Listed below are commercial software programs or those with significant license limitations despite being otherwise free.
- Pro Engineer
- Autodesk Inventor
- Solid Edge
- CATIA V5
A frequent need is to work up a vector drawing from a pixel image. Most CAD or Bezier curve drawing programs will allow this by hand (for those that don't a work-around is to make the window transparent and place the image as a desktop background), and others will include auto-scanning functionality. There are special-purpose tools for this: http://vectormagic.com/home
- 1 Educational
- 2 Feeds and Speeds Calculator
- 3 CAD
- 4 CAM
- 5 2D CAM (Laser)
- 6 2.5D CAM
- 7 4th axis CAM
- 8 5-axis CAM
- 9 3D CAM
- 10 3D Modeling
- 11 Special Purpose CAM
- 12 Previewing G-Code
- 13 Communication/Control/G-Code Interpreter
- 14 Nesting
- 15 App Stores
- 16 Mac OS X CAD apps
- 17 Additional programs to consider
- 18 Bézier Drawing Programs
- 19 Moribund
- 20 Tutorials
- 21 Comparison Discussions
- 22 Lists
http://www.autodesk.com/education/free-software/all - Only "free" for students and educators
Note that one may model in math tools: https://mathematica.stackexchange.com/questions/20964/openscad-like-functionality-with-mathematica
Feeds and Speeds Calculator
- http://hsmadvisor.com (Windows only)
- http://zero-divide.net/index.php?page=fswizard (free web based version)
- http://www.cnccookbook.com/CCGWizard.html (Windows & OSX only)
- http://www.cnccookbook.com/CCGWizLite.html (Light version of GWizard)
- suggestions for use:
- lengthy examination in terms of Shapeoko profile: https://www.reddit.com/r/hobbycnc/comments/5zmh2s/help_with_cut_rate_and_plunge_rate/df1c2a4/
Discussion of G-Wizard, and calculation of cost and time savings: http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=7738&p=61285
Not quite a calculator, PicFRC will dynamically adjust cutting speeds for engraving work so that deeper portions are cut more slowly than thinner portions which are cut commensurately more quickly: http://www.picengrave.com/PicFRC.htm
|2D CAD||DraftSight||Formerly free CAD software for DWG (and DXF) files by Dassault Systèmes (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux (Fedora and Ubuntu)). http://www.solidworks.com/sw/products/draftsight-getting-started-guide.htm|
|2D CAD||PowerCADD||Macintosh CADD program.|
|2D CAD||Cadintosh||Macintosh 2D CAD program. Shareware.|
|2D CAD||progeCAD 2013||Windows. "Professional, native DWG 2D/3D CAD, supplied with Applications, Libraries and Services." Notable for having a free (for non-commercial use) donation-ware version progeCAD 2009 Smart|
|2D CAD||QCAD||GPL CAD program available commercially. QCAD/CAM plugin also available: http://qcad.org/en/qcad-cam-downloads-trial|
See also DraftSight by Dassault Systemes: http://www.3ds.com/products-services/draftsight-cad-software/offerings/ (available for Linux, Mac OS X and Windows) and http://deltacad.com/ --- Windows and Mac  
http://www.microspot.com/products/macdraft/index.htm --- Mac OS X
Inventables' Easel is now available in a Pro version w/ a monthly license fee: https://inventables.desk.com/customer/portal/articles/2892848-easel-pro-faq-and-overview. Using on a Raspberry Pi. How to uninstall on Mac OS X
|3D modeling (Commercial/Free for personal use)||MEDUSA4 Personal CAD Suite||CAD software for hobby, DIY or home improvement projects.
|3D modeling (Commercial/Free for personal use)||https://www.onshape.com||Cloud-based software. Requires an account. Free personal usage options w/ limited parts and file counts.
Requires a fast internet connection but runs well on lower spec'ed machines. Prints creation still rudimentary but improving rapidly.
Export to DXF may require some post-processing to import into certain CAM apps (such as Carbide Create).
Shapeoko XL resources: https://community.carbide3d.com/t/shapeoko-xl-designs-in-onshape/18661
Acquired by PTC: https://www.reddit.com/r/cad/comments/dmbj29/ptc_acquires_onshape/
|3D modeling (Commercial/Free for personal use, object limited, Windows)||PTC Creo Elements/Direct Modeling Express 6.0||cut-and paste, push-and-pull, and drag-and-drop techniques. Free version limited to 60 unique parts per assembly|
|3D modeling (Commercial)||Moment of Inspiration||3D modeling for designers and artists for Windows and Mac OS X (dual license allows use on both platforms w/ one license). Originally designed for use on pen computers.
Popular in the jewelry industry. Review: http://www.katadair.com/blog/2017/1/26/moi-moment-of-inspiration-cad-software
Extensible, a nodeeditor is available: http://moi3d.com/wiki/Nodeeditor
|3D modeling (Commercial)||Rhino 3D||3D modeling. CAM also available, w/ over 350 post-processors on their download page. A TinyG prostprocessor is available here. Grbl (for SO3) Windows/Mac OS X.
http://mcvanaero.com/resources.html --- includes BoltGen, a tool for creating threaded fasteners
https://github.com/owhite/laser-code/blob/master/toolpath.py --- a tool for laser cutting.
Notable for "Grasshopper" which allows scripting and parametric design. https://www.shapediver.com/
--- see: http://www.5axismaker.com/software/ for a 5-axis CAM solution.
Notes on exporting to Carbide Create: http://community.carbide3d.com/t/rhino-6-to-carbide-create/8753/2
|3D modeling (Commercial (Free version available))||3DCrafter™||Real-time 3D modeling and animation tool that incorporates an intuitive drag-and-drop approach to 3D modeling.|
|3D CAD (Windows)||https://www.alibre.com/atom3d/||3D CAD version for hobbyists.
DXF scale when exporting for Carbide Create: https://community.carbide3d.com/t/importing-from-alibre-atom3d-to-carbide-create/17685/5
|3D modeling (Creative Commons Only)||3DTin||Browser-based 3D modeling.|
|3D modeling (Commercial)||Cheetah3D||3D modeling, rendering and animation software for Apple Mac OS X (10.6 or later, 1GB RAM, 16MByte VRAM).|
|3D modeling (Commercial, license-limited freeware)||Trimble SketchUp (Previously owned by Google, it has since been sold to Trimble Buildings (now Trimble Navigation, Ltd.)) free web version||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 Trimble 3D Warehouse. In 2013, Trimble released two new versions, licensing SketchUp Pro 2013 requires one to have licensed the software for $495, and the payment of an annual $95 license maintenance fee ; SketchUp Make 2013 (formerly the free version) now has a license which forbids any commercial use. There are many tutorials available, some discussion in the forums, including a post with excellent usage tips and advice: Re: Sketchup 3d Models – Update 12th Jun 2012.
CAM Options for SketchUp:
See also the plugins BezierSpline and Guitarlist: Convert Sketchup SKP files to DXF or STL
|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. See also REALIZE for AutoCAD] an AutoLISP script to generate G-Code from lines, circles, polylines, and points in a CAD file. Another similar tool is GCode Programming for AutoCAD by Steve J. Lindsay. See also a similar tool for engraving.
AutoCAD 2 G-Code VBA macro that exports Mach3 compatible G-Code directly from AutoCAD from selected Polylines and Circles. It works with AutoCAD 2002 and newer with VBA support. Free for anyone to use as desired.
Entry level: http://www.autodesk.com/store/autosketch
Autodesk Inventor: http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6742&p=52874#p52874
|3D modeling with integrated CAM (Commercial)||AutoDesk Fusion 360||Available under an annual license w/ pricing ranging from zero to $300 to $1200 annually. http://www.autodesk.com/products/fusion-360/try-buy Knowledgebase article on activating startup or educational licensing
New post-processor which should fix the arc error problem at: https://cam.autodesk.com/hsmposts  It may help to set the Minimum Circular Radius to ~4mm YouTube: Fixing GRBL’s G2/G3 Arc Errors in Fusion360
Machine descriptions: https://github.com/bertvh/cnc-resources/tree/master/machine-definitions
Shapeoko XL machine description: https://community.carbide3d.com/t/fusion-360-machine-configuration-for-shapeoko-3-xl/28276
Available under various licenses with various limitations and prices.
Adding tabs when cutting 2D feature: http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=8080&p=63749#p63749
Step and repeat is termed a "Pattern".
Notes on scaling of SVG files: http://community.carbide3d.com/t/how-to-fusion-360-simple-wine-rack/1419/9
Discussion of limitations: http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=7019&p=55303#p55303
FEA and interference analysis (complex FEA can be performed via AutoDesk's servers for an additional cost). Uses a joint based system to limit degrees of freedom and a top down (as opposed to bottom up) assembly system.
Cribbage board: http://a360.co/1sbSWTO
Machine model of Shapeoko developed for w/in it: https://community.carbide3d.com/t/fusion360-machine-definitions-revisited/33294/25
There is now a Carbide3D post-processor: http://fusion360.autodesk.com/learning/learning.html?guid=GUID-D701BB8F-6FAB-4282-B248-6206B36D160D  Notes on post-processor for associated CAM: http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=6328&p=52650 https://forums.autodesk.com/autodesk/attachments/autodesk/2070/3456/1/carbide3d.cps 
Note on post-processors and G2/G3 arcs: https://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=8916&p=67516#p67516 Configuration specifics w/ screengrab: https://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=8916&p=67530#p67530 How to add a Post-Processor to your-Personal-Posts in Fusion 360
If arc errors are encountered, check post-processor: http://community.carbide3d.com/t/more-g2-g3-g38-2-issues/7342/4
Note that some users have found it necessary to increase the precision for metric files so as to avoid Invalid Gcode Error 33: http://community.carbide3d.com/t/grbl-error-invalid-gcode-id-33/1204/10 with Carbide Motion 4 and Grbl 1.1, there is a setting which may need to be changed to avoid a similar error: http://community.carbide3d.com/t/fusion-360-and-grbl-errors/5263/9
Machine setup: https://youtu.be/HGO4ayt-2Q8
|3D modeling (freely available)||DISCONTINUED  123D Make||Available for Windows, Mac OS X and iPad. Allows creation of solid models.
|3D modeling (Commercial)||Cubify Invent||"appears to be a reskinned version of Alibre, possibly with some features removed". Forum discussion|
|3D modeling (Commercial)||Solidworks||Affordable licensing option for hobbyists: https://www.solidworks.com/support/community-download#no-back 
Notable for the student version (not usable for commercial or professional purposes) being offered for $20 (per year) to Canadian and U.S. Veterans: https://store.solidworks.com/veteran/default.php?command=Step1  Note that processing the application takes 1--2 business days, then after paying (credit card or PayPal) it will ship in 1--2 business via USPS. Also available for EAA members: https://www.eaa.org/eaa/news-and-publications/eaa-news-and-aviation-news/news/08-15-2019-solidworks-education-premium-now-free-for-eaa-members http://www.eaa.org/en/eaa/eaa-membership/eaa-member-benefits/solidworks-resource-center/solidworks-student-design-kit 
Use w/ MeshCAM: http://www.grzsoftware.com/blog/how-to/solidworks-cam/ 
Exporting DXF to Carbide Create: https://community.carbide3d.com/t/how-to-import-solidworks-metric-dxf-into-carbide-create/14656
Post-processor available at:
|3D modeling (Commercial)||VariCAD||available in English, German, Portuguese, Japanese and Chinese versions. Windows or Linux, free 30-day trial.|
|3D modeling with integrated CAM (Commercial)||Dassault Systèmes CATIA||High end 3D CAD/engineering program. Version 5 of CATIA is stand alone. Version 6 is part of an integrated client/server suite (now called 3DEXPERIENCE). Both versions are still developed and sold by Dassault Systèmes, as some customers can't/won't move from V5 to the integrated suite version.|
|3D modeling (Educational, Windows)||T-FLEX CAD Student Edition||Parametric CAD with few limitations, allowing students to use the product, understand its benefits and features, and prepare for their career of design engineers.|
- VectorWorks --- available for Windows and Mac OS X
http://sketchlist.com/ --- 3D design for woodworkers oriented around boards and joinery. Commentary by developer: http://festoolownersgroup.com/other-tools-accessories/new-design-software-sketchlist-3d-pro/msg157533/#msg157533
https://www.3dslash.net/user_plans.php --- free plans limited to non-commercial use, notable for having Google Drive suppport
https://www.vectary.com/ --- free online system (for a limited number of private models) now partnered with Shapeways
http://www.solidthinking.com/productoverview.aspx?item=evolve%20overview&category=products  --- notable for their Inspire application which supports generative design.
Integrated CAD/CAM: Siemens NX: http://www.plm.automation.siemens.com/en_us/products/nx/ --- post-processors
Solid Edge: http://www.plm.automation.siemens.com/en_us/products/velocity/solidedge/ Hobbyist version at: https://solidedge.siemens.com/en/solutions/users/hobbyists-and-makers/and c.f., https://www.plm.automation.siemens.com/plmapp/education/solid-edge/en_us/free-software/community
Note that 3D modeling software may also export in useful formats: http://www.thefoundry.co.uk/products/modo/
- Autodesk Mudbox Review
CAD integrated with custom parts ordering
Some CAM programs such as MeshCAM will accept a pixel image and then convert that into 3D.
- Photoshop CC --- will export to an STL
|PCB (Commercial)||Cadsoft Eagle||EAGLE (Easily Applicable Graphical Layout Editor) software for PCB design, including Schematic Capture, Board Layout and Autorouter. User Language Programs enable features such as simulation and 3D-visualization. See PCB-Gcode for a G-Code export tool for this app.|
|PCB (Commercial, Windows)||CopperCAM||Application for managing isolation engraving, drilling and cutting printed-circuit board prototypes.|
Special Purpose CAD
|2D CAM --- Gears (Commercial)||Gear template generator program||Windows program to design gears, runs in "wobbly mode" until paid for. Free on-line Flash version and other links listed on the CAM page in the Gears section.|
|2D CAM --- Gears (Commercial)||Gearify||Non-circular Gear Creation Software for Windows, allows design of gear mechanisms of nearly any shape.|
|2D CAM --- Gears (Commercial)||Gear-Wheel Designer with GCode Generator||Windows program to design simple spur gears using either involute or cycloidal tooth form.|
|3D CAM --- Gears (Commercial)||Gearotic Motion||Gear Template Generator. Creates dxf's for further processing by various CAD/CAM programs.|
https://www.bikecad.ca --- browser version freely available
|3D CAM --- Model Airplanes (Commercial)||DevFus||Specialty program for model airplane fuselages.|
Note that many commercial CAM apps use the same kernels: https://www.moduleworks.com/company/partners/?lang=en 
2D CAM (Laser)
|2.5D CAM (Commercial demo)||SheetCAM||Windows and Linux versions available. English, German, Spanish, Swedish available. Company is a Mach2/3 reseller and can be purchased bundled for a savings. Has drag knife support. Unlicensed mode will output a limited number (currently 180) lines of G-code for testing.|
|2.5D CAM (Commercial demo)||diyCAM||First in a planned suite of CAM programs targeting DIY CNC Router users. Carve allows you to quickly convert a heightmap to G-Code for 3D Carvings and Lithopanes.|
|2.5D CAM (Commercial demo)||Vectric
||Software for 2D design and calculation of 2D and 2.5D toolpaths for cutting parts on a CNC Router. They also have Aspire, which is "built on the same platform" as well as the hobby-oriented Cut2D 1.5. A set of Post Processors is available at the following forum post Vectric Aspire Post Processor. Alternately use the 'g-code (inch) (*.tap)' post processor --- put the code G20 at the beginning for inches. ShapeokoPP.zip
Nomad post-processors by Mark Bellon (mbellon on the Carbide3D forums):
v8.5 and later include a Shapeoko pre-processor. --- note that this converts arcs to short line segments as discussed at: http://community.carbide3d.com/t/vcarvepro-post-processor-for-shapeoko-xxl/10958
Further discussion at:
Holding down shift when creating a file will add a 50x (more detailed) option.
3D support is based on height/depth maps.
Available in other languages: http://support.vectric.com/aspire-questions/item/what-languages-is-software-available-in-2
|2.5D CAM (Shareware)||Image to G-Code||Shareware for Windows|
|Engraving||PicEngrave||Converts your images into standard gcode to raster engrave your images. New Pro 5 version upgraded to include Grbl 0.9 compatibility and other improvements.|
https://carveco.com/ https://www.reddit.com/r/hobbycnc/comments/b4iz41/carveco_bringing_back_artcam_march_28th/ https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/artcam/learn-explore/caas/sfdcarticles/sfdcarticles/Autodesk-ArtCAM-Software-End-of-Sale-End-of-Development-FAQs.html ArtCAM --- Use Mach3 PP for Shapeoko2 and GRBL Newer versions Mach3_4(MM)(*.TAP) --- some have instead chosen to use generic gcode and remove T1 M6 and add G20 and G90. Artcam jewelsmith 2011 --- G-Code Arcs(mm) (*.tap) Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPE-W6YgZAY  Free version: http://www.artcam.com/free/index.asp http://www.artcam.com/downloads/pdf/artcam-feature-comparison-flyer.pdf
Vectric has especial support for this as well.
4th axis CAM
Truemaster Pro for Windows https://www.microkinetics.com/tmpfw/
Note that some 3D CAM programs such as MeshCAM or Vectric VCarve will do an indexed 4th axis.
Note that some of the 3D CAD programs above have built-in CAM.
|3D modeling (commercial demo)||MeshCAM||MeshCAM (bundled with the Nomad 883)
Imports STLs, and SVGs and DXFs, can extrude R12 DXFs into a 3D part (on import, SVGs may be specified as to desired thickness). Will also convert pixel images into 3D shapes. 15 day demo available. How to write gcode to surface wasteboard? Supported on Mac OS X: http://www.grzsoftware.com/meshcam-mac/ http://www.grzsoftware.com/blog/how-to/solidworks-cam/
Copy-paste with G-wizard broken.
|3D modeling (commercial demo)||CamBam||Application to create CAM files (gcode) from CAD source files or its own internal geometry editor. Requires .NET 2 or later. Older beta version is still available for free . A plug-in for engraving is available on their forums: http://www.cambam.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=3513.0 --- discussion of limitations in Re: VCarve Bar Sign.
TrueType fonts which approximate single line fonts are available here: Single Line Stick Type TTF Fonts For CNC Engraving, along with instructions for preventing the cutter from doubling back.
Please note that the default feed rate is much too high.
Documentation on post-processors: http://www.cambam.info/doc/plus/cam/PostProcessor.htm  Suggestion to use Mach 3 post-processor: http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6867&p=53975#p53975
Problems w/ Grbl and a solution: http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6604&p=51611#p51603
Discussion of polyline vs. splines in processing time: https://www.reddit.com/r/CNC/comments/3eyc2r/cambam_vs_meshcam/ctkhvud
Interesting technique for redrawing from a pixel image: https://www.reddit.com/r/diycnc/comments/3d2g7v/cambam_image_to_milling_easy_diy/
V-Engrave plug-in: https://github.com/pstemari/v-engrave-plugin
CNCZone: CAMBAM - 10Bulls crazy CAD/CAM software project --- forum thread covering the project from announcement until the present. Notable for having been used for the SO1 “hello world” file.
“...gives you a lot (of) control over plunging, ramping...”
version for Linux is available.
|2D/3D CAD/CAM (Commercial)||BobCAD||Windows CAD/CAM. Post-processor available here.
post processor, also see http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=826&start=10#p37641 and the following post for a metric option
|3D modeling (commercial)||Simplify 3D Creator||Import and manipulate geometry, repair models, generate G-Code instructions, verify toolpaths, manually control your machine, and print parts.|
|3D modeling (free plug-in for commercial program)||HSMXpress||Free CAM Solution for companies which license it for the CAD products, e.g., SolidWorks (may be included with others). Working post-processors: tinyg.cps - Generic TinyG, generic GRBL.cps post processor|
|3D/2.5D CAM (Commercial demo)||Estlcam||Windows .NET program. STL and DXF to G-code program, able to import (R12) DXFs, or draw manually. Includes 3D preview mode. Has G2/G3 arc support. Review. (commercial / $25)
Includes comm/control functionality to interact w/ a custom firmware, see G-Code Interpreters below.
Supports trochoidal milling.
Runs in Linux using WINE: https://sites.google.com/site/electroniceccentricity/x/estlcam-cam-program-on-linux
|3D/2.5D CAM (Commercial demo)||http://www.dolphincadcamusa.com||Offers CNC Programming capabilities for 2 and 3 Axis Milling, 2 Axis Lathe and 2 and 4 Axis Wire EDM part making.|
|3D/2.5D CAM (Commercial demo)||http://mecsoft.com/||full-featured machining program with 2.5D and 3D functionality
VisualMILL Xpress 2016 Overview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60ZktwPw_nQ
Post processor: Carbide 3D GRBL MM
|Vectric Cut3D||App for CNC machining 3D models. See other Vectric software above under 2.5D CAM|
Note that Vectric Aspire (listed above under 2.5D CAM) has robust 3D CAM capabilities, and other Vectric products and import one 3D file as the basis of a project, and c.f., Vectric Design and Make: http://www.designandmake.com/
5-axis CAM --- list of apps: https://www.reddit.com/r/CNC/comments/6u2wv3/i_just_got_a_5_axis_cnc/dlpl5zp/
CAM for Images
MeshCAM has an option for this.
Vectric Aspire will do a depth map of a pixel image.
Special Purpose CAM
- http://www.dakeng.com/spurgear.html --- Spur Gear Calculator v1.07 Windows Visual Basic program
- http://www.lasereditor.com/ 
- http://www.galaad.net/coppercam-eng.html --- CopperCAM is an application for managing isolation engraving, drilling and cutting printed-circuit board prototypes.
- http://www.shape3d.com/ --- surfboards
http://jtechphotonics.com/?product=piclaser-photo-engraving-sw-license --- also suitable for use w/ a rotary tool/roter/spindle
- http://ma-la.com/tsugite.html (Free for personal use and non-commercial research conducted within non-commercial organizations) https://community.carbide3d.com/t/a-study-of-joinery/28492/16 
- http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html --- CNC Dovetail and Box Joints, requires a jig which will hold things at 90 degrees.https://fabrikisto.com/tailmaker-software/
- Shutting down, website will be closed April 2020: http://www.tailmaker.net/ --- Two programs - TailMaker! and FingerMaker! - for machining specialty woodworking joints on CNC routers.
- TailMaker! requires a fixture (plans included: http://www.tailmaker.net/clamping-jig.html ) and 30 degree V-bits to make dovetail joints on materials from 1/8"-->2" (depending on machine and software).
- FingerMaker does not require a fixture and uses ball end end mills to make box joints. Available as freeware at: https://fabrikisto.com/tailmaker-software/
Discussions of parametric joinery
|Verify / Edit (Commercial/Demo)||Cutviewer||Full 3D Simulation. Shows you a full 3D simulation of the finished part based on the toolpath, the stock you define, and the cutters you're using. Collision detection. Versions for mills and lathes. Compare source .stl to previewed file.
|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.|
|Verify (Free for non-commercial use)||NCSim||Yet another CNC 3-axis simulator.|
|G-Code Editor||tkCNC||Text editor, specially designed for CNC code (G-code) editing for CNC machines.|
|G-Code Editor||Discriminator CNC editor||Allows viewing the code in a variety of fonts and colors. Multi viewport viewer.|
|G-Code Editor||G-Wizard G-Code Editor||Text editor, verify, simulate, analyze, transform, integration w/ calculator. 3D mode implemented using Away3D. Includes conversational CNC.|
|Verify||CNC Simulator||Windows program to simulate and test G-code before sending to the machine. Requires fairly recent version of dot.net.|
Many G-code editors will include previewing (back-plotting) capabilities:
- HSMWorks Edit 
- Brackets --- this is the default editor for G-code from w/in Autodesk Fusion 360.
|G-code Interpreter and machine controller||Mach3||Controller option for PCs with parallel ports and suitable electronics (doesn't readily work with Grbl on an Arduino)
Mach3 is the flagship of the ArtSoft products. See Adding XBOX 360 Controller to control ShapeOko for an affordable pendant option.
Includes LazyCAM, which is no longer developed.
|Communication/Control program||http://www.softwareredefined.com/ IntelliG-Code||CNC controller software for GRBL based CNC Machines. Supports Grbl 1.1.|
|Communication/Control program (laser)||http://www.picengrave.com/PicSender.htm||supports Grbl 1.1|
|G-code Interpreter and/or machine controller||http://estlcam.com/estlcam.php||Hybrid CAD/CAM program which also has a mode to function as a machine controller for Arduinos (replacing Grbl). Supports trochoidal milling. http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6138|
Microsoft App Store
Able to create height/depth maps from pixel images.
Apple App Store
- uMake: https://www.umake.xyz/ https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/umake-sketch.-in-3d./id1042246861
- CNC Replicantis http://www.toolcoder.com/
- Concepts Smarter Sketching 
- http://shapr3d.com/ --- 3D modeling for the iPad Pro and Pencil 
- http://www.algodoo.com/ --- dynamics program
- https://umake.xyz/ 
- https://www.gravitysketch.com/ --- 3D sketching tool. Tutorial: http://www.shapeways.com/blog/archives/25362-3d-modeling-at-your-finger-tips-with-gravity-sketch.html?etId=89916015
- Concepts 
- Morphi 
OnShape will work.
|2D drawing (Opensource)||Doodle3D||Freehand sketching program for iPad and Mac OS X (source available for other platforms) to extrude and revolve into 3D.|
|2D CAD:iPad (Freeware)||Sketch It Make It Apple App Store||2D CAD for the iPad.|
- https://github.com/sprang/Inkpad --- opensource SVG editor / drawing program for iPad
- https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/thingmaker-design/id1078356242 --- app for Mattel's Thingmaker 3D printer
- STL viewer: 3D Push Source on Github 
- http://www.autoq3d.com/ --- Opensource (GPL) version is AutoQ3D Community available for Windows here. Mac, iPhone/iPad, Android, Windows and Linux versions are available for AutoQ3D CAD.
- Vectornator 
Mac OS X CAD apps
- http://www.cheetah3d.com/ 
- https://www.coreldraw.com/en/product/corel-cad/ --- available for Windows and Mac OS X
- VectorWorks --- available for Windows and Mac OS X
- https://deltacad.com/demo.html https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/deltacad/id460805469
- https://www.bricsys.com/en-us/bricscad/ --- free version? https://www.bricsys.com/en-intl/shape/
- http://www.punchcad.com/p-9-viacad-2d3d-v8.aspx https://beta.shapeways.com/tutorials/viacad
Additional programs to consider
- https://www.gcodegenerator.com/ --- plug-in for CorelDraw
- http://cncsoft.com/punchsim.htm 
- https://www.deskproto.com/products/free-ed.php --- also offers commercial version
- https://www.gstarcad.net/ --- sells older versions less expensively.
- https://www.getfabber.com/alpha-test 
- Domus.CAD https://en.interstudio.net/usd-price-list
- XirusCAD https://mirrakoi.com/
- ZW3D https://affordablecadcam.com
- https://www.homag.com/en/product-detail/cnc-programming-software-woodwop/ 
- https://www.marvelousdesigner.com/ --- 3D clothing design software
- Bruce's Blocks: https://www.codeproject.com/Articles/1278128/Bruce-s-Blocks
- http://www.babacad.com/index.html --- DWG and LISP support, Windows and Mac OS X versions available. --- free version no longer available.
- https://www.designcad.com.au/wp/ --- landscape design software
- https://www.surfcam.com/ 
- https://www.madcamcnc.com/ --- noted as used for "Mold and Die" as indicated by the name.
- https://www.inivis.com/ --- available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux
- https://www.intellicadms.com/home/cms-intellicad-2d-3d-cad-software-autocad-dwg-compatible "most AutoCAD compatible" 
- https://www.morphiapp.com/ --- in beta for Windows, also available for Mac OS X and iPad
- http://woodturnerpro.com/software/overview.htm --- collection of software for woodturning, may be helpful in creating assemblies
- https://www.blockscad3d.com/ 
- https://leopoly.com/ 
- https://www.lightwave3d.com/ --- Maya and 3DS Max
- http://www.maxon.net/ --- Cinema 4D
- http://www.e-cam.it/ --- http://ecam.altervista.org/ or https://v4.e-cam.it/ --- initial preview, seems to be a continuation of cncsimple, free on weekends
- http://www.xltrig.com/ --- Excel based application for Machinists: Bolthole circle, Trigonometry Calculations configured like machinery’s handbook, OD threads, &c.
- http://www.gibbscam.com/ --- noted as working well for casting.
- http://www.routoutcnc.com/routout.html --- free license available?
- http://www.daz3d.com/hexagon-2-5-download-version --- Mac OS X 10.6, 10.7, 10.8, 10.9 and 10.10
- http://ilexsoft.com/ --- Windows/Mac
- http://www.cgtech.com/ --- Vericut
- https://www.design-simulation.com/WM2D/Index.php 
- http://www.mozaiksoftware.com/ --- cabinet software 
- http://optitex.com/ --- fashion industry CAD/rendering
- http://www.edgecam.com/ --- http://www.au.planit.com/products also http://www.cabinetvision.com/ as well as http://www.cabnetware.com/
- http://ekits.eu/PROCNCDraw/ --- copy-protected w/ USB dongle for licensing
- http://www.adx-online.com/realcadd/realcaddus.htm --- available in English, German and French for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. License via PayPal
- http://www.badog.ch/en/cnc-downloads/badog-cnc-software/show-all.html 
- http://3dcoat.com/home/ 
- http://www.meliar.com/MPanel.htm --- tensile design
- http://www.touchcad.com/ --- 3D modeling and unfolding program
- http://www.solidface.com/ --- limited number of free licenses: https://solidface.com/2020sale/
- http://www.coreldraw.com/us/product/cad-software/ --- CorelCAD (described as a “ virtual copy of Draftsight”?!?), "private label version of Graebert Ares" https://www.graebert.com/en/ (listed separately below)
- http://www.spaceclaim.com/en/default.aspx --- dynamics: http://www.algoryx.se/products/dynamics-for-spaceclaim/ noted for having a well-regarded sheet metal plug-in
- http://www.bricsys.com/en_INTL/bricscad/ --- Windows/Mac  --- free version? https://www.bricsys.com/en-intl/shape/
- http://www.mr-soft.net/ --- SimplyCAM, Bmp2Cnc, R2V
- http://www.graytechsoftware.com/products/cadx11/index.asp --- free version offered, also GTworks
- http://www.radan.com/ -- sheetmetal
- http://www.ironcad.com/ --- associated program is Woodlab: https://www.woodlab.eu/En/parametric-3d-cad-application-for-cabinet-makers-and-carpenters-with-ironcad-and-connection-with-cnc-machine.asp
- http://www.plm.automation.siemens.com/en_us/products/solid-edge/monthly-subscriptions/index.shtml --- Student Edition
- nanoCAD --- Russian AutoCAD clone which uses the .dwg format. Free version w/ 1 year (renewable license) available.
- Pixologic Sculptris
- Geomagic Design --- formerly alibre
- CNCwrapper --- G-code conversion program that can wrap your 21/2D or 3D G-code programs for a 4th (rotary) axis unit (Windows) Notable for having several free programs associated with it https://www.cncwrapper.com/freeware/
- D2nc --- CNC wizard
- GGCad, GGCam, GGMill --- (France)
- IMSI Design DesignCAD
- Mozaik CNC
- ViaCAD 2D/3D --- Available for Mac and Windows. https://community.carbide3d.com/t/punch-cad-as-an-alternative-to-fusion-360/12972/4
- SprutCAM --- 2.5. 3, and 5 axis machine as well as turning and turn-milling. Video tutorials on Tormach.com
- SuperCAM Xp Demo
- TurboCAD --- Available for Mac and Windows. Free DoubleCAD XT version available for Windows.
- http://360.autodesk.com/pricing --- http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=5543&p=41076 For a ShapeOko 3 using Carbide Motion Machine Controller “new CM V2 beta that works with Autodesk CAM. Use the Mach3 post, Uncheck "Use Radius" in the post processor”
- http://ashlar.com/2d-3d-drafting/2d-3d-cad-graphite.html --- Ashlar Vellum's cross-platform Windows/Mac OS X program, previously known as Vellum.
- http://frontplatten-expert.de/de/downloads --- Cetina CAD front panel designer. Requires payment to export in usable file formats.
- http://happycoders.com/release/laser/ 
- http://kubotek3d.com/ --- includes integrated CAM and is able to project onto an arbitrary surface.
- http://kubotek3d.com/Products/KeyCreator-Direct-CAD.aspx 
- http://www.alphacamexpress.com/ c.f., http://www.alphacam.com/products --- popular in the woodworking industry 
- http://www.amprom.co.nz/software_site_info.html --- nesting and sheet metal design
- http://www.cycas.de/ --- LinuxCAD
- http://www.delcam.com/contact/index.asp --- Delcam Featurecam
- http://www.dptechnology.com/ Esprit
- http://www.formz.com/ --- limited version available as FormZ Free.
- http://www.graphisoft.com/archicad/ --- Windows, Mac OS X. Java 8 or later.
- http://www.kentechinc.com/ --- variety of software for shops, including conversational milling and turning
- http://www.onshape.com/ 
- http://www.shape3D.com/ --- surfboard design
- http://www.softsquad.com/ --- CodeShark Mill and Lathe versions
- http://www.vectorcam.com/ --- German, pages also available in English and French
- https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/morphi/id833530351?mt=8 iPad app, Morphi, free w/ in-app purchases. Requires ios 8
- https://www.graebert.com/en/arescommander --- DWG-based, Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.
- https://www.makersempire.com/ --- educational Free to use with a premium option. Touch-optimized software - usable by very young children. iPad/Android/Mac/Win.
Bézier Drawing Programs
Cross-platform (Mac OS X and Windows)
- Adobe Illustrator --- note that one should use export as rather than save as when making SVGs for Carbide Create.
- Macromedia Freehand --- (Mac OS X version limited to 10.6 or earlier)
- Creaturehouse Expression --- cross-platform, bought by Microsoft and made Windows-only
- Serif Affinity Designer: https://affinity.serif.com/
Mac OS X
- AutoDesk Graphic: http://graphic.autodesk.com/mac/ (previously known as Indeeo's iDraw)
- Stone Design Create: http://www.stone.com/Create/Create.html
- Designer (formerly Micrografx Designer)
- Serif Drawplus
- Xara Xtreme (a Linux version is also available)