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CNC Software

What is CNC Software?

A CNC software is a computer program or mobile application aimed at 3D drawing with a CAD design system, and modeling & manufacturing with a CAM control system in CNC machining.

A computer-based CNC software is used in Windows, macOS, or Linux with respective free version, trial version, or paid version. A CNC software used on mobile is also known as an APP with iOS version and Android version.

All CNC machines work with G code, which will drive them to move, rotate and use different tools. G-code is a step-by-step instruction with specific coordinates and commands that the CNC machine can read and follow. CNC programmers can manually write G code for simple operations, while some complex jobs are time-consuming and labor-intensive. In order to improve the working efficiency and avoid errors, it is necessary to use CAD software to draw, and use CAM software to model and generate G code for CNC programming. The operator only needs to set technical parameters, once the G code is ready, it will be sent to the CNC machine to start machining.

How Many Software for CNC Programming?

The most popular CNC programming software include 4MCAD IntelliCAD, Adams, ADEM, ADINA Modeler, Alibre Design, Allplan, AMPSolid, ANSYS, APM Studio, ArchiCAD, ARES, Ashlar-Vellum Cobalt, Xenon, Argon, AutoCAD, Autodesk Inventor, Autodesk Moldflow, Autodesk Revit Architecture, bonzai3d, Bricscad, BtoCAD, CADopia, CATIA, Cimatron, CollabCAD, Creo (former Pro/Engineer), Creo Elements/Direct Modeling (former CoCreate), Edgecam, ESPRIT, form-Z, FreeCAD, GibbsCAM, GstarCAD, IRONCAD, KeyCreator, KOMPAS-3D, MasterCAM, Masterwork, MicroStation, Moment of Inspiration, NX, Patran, Power NURBS, PowerSHAPE, progeCAD, Radan, Rhinoceros, Shark LT, SmartCAM, Solid Edge, SolidWorks, SpaceClaim, STAR-CCM+, StruCad, T-FLEX, ThinkDesign, TopSolid, TurboCAD, Vectorworks, ViaCAD 2D/3D, ZW3D (former VX CAD/CAM), ZWCAD.

How to Choose a Software for CNC Machining?

Each CNC software has its own Pros and Cons. You can choose the software according to your actual situation. The CNC machining cycle is getting shorter, the precision requirements are getting higher, and the safety is always ranked first, so how to choose the right software depends on whether you can use the software flexibly.

If you are a beginner, you can choose an easy-to-use software for basic CNC machining, such as SolidWorks and Fusion 360.

If you are a professional, you can choose UG or NX for modeling, and MasterCAM or CIMTRON to create the tool path.

If you are an expert, you can choose PowerMill or HyperMill for high-end 5 axis CNC machining.

What is the Best CNC Software for Beginners?

CNC software requires constant learning to be a professional from a beginner. So the thing is if you are new to CNC machining, you need to decide on one factor as to what job are you planning to do with it. 

If you are doing modeling and programming, UG is completely sufficient.

If your work is all large and complex molds, you can choose to use PowerMill to write toolpaths, because it has fast calculation speed, high work efficiency, powerful toolpath editing, simple interface, and easy to use.

If you are working on parts, MasterCAM is definitely a reliable choice, especially the 2D strategy is smart and efficient.

In addition, if your job is just roughing, Cimatron is a great choice, which is smart and safe.

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