Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sieg KX1

My name is Dan Heeks. I am interested in CNC milling and software development, so I am making an open source CAD/CAM application. Also, I have recently bought a Sieg KX1 CNC milling machine from It was less than £2000, when I bought it.
My father is a precision engineer. He has a Bridgeport Series1 CNC milling machine, so he helped me dismantle, clean, oil and re-assemble all the sliding parts of the machine. The software that comes with the machine is called Mach3. It seems to work quite nicely. It is free, if you only want to do 500 lines of NC code, but I paid $159 to unlock it, when I made a NC file with 1000 lines.

I am writing a free CAD/CAM application for Windows using wxWidgets and OpenCASCADE. It can compile with free tools ( Visual Studio 2008 Express ). It is mostly done in C++. I have made the source code freely available. The basic CAD application source code is at and the milling CNC add-on is at
But, it's not finished and it's full of bugs, so I wouldn't bother compiling it yourself yet. Feel free to copy any of my code.

Here is a screenshot of HeeksCNC:

To use it; I draw some geometry ( lines, arcs, infinite lines, circles ). Then I enter a program:
rate(50.000000, 50.000000)
tool(1, 3.000000, 0.000000)
rapidxy(-6.000000, 4.000000)
profile(16, "left", -6.000000, 7.000000)

I press the "Run" button and it shows me the tool path.
Then I press "Post Process" button and it makes the NC code.
This is controlled by a script language written in Python.


dacostad said...

Dan, how do you like the SX1? I currently have a CNC SHerline mill and thinking of replacing it with the KX1


Dan Heeks said...

David, I am pleased with it. It was very good value for money. It is rigid and is happy cutting metal, but I have only tried aluminium so far. My father is a precision engineer and he is fairly impressed with it, especially considering it's low cost.

Roger Erismann said...


I like what you are doing, and would like to help in someway.

I will be receiving a brand new minitech cnc(it is paid ofr and on a truck as we speak), with mach 3 controller. There is a dual boot xp/linux box. dedicated to CNC work.

plenty of machining expereince(thats how I pay my mortgage) and going into the third year of mechanical engineering at

curently reading and getting into python(that can be changed to better suit the project)

My idea was to focus the last two years on machine and motion control with CNC as the medium.

If you have any needs, want to kick around ideas, need a test bed or even point me in the direction that would help your project out the most etc....

please email me: or

Dan Heeks said...

I have recently made an installation of HeeksCNC for Windows available here, or you could build it

For Linux, you will need to follow these instructions to build HeeksCAD,, and if you want to make machining operations you will need to build HeeksCNC and various other projects too.

I have more experience in Windows than Linux, so I have no idea how to make an installation for Ubuntu.
If you can build it, there are lots of existing jobs to do

To discuss about how to help, go to