1. Introduction

The Linux/GNU CAD CAM project is in response to a void in the available CAD/CAM software packages available for the Linux/GNU operating system.

While both commercial machine shops and home shop machinists are able to use the The Enhanced Machine Controller written by Fred Proctor & William Shackleford III of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. There are no opensource software programs or packages available for the CAD/CAM work.

The Linux/GNU CAD CAM Project is currently in design stage. There are many different schools of thought concerning design methodology, with each school of thought having strengths and weaknesses. There are basically two extremes in software projects.

This project is going to extend the ideas put forth in The Cathedral and the Bazaar : Analysis of how and why the Linux development model works! to the design stage as well. The goal is to stay in the middle between the two extremes mentioned above. I would suggest that everyone take the time to read The Cathedral and the Bazaar. I will refer to it throughout the project.

There are two important "Laws" to remember in any opensource project. The original "Linus' Law" and a modified form of "Linus' Law" are given below.

First of all we need a bit of legalese. Recent development shows it is quite important.

1.1. Copyright Information

This document is copyrighted (c) 2000 Terry L. Ridder. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license can be found in Appendix A.

Many of the names used by companies to distinguish their products and services are claimed as trademarks. Where those names appear in any Linux/GNU CAD CAM documentation, and those trademarks are made aware to the members of the Linux/GNU CAD CAM Project, the names have been printed in caps or initial caps.

Unless otherwise stated, Linux/GNU CAD CAM documents are copyrighted by their respective authors. Linux/GNU CAD CAM documents may be reproduced and distributed in whole or in part, in any medium physical or electronic, as long as this copyright notice is retained on all copies. Commercial redistribution is allowed and encouraged; however, the author(s) would like to be notified of any such distributions.

All translations, derivative works, or aggregate works incorporating any Linux/GNU CAD CAM documents must be covered under this copyright notice. That is, you may not produce a derivative work from a Linux/GNU CAD CAM document and impose additional restrictions on its distribution. Exceptions to these rules may be granted under certain conditions; please contact the Linux/GNU CAD CAM documentation coordinator at the address given below.

In short, we wish to promote dissemination of this information through as many channels as possible. However, we do wish to retain copyright on the Linux/GNU CAD CAM documents, and would like to be notified of any plans to redistribute the design documents.

If you have any questions, please contact

1.2. Disclaimer

No liability for the contents of this documents can be accepted. Use the concepts, examples and other content at your own risk. As this is a new edition of this document, there may be errors and inaccuracies, that may of course be damaging to your system. Proceed with caution, and although this is highly unlikely, the author(s) do not take any responsibility for that.

All copyrights are held by their by their respective owners, unless specifically noted otherwise. Use of a term in this document should not be regarded as affecting the validity of any trademark or service mark.

Naming of particular products or brands should not be seen as endorsements.

1.3. New Versions

This is the initial release of the Linux/GNU CAD CAM Project Design Document.

The newest release can always be found at Linux/GNU CAD CAM Project homepage.

The newest version of this Linux/GNU CAD CAM design document will always be made available on the project website, in a variety of formats:

1.4. Credits

I would like to thank the following organizations and people for their help and input in writing this document.

A thank you goes to sourceforge.net for hosting the project cvs depository and web site. Visit sourceforge.net at http://www.sourceforge.net/.

Both of my daughters for their time in proofreading and format suggestions.

The machine shop operators are acknowledged for spending time with me discussing their needs and requirements for CAD/CAM software.

The emc, cad_cam_edm_dro, & gnu_cad_cam e-mail list members for their input and discussing their needs and requirements for CAD/CAM software.

1.5. Feedback

Feedback is most certainly welcome for this document. Without your submissions and input, this document will not progress. Please send your additions, comments and criticisms to the following email address : .

1.6. Translations

As soon as possible there well be Esperanto, French, German, and Spanish translations of the Linux/GNU CAD CAM documents.