I have recently become a dealer for General’s CNC Machines. I sold my first one on the condition that I would set it up and assist in training the new owner how to operate both the machine and the software. The machine itself is ready to go out of the box. Basically, unpack and find a place to put it–preferably something solid. Needless to say–there is a learning curve with the software and operation of the machine. After some initial issues with getting the software loaded and working (and consulting wih General’s “amazing  technicians” –their words, not mine, although he was helpful) I got it working. After that the iPicture 1.2 software that drives the machine was actually very user friendly (the software’s friendly, not the user–I’m a grump) This machine comes with a CD which includes a lot of gray scale drawings, ready to load into iPicture and carve. This process is quite simple.


I will go into greater detail in a later blog on using the software. Once you enter the artwork you wish to carve and save the G-code, it is simply a matter of saving to a flash drive. You then insert the flash drive into the machine and go through a quick process to prepare the machine for carving. Trust me, if I can do this and carve something that quickly, it is  not rocket surgery!IMG_2769IMG_2770

These are two of the many drawing provided to get you started.IMG_2768

The General also comes with Artcam Express, allowing you to create your own custom carvings. The learning curve can be a challenge, especially if you are not familiar with art programs, but there are several tutorials available to help you learn. I would highly recommend watching some before you tackle your first project.


This is my first attempt  at designing in Artcam Express. The background texture and the rose are provided in the software. You can also import pictures and images to create your own. Again, I intend to address this in a later blog.