What does the DeskProto CAM software offer
DeskProto has been created to offer CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing) to users with a different (non-CAM) profession. Like a designer needing a prototype, a jeweler needing a wax-model, a medic needing a brace, etc. DeskProto will quickly calculate toolpaths to be sent to a CNC milling machine.
It's key feature is ease-of-use, even for the most complex geometry. Novice users follow the wizard interface, experienced users can also directly change any setting (dual user interface).

DeskProto offers a complete set of tools: 3D machining, 2D machining and bitmap machining, all in one program, for a very low price! DeskProto can be combined with any 3D design program (CAD) and with any CNC milling machine. DeskProto Full and V4.2 include complete rotation axis support.

DeskProto is in 3 different versions available, the entry, expert and multiaxis version. You can click on the versions to get more information or see a Comparison Table here.

DeskProto Entry edition: the Lowcost version.

3D CAM at an unbelievable low price.

The DeskProto Entry Edition offers all toolpath types that are needed to use your CNC milling machine:

  • 3D machining of the geometry in an STL file.

  • 2D machining of the drawing in a DXF file.

  • Bitmap machining of the picture in a bitmap file (GIF, JPG, BMP).

DeskProto Entry is meant for users having a low budget. For instance hobbyist who have a small CNC mill in the garage, and need an affordable CAM program. It is also a great tool for schools and small companies that only need basic CAM functionality. Still quite complex models can be produced, like the Coat-of-Arms model shown below



All in DP Entry:
3D toolpaths for the relief,
2D paths for the name,
the clock is
a bitmap.



Functionality in the DeskProto Entry Edition

The DeskProto Entry Edition is in fact the same program as the other two editions, however without the advanced parameters meant for the more experienced users. So the number of available options has been reduced for the Entry edition, all other functionality is identical for the Entry and Expert editions. In order to compare the three editions you can use the comparison table.

The following settings are available in DeskProto Entry:

  • Scale, Mirror and Rotate the geometry

  • Set a bottom level (the minimum Z-value to be machined).

  • Define and select cutters

  • Distance between the parallel toolpaths, and stepsize along the toolpath

  • Speeds: feedrate and spindle speed

  • Roughing options: skin thickness and layer height

  • Simple 2D machining

  • Bitmap machining (grey-value to Z-Height conversion)

And, in addition to calculating toolpahts, the following options:

  • Simulate the 3D toolpath

  • Estimate the machining time

  • Choose a user-interface: wizard or dialog-based, or create a project with the wizard and then fine-tune using the dialogs

  • Freely add machine-definitions

  • Configure your own postprocessor (if needed).

All three DeskProto editions share the same easy-to-use interface. All editions can read each other's project files, so after upgrading to the Expert Edition all projects created with Entry still can be opened. Obviously we do offer users of the Entry edition a special upgrade price when buying a next edition.


DeskProto Expert Edition: all options for 3-axis machining.

The Expert Edition offers a wealth of options for CNC machining.

In the Expert edition all DeskProto options are available except for the rotation axes. The result is a CAM program that allows you to produce even the most complicated models.
A few of the features that the Expert Edition offers you:

  • Two different user-interfaces: the wizards to get you started, and the dialogs to exploit all options

  • Extremely fast calculations, also for complex geometries

  • Large STL files are possible: 500 MB is no problem, for the 64 bits version even up to several GB

  • 3D machining, simple 2D machining and bitmap machining all in one program

  • The ability to freely add cutters, machines and postprocessors

  • A very intuitive user-interface.


DeskProto Expert applications

The DeskProto Expert Edition is meant for professional users who's profession is not CNC machining. Like designers and modelmakers needing a prototype, artists for a sculpture, medics for a brace, etc.

DeskProto can be combined with any 3D CAD program, and with any CNC milling machine.
Using DeskProto you can create a model in many ways:



Functionality in DeskProto Expert

The following settings are available in the DeskProto Expert Edition:

  • Roughing and Finishing operations, the roughing options: skin thickness and layer height

  • Limit the area to be machined using a (freeform) segment

  • Dynamic feedrate control: automatically reduce for high chip-loads. Also called "Bit Saver feature"

  • Many machining strategies available (see below)

  • Inverse milling: machine a cavity that fits the geometry in the STL file

  • Add support blocks, needed when machining from several sides or with a rotation axis

  • Meander/climb/conventional, Ambient skipping, Collet collision check, ...

  • Simple 2D machining, and you can also project the 2D contour on the 3D geometry

  • Bitmap machining (grey-value to Z-Height), also project the bitmap relief on the 3D geometry

  • Choose a user-interface: wizard or dialog-based, or create a project with the wizard and then fine-tune using the dialogs.

  • Freely add machine-definitions

  • Configure your own postprocessor (if needed).

The above list only shows the most important features. For a more complete list the comparison table that compares the three editions of DeskProto.

DeskProto Expert offers a large number of Milling Strategies for the toolpaths:

Available Milling Strategies in the DeskProto Expert Edition:

Parallel to X

Parallel to Y

Parallel to X, angled



Crosswise, angled




Block, angled



Circular with corners


Waterlines (constant Z)

Contour only (smoothing contour)



DeskProto Multi-Axis: the Flagship edition, for 4-axis milling and 5-axis milling.

Multi-Axis edition offers all Expert options plus four-axis and five-axis machining.

In the Multi-Axis edition all DeskProto options are available. The result is a CAM program that allows you to produce even the most complicated models.
The extra features that DeskProto Multi-Axis offers:

  • Continuous Rotation axis machining: during machining the part is rotated by the machine's fourth axis.

  • Indexed Rotation axis machining: the fourth axis is used to machine the part from several sides.

  • Five-axis machining (indexed): the model can be machined from almost all sides.


DeskProto Multi-Axis applications

The DeskProto Multi-Axis edition is meant for users needing more than three axes. Like modelmakers making complex models, jewelers needing a wax model, artists for a sculpture that needs to be machined from all sides, etc.

DeskProto can be combined with any 3D CAD program, and with any CNC milling machine.
Some examples of the extra options offered by this edition:


Functionality in the DeskProto Multi-Axis Edition

The Multi-Axis edition offer ALL options that are available in the Expert Edition.
So all Strategies shown on the Expert page are available as well, both for three-axis jobs and for indexed machining. The illustrations below shows the extra Strategies for continuous rotation.

Available Rotation Strategies in DeskProto Multi-Axis:

Rotation, parallel X

Rotation, parallel A

Rotation, block


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