Software is an essential part of working with CNC machines. Generally, there are four types of such software – CAD, CAM, control and simulation software. However, they can be very costly, and the expenses could be problematic for starting or small businesses. Luckily, there are free software platforms that have plenty of functions. While they also have their limitations, you can use them to finish your projects successfully. Here are the best free CNC machine software platforms that you need to know about.
Carbide Create is one of the best free all-in-one software available on the market. You will be able to create your model and convert it into a G-code. Then, you can convert the G-code into instructions for the CNC machine and simulate the tool path. You should feel comfortable investing in quality tools. If you ever feel unsure, CNC experts Amastone.com can help you to choose the tools that are best for your business. That way, you will be able to prevent any errors that might occur.
Easel is another software that allows you to use all of the functions, from creating CAD design all the way to the simulation of the tool path. In the software, you can find a library of basic shapes. Therefore, you will be able to make your work process easier and more efficient at the same time. The software is based on the web, so you will not need to install a program. However, you will need to have a solid and reliable Internet connection.
SOLIDWORKS is software that allows you to create CAD designs, and with add-ons, you can access the CAM function, too. While it is not completely free, startup businesses and entrepreneurs can hand in an application to use the software free of charge for one year. SOLIDWORKS is a heavy software that requires installation. So, you will need to make sure that your computer can cope with it. Then, you will be able to continue with your quality work, take advantage of the design features and make your clients happy.
LinuxCNC is one of the most popular control software. CNC machine professionals have been using the software for many years now, so it already has a solid place in the industry. LinuxCNC works well for running CNC mills and lathes. You can control up to nine axes. However, you need to ensure that you have an excellent connection between your computer and the CNC machine. If you ever struggle with the software, you can access their forum and ask other users and experts for advice.
NC Viewer is a free simulation software based on the web. Therefore, you do not need to install any program, but you do need a good Internet connection. The software allows you to insert G-code from any CAM software. On top of that, you do not need to use only your computer. You can also comfortably insert the G-code from your smartphone when you need to quickly ensure that everything is in order.