Advanced Software

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Most of the sections below have been moved to their own page. This page is in place only until all changes have been verified / up-dated and to serve as a temporary overview, and a redirect is put in place back to the software page (unless there's a way to automatically build a list of links from the sub-pages?)

Computer Aided Design (CAD) Software

Type Name/Link Description
3d modeling (Free) Google SketchUp (since sold to Trimble Buildings) You can build models from scratch, or you can download what you need. People all over the world share what they've made on the Google 3D Warehouse.
3d modeling (Commercial) AutoCAD One of the world’s leading 2D and 3D CAD design tools. There are a number of clones which are less expensive (and often have free versions) or are simply free. For free (including opensource), see 10 useful Free alternative to AutoCAD.
3d modeling (Opensource) FreeCAD FreeCAD is a general purpose feature-based, parametric 3D modeler for CAD, MCAD, CAx, CAE and PLM, aimed directly at mechanical engineering and product design but also fits a wider range of uses in engineering, such as architecture or other engineering specialties. It is 100% Open Source and extremely modular, allowing for very advanced extension and customization.
3d parametric modeling (Opensource) OpenSCAD Software for creating solid 3D CAD objects, available for Linux/UNIX, MS Windows and Mac OS X. A 3D-compiler that reads in a script file that describes the object and renders the 3D model. Similar on-line tools include CoffeeScad and OpenJsCad.
2d drawing (Opensource) Inkscape SVG drawing program which can either export to DXF or directly to G-code using plug-ins.
2d drawing (Opensource) LibreCAD Fork of Qcad. Free and OpenSource CAD application, cross platform.
2d drawing (Opensource) Cenon OpenStep CAD/CAM program which has transitioned to opensource.
3d modeling (Opensource) Blender Free, OpenSource and crossplatform 3D program. Allows modelisation, shading, rendering, animation, interactive 3D, compositing. Not a CAD software though it can be used for any kind of modeling.
3d modeling (Opensource) Wings3D Free, OpenSource and crossplatform 3D modeler. Wings 3D is an advanced subdivision modeler that is both powerful and easy to use.
PCB (Commercial) Cadsoft Eagle The name EAGLE is an acronym, which stands for Easily Applicable Graphical Layout Editor.

This award winning software offers user friendly, powerful and affordable solutions for PCB design, including Schematic Capture, Board Layout and Autorouter. User Language Programs enable features such as simulation and 3D-visualization.

Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) Software

Type Name/Link Description
2.5D web based MakerCAM[1] Open source and web based software in Flash based on PartKam. Hosted and maintained by our hero Edward Ford.
Hand Coded gcode tutorial Reference material to get you started writing gcode by hand. This is a great point of reference once you get into creating your own gcode, or if you need to modify generated gcode.
3d modeling GSimple Program to design 3D objects and generate the G-code for them. Made for Windows but runs on Linux with Wine.
3d modeling HeeksCNC A CAD/CAM application for Windows or Linux that can help you produce NC code.
CamBam CamBam (commercial demo) Application to create CAM files (gcode) from CAD source files or its own internal geometry editor.
2.5d engraving (opensource) [F-engrave] Python program for generating G-code from outline fonts (w/ algebraic analysis of outlines to vary depth when using a v-shaped bit and the ability to place text on an arc), (some) dxf files, pbm graphics (using potrace).
3d modeling PhlatScript Google SketchUp plugin for generating G-code.
3d modeling FreeMill Free 3D Machining with very easy to use wizard.
PCB PCB-Gcode Script for generating G-code for milling a PCB out an Eagle PCB layout.
PCB stencil Stencil-Gcode Script for generating G-code for milling or laser cutting a SMD stencil out of an Eagle PCB layout.
3d CAM PyCAM A toolpath generator for 3-axis CNC machining. It loads 3D models in STL format or 2D contour models from DXF or SVG files. The stable release is working but extremely slow and uses a lot of RAM for complex models in 3D. The development release is much faster and should be prefered. MacOS install

Programmatic G-Code Generators

Type Name/Link Description
Simple_EMC_G-Code_Generators Collection of Python scripts Python scripts w/ graphical front ends to: drill grill arrays, engrave bezels or text, cut pockets, &c.
g-code-generators Perl script by twforeman Perl script to generate an array of holes

Verify / Optimize G-Code

Type Name/Link Description
Verify OpenSCAM OpenSCAM is an Open-Source software which can simulate 3-axis NC machining. It is a fast, flexible and user friendly simulation software for the DIY and Open-Source community.
Verify CNC Simulator Windows program to simulate and test G-code before sending to the machine. Requires fairly recent version of
Verify / Edit (Free) NC Corrector Verify tool path and view and edit G-code. A bit sluggish on older machines.
Verify / Edit (Commercial/Demo) NCPlot Verify tool path and view and edit G-code. Older versions (1.1 and 1.2) were freely available, but are no longer available for download.
Optimize PCB G-code Optimizer Optimizes G-code for milling PCB. Maybe can be used also for optimizing other G-codes.

G-Code Sender

Type Name/Link Description
G-code sender GcodeSender G-code sender by Otto Hermansson
G-code sender GCtrl Processing Script to stream Gcode
Universal G-code sender Universal-G-Code-Sender Java version of GcodeSender by Will Winder. With a couple more features and cross-platform (Win32, Win64, Linux, MacOS)
Grbl Controller by Kosme Grbl Controller Graphical Grbl Controller for Windows and Linux by Kosme. Allows you to jog X, Y, Z, and see the current position.
G-code sender EMC2 Now known as Linux CNC- a free Linux based application for controlling and monitoring CNC machines. It runs from a Live-CD distribution of Linux called LinuxCNC. It is used for machines/drivers working through a parallel port connection, so no USB controller is supported.
G-code sender Mach3 Mach3 is the flagship of the ArtSoft products.

G-Code Interpreter

Type Name/Link Description
Interpreter GRBL Grbl is a free, open source, high performance CNC milling controller written in optimized C that will run on a straight Arduino.