If all you are doing is extremely simple operations, it can be done
through a macro. I have written a macro to control a 4 axis milling
machine, but the macro is specific to a single operation and is useless for
anything but its intent. I am sure the same type could be written for
profiling, slotting, ect. However, if what you are doing is at all complex,
the time invested in writing a macro would be far greater than purchasing
For 2d stuff, you might consider bobcad. I have not used it in since we
bought gibbs, but it did 2d stuff just fine, and it was wicked cheap ( $300
or so when I bought it ). I have no idea what its capabilities have become
in the last 7-8 years, or what has happened to the price.
I don't actually know what I'm doing when it comes to macros. The one
that I wrote was done via cut and paste snippets of macros that were in the
api help file, and tons of trial and error. From what I have read, that
should be doable with a macro. I'd suggest diving into the api file and
doing the same thing I did.