Hokanson and I'm an assistant professor of art at Columbia College of Chicago. In this series we'll discuss how to prepare digital models for fabrication on a computer numerical control milling machine. Also known as a CNC mill. CNC mills have been around for many years, but it's only more recently that artists, designers, and DIY engineers have been able to access this technology outside big industry. If you follow along with all the videos in this series, you'll learn how to convert a 3D model into a tool path.

Or a series of directions for a CNC mill to follow. This course will not cover the operation of the machine itself, as there are many brands of mill to choose from, each with their own individual settings and features. Rather than cover absolutely everything in this course, I'll assume that you already are comfortable with the Windows operating system. I'll also assume that you know how to generate 2D and 3D graphics in Adobe Illustrator and Rhinoceros. If you're still a novice on any of these topics, has many excellent tutorials that you may want to watch first. We'll also discuss how to import material from different graphics programs that you might be more comfortable with.

Many of the videos in this course are paired with an exercise file. These files are only available to certain membership levels. Though the files will make things more convenient, I've provided all the steps necessary for you to follow along with your own models and graphics. So, let's get started. I'm glad to have the opportunity to introduce you to RhinoCAM, toolpathing and the exciting world of digital fabrication.

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Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.

Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

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Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

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