When you’re new to the world of CNC machining it’s easy to first get lost in the world of CNC machine software. There is so much to learn and you might interrogate your search engine trying to find answers to all of your questions related to CNC software; ‘what software do CNC machines use,’ ‘best CNC software,’ ‘how to use CNC machine software,’ etc. We understand that your CNC software is important – CNC machine does stand for computer numerical controlled machine, after all – but it does not need to be overwhelming.
The answer to the question, ‘what software do CNC machines use?’ is… CAD CAM software. CAD and CAM are technically two different things that work together to produced and communicate with your CNC machine. A CAD (computer aided design) program is used to design what you’re trying to produce. Essentially it creates a blueprint for CAM (computer aided manufacturing) programs that convert CAD designs into G-code, a language your CNC machine can understand. To get a more in depth explanation of the difference between the two, click here to read our blog post on this topic.
What is CAD CAM CNC Software Used For?
CAD CAM software is used for a variety of applications in manufacturing and fabrication; namely, with routers, plasma cutters, waterjet cutters, laser cutters, and knife cutters. They can be used to design and produce art, signs, furniture, tools, machine parts, weapons – you name it. Many CAD CAM programs today support 3D modeling as well. This, of course, requires a CNC machine that cuts on multiple axes, which some do not have, but users with that capability find they use it more and more.
With a good CAD software to help you design and plan jobs, and an intuitive CAM software to control your CNC machine there’s no limit to what you can produce.
What is the Best CNC Software?
This may not be the answer you came here for but… it depends. The best CNC software for you may not be the same for the next person. It will take some evaluating to discover the best CNC CAD CAM software for you but here are some tips that might help.
Many CNC machinists are looking for the ‘best free CNC software’ but fail to realize what they’re missing out on by using the free programs that are out there. A better question would be, ‘the best affordable CNC software’. There are many great programs in the CNC industry that offer affordable pricing as well as great features. If you’re serious about getting the best CNC software, you’ll want something that is easy to learn, affordable, and powerful.
The best CNC software will be easy to learn as well as have the ability to grow with the user. Beginners will want software that’s easy to learn so that they can start producing as soon as possible. But as they learn and progress with the CAD CAM software, they’ll want to have the ability to go beyond just creating basic parts, so using CNC software that is able to remain simple while also creating more complex projects is key.
Finally, we think the best CNC software should have the CAD and CAM processes in one program. It can be tedious and frustrating to export CAD designs and upload to a CAM program and then again export the G-code to deliver to your CNC machine. This process can be overwhelming but it does not need to be. An easy way to simplify the process is to get an all-in-one CAD CAM program. With all-in-one CNC software you can design and export to your machine with ease.
SAi EnRoute CNC Software
As we mentioned earlier you’ll want CNC software that is easy to learn, affordable, and powerful. That sounds like something that may be too good to be true, but we’ve created SAi EnRoute from the ground up to be the perfect CAD CAM solution that is great for everyone from beginners to experts, stocked with powerful features, AND affordable.
EnRoute is the go-to CNC software solution for everyday cutting, production, and creative design applications. Our CAD CAM software provides a unique combination of 2D and 3D design and toolpath capabilities for CNC routers, lasers, plasma, waterjet and knife cutters.
SAi EnRoute CNC software is affordable because there is no large upfront cost. A low-cost monthly subscription gets you every feature in EnRoute software to unlock the full productivity and revenue potential of your CNC Router.
When it comes to learning, EnRoute has a wide range of video tutorials, free monthly webinars, other live video training, and options for personalized one-on-one training that you can choose from. We also offer free technical support by our knowledgeable and friendly technical support team by phone and email.
Still not sure if EnRoute is the best CNC software for you? Start a 7 day free trial today and find out for yourself.
Want to learn more about why SAi EnRoute? Learn more here.