CAM Legacy Export

Toolbar / Icon:
Add-on:  QCAD/CAM
Menu: CAM > CAM Legacy Export
Commands: camexportv1


QCAD/CAM can export CAD drawings to various formats used in CAM (computer-aided manufacturing). These formats can be dialects of G-Code or other, completely different formats. Each supported CAM format is defined in a configuration file which is an ECMAScript (JavaScript) file that implements the format details. All available configurations are stored inside the directory scripts/Cam/CamConfigurations. New format implementations can be added to the same location.
More information about how to create new configurations can be found on our web site at:


  1. Load the drawing (or Gerber file) you want to export to a CAM format.
  2. Start the tool by clicking its tool button or choosing its menu (see above).
  3. The CAM configuration dialog is shown:
  4. Choose the file format you want to use. The name of the file format directly corresponds to the name of the configuration file stored on disk. In the dialog shown above, the configuration GCode is chosen which corresponds to the file scripts/Cam/CamConfigurations/GCode.js. The various CAM export parameters displayed in the CAM configuration dialog are automatically initialized to the default parameters used by the chosen configuration.
  5. In the General section at the top of the dialog, you can choose if you want to use relative or absolute coordinates and the tolerance used to identify connected paths. The tolerance is the maximum gap between two end points to be treated as connected.
  6. In the Closed Path section, you can activate some options that only apply to closed paths. A closed path or contour consists of a number of entities which are connected to each other. The last entity connects to the first entity of the path. Full circles are also treated as closed paths.
    • The Ramp on option adds an additional linear move before the first entity of a closed path from the direction of the path center. The figure below illustrates the cutting path and order without a ramp on, with a ramp on with factor 1.0 (from center) and with a ramp on with factor 0.5.
    • The same option is also available for Ramp off,, an additional linear move at the end of the closed path, towards the center of the path.
    • With option Forced orientation, it is possible to force all contours to be cut in the same orientation (clockwise or counterclockwise). This is usually required if the chosen CAM configuration uses the same tool radius compensation mechanism (e.g. G40, G41, G42) for all closed contours.
    • Option Split full circles in two arcs cuts all full circles as two halves. This is required for some controllers which cannot handle circles with an angle of over 180 degrees.
  7. Click OK to start the conversion. Depending on the size and complexity of the drawing, the conversion might take several minutes to complete. You can follow its progress in the command line history output.
  8. QCAD/CAM opens a new drawing with the conversion result upon complete conversion. The drawing contains two layers, one for regular linear and circular moves (shown in black or white) and one for rapid moves (shown in blue). You can also use the CAM simulation tool panel to simulate the output.

Note: the unit used for coordinates in the CAM output is defined by the CAM configuration that is used. The coordinates in the drawing that is used as source are automatically converted to the unit defined by the CAM configuration.