This paper reports a feasibility study that demonstrates the implementation of a computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) approach for producing two-dimensional (2D) patterns on the nanoscale using the atomic force microscope (AFM) tip-based nanomachining process. To achieve this, simple software tools and neutral file formats were used. A G-code postprocessor was also developed to ensure that the controller of the AFM equipment utilized could interpret the G-code representation of tip path trajectories generated using the computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software. In addition, the error between a machined pattern and its theoretical geometry was also evaluated. The analyzed pattern covered an area of 20 μm × 20 μm. The average machined error in this case was estimated to be 66 nm. This value corresponds to 15% of the average width of machined grooves. Such machining errors are most likely due to the flexible nature of AFM probe cantilevers. Overall, it is anticipated that such a CAD/CAM approach could contribute to the development of a more flexible and portable solution for a range of tip-based nanofabrication tasks, which would not be restricted to particular customised software or AFM instruments. In the case of nanomachining operations, however, further work is required first to generate trajectories, which can compensate for the observed machining errors.

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