Inventables Community Forum

Can I download g-code?

Just looking for some software to start me off and decided to just download the g-code.
machine/advanced/generate g-code
it says it generates g-code and gives me the option to download it, when I do it downloads a file with the suffix .nc ?
Can I download a g-code file with the suffix .g-code?
I have nothing that understands the suffix .nc?

What do you plan to do with the g code?

you can download a file.
and you can open it in any text ascii dediting software - and - as wel you can rename that suffix to txt, to gcode whatever you like - for its a simple text document …
when your interpreter does not understand , you can change it to
xxx. txt, to xxx.gcode …

Thank you, that worked.
It looks as if I am now going to have to learn a lot more about how the printer sets up before I dare put a drill in place.

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Have you tried changing “nc” to “ngc” by renaming file?

I changed it to .gcode and it worked fine… See above.

Hi Mark,
I have a 3d printer. I use repetier to make things on the printer. I intend removing the printer head and replacing it with a small motor with a drill bit if I can work out how the printer decodes a gcode file and uses it.
If I download a .nc file from easel, rename it as a .gcode file, put my printer head well away from the printing table (move the Z axis well up) I can get it to move in a way that would engrave something.
I have a small program in the printer that runs before the gcode file that sets up the head prior to a 3d print run, I will have to alter that to suit an engraving run.

You will have to use conservative cut setting I assume?
I would think that a 3d printer frame is not very rigid?
Good luck with your project and show us your results.

Thank you, I will.
It may be a while I am into another project at the moment.

Are you planning on changing the firmware on the printer?
I think the Boxzy uses repetier.

Hi Neil,

No, I don’t intend altering the firmware.

Repetier adds a small piece of code it calls the start gcode before it runs the loaded gcode.

I have altered that to set up the printer before it starts printing something.

It is that code that will need to be altered to use the printer as an engraver.


The average 3D printer will not perform well as a CNC machine (I know, I own both). The forces of pushing a drill bit through most any material are significantly higher (up to X100) than moving an extruder. The results will be bad at best. Also the motors are NOT designed to handle the increased loads and will most likely lose steps. The Z axis on a 3D printer is much slower than is desired for a CNC machine.
More bad news, The G-code for a 3D printer is enough different than that used on a CNC, that the conversion will be a significant task for all but the most trivial task. Because you have little knowledge of G-code, you are asking for more frustration than you think you deserve. Please note, G-code is machine dependent, and you will need to find a G-code driver that creates code that best fits your machine.
Because G-Code is printed in operator readable text, you can rename the file to whatever name your controller wants, and except for the syntax errors, the controller will gladly accept it.
Good luck,

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You can download Candle which us a free program and you can import your .nc files and engrave directly from there.