Very Great and complete topic. Thanks Tin
I did found all my researchs when I started my Homemade CNC project.
A couple things that might help I hope:
-A Free 3D CAD software (under Linux, Windows and MAC !) is FreeCAD ( http://www.freecadweb.org/
). Use it all the time for 3D model and can export many different format.
- To manage the CNC (and already mentionned by Tin) is Linux CNC ( http://www.linuxcnc.org/
). You have to know that is it a free software. Moretheless you can run it either with live CD (to run it only when needed without any further installation on CD reader but can be slow) or installed it as a dual boot on your system. It means you can run either windows or Linux on the same machine without destroing nothing !
- As a Free CAM sofware you can use PyCAM ( http://pycam.sourceforge.net/
). It will help you to create G-code able to be use with your CNC manager like Linux CNC or Mach 3 or any other (real) CNC. It is not an advanced soft but for a hobby stand point and specially for 3D carving can be a really soft to have.
-As a detail thing, regarding stepper motor, I have to dig with torque and speed. It is basic but it is things that you have to consider when entering in CNC. I put my experience on this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6riATIh-4Vg
-A previous topic detail the soft's workflow for creating part up to manufacture it: http://www.homemodelenginemachinist....47/#post227989