What software is necessary to run a CNC?
CNC machines run on G-code which in simple terms is just a code that communicates to the machine what direction it should move in and how fast to move in that direction.
Well how do you get G-code from a idea? Well in the manufacturing field we use a couple different programs to get from idea to part. I will briefly explain what they are and their uses.
The two most important programs to get you from concept to part are:
CAD or computer aided drafting. These programs like AutoCad, Fusion 360 and others are primarily used for designing parts. By drawing 2d sketches or 3d models that have fixed dimensions. that can be used in the CAM programs.
CAM or computer aided manufacturing. These programs like Mastercam, Fusion 360 and others are primarily used for applying tool paths to a CAD part. By seleting the tools that you want to use and the surface or lines that you would like that tool to work on.
We recommend Fusion 360 by Autodesk to our customers because of the diversity of projects, the all in one advantage of being both a CAD and a CAM program, as well as the low cost of the software compare to the competition.