As the CNC machining rely on computer-controlled machine tools, if you want to get started, it’s necessary to learn about software and programming. Here we’ll introduce what is CNC program, the basic software for CNC work and best CNC software 2020 for beginners.
What is CNC Software?
CNC software, also called CAD-CAM Software, is the digital tooling to create programs for CNC machines. CAD(Computer Aided Design) and CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing) are the most common CNC machining software. In addition, a control software generally will be built in your machine. The CAM software will turn the CAD drawing or part geometry into a program contains highly organized CNC language to guide the operations and execution of the machine controller, regarding cutting toolpath, feed, speed, etc.
Benefits of CNC Software
CNC software can improve the manufacturing automation, products accuracy and consistency, and helpful to CNC companies to broaden their business and manufacture more cost-effective products and parts.
How Does the CNC Software Work? (Applications)
– CAD software is used to create a CNC component design, which is the drawing of the workpiece you needed or solid models, then use CNC machine to produce it, you can also use the templates provided on the software.
– CAM software takes the CAD file and translate it into specific programming language like g-code, which used to run the machine tool correctly, complete the designed work and get exact customized CNC machined components.
What is CNC Program?
CNC Program is a text file that contains CNC machining g-code, which refers to the language for controlling CNC machines. The programs will generate g-code from a CAD file. The CNC program is utilized to fabricate final specific product like mechanical parts, signs, etchings, engravings from metals, plastics, wood, glass and other materials with certain specifications.
Best CNC Software 2020 for Beginners
Before operating the CNC machine, you need to be familiar with CAD software and gain enough expertise, which may take a long time for beginners. Choose a CNC software you can get with it. Unlike professionals, newbies needs software that easy to learn and affordable.
Best CAD Software
As a beginner, you need CAD package many people uses, you can choose according to the market share and customer satisfaction, such as Rhino3D from Robert McNeel & Associates or NX from Siemens, gains great customer satisfaction. But in terms of market share, Solidworks ranks top 1.
Other options: Fusion 360 (CAM that integrates with a successful CAD vendor’s package), SolidWorks (leading CAD software for Pros), AutoCad and Inventor (CAD software from Autodesk), etc.
Best CAM Software
MeshCAM: the easiest CAM software, but less powerful. It’s beginner-friendly and get you making real parts faster than else. But MeshCAM’s G-Code programs are not the optimal programs and longer than other CAM software.
Other options: CamBam, Vectric/Aspire, Fusion 360, etc.
Best Feeds and Speeds Calculator
G-Wizard Feeds and Speeds Calculator: can adjust your feeds and speeds based on what machine you handle; written tips, powerful “Cheat Sheet”, giant materials database, etc.
Best Control Software
Tormach’s PathPilot: the combination of power and ease of use.
Other options: Fanuc, Haas, Mach 3, GRBL, etc.
After choosing the CNC software to learn, you may meet lots of problems during the process, a online community and an amount of Youtube videos can help you with that. Autodesk, Fusion 360 and Solidworks have great online communities. Solidworks, Fusion 360, and Autodcad own larger quantities of videos on Youtube than other options. Select best CNC software and master programs for CNC machining.