Background: I've had a 3D printer for a couple of years now and have, frankly, found its uses limited. The major issues being build size (constrained by the plastic's contraction while cooling) and the need for support (one can't print into thin air). These seem like nearly fundamental problems with most additive methods, excepting laser sintering. So subtractive methods floated to the top of my interest area. Since I have worked doing CAD design, including drawings that ended up going to a laser-cutter (farmed out), subtractive methods are something I'm fairly well acquainted with. The development of the Shapeoko opened the door to owning a CNC router, and has my interest, but the build area is too small for my needs. My minimum useful build area is 2'x4', with 4'x8' being the ultimate goal. The OX was the first machine I encountered that looked like it would fit the bill. Most of my work is basically drilling small holes (under 0.375 inches) clear through dimensioned lumber (ie. 2x4s) and plywood. For the lumber, the maximum depth being 1.5 inches, 0.75 inches for sheet goods. That's for my current area of interest. I can't really predict what I'll be doing in a couple of years. That's the background. Since it's going to take a while to get all of the parts together for a build, I figured it would make sense to start learning the software chain...even before ordering a single part. Actually, since the bulk of the learning curve seems to be with the software, this would seem wise for just about anyone. My leaning, and it is a fairly strong one, is for open source solutions. I'll be controlling the router from a Linux machine and doing most of the CAD work under OS software tools on a Linux machine as well. I've got a good handle on the CAD side, but the rest of the tool chain is still pretty fuzzy. BlenderCAM has my attention, and looks useable for my project, especially since it can simulate operations and produce a 3D model of the result. I guess I'm just looking for any comments on my plan, and suggestions for software that I might be ignoring. If anyone is using an open source tool chain, I'd be particularly interested in their opinions.