Software Advice for People Using a CNC Router

Many people these days have begun using CNC routers for both their home design products, art projects, and even small businesses. A CNC router is a computer controlled router, which is basically a machine used for cutting materials similar to the way a handheld router does, but with more accurate precision and speed, which can all be controlled. Some CNC routers can also have laser head attachments which give them even more precision than ever before. However, the big question that many people face, is what type of software they’re going to need in order to design and run their CNC router the best way.

Design Your Product First

When it comes to having the right software for design, it really depends on what you’re wanting to use. Most of the times, you’ll want to use a vector graphics editor or CAD (computer aided drafting software), depending on your type of product. Some people even use products like CorelDraw, and many more. One of the things you’ll notice if you look for good design software is that you may not get the high quality that you would get with products like Adobe.

If you’re wanting to use products with 3D flare, then you’ll want to look into other alternatives like 3D software, but there are plenty of them out there. You will need to know and learn the software you’re going to use to design however.

In Order to Generate the General Code

One of the things that every CNC needs, is the codes that tell them what to do. This can be done using a CAM software application that pretty much imports your CAD design model, and then tells your router how to cut it based on this as it gets exported out to your router.
There are a couple good free software programs out there, but the majority of them start out around $35 and go all the way up to higher.

Of course, if you’re wanting to be a master programmer, then you can even use Python code and learn how to program the G-code yourself, but most people don’t have time for that, and don’t want to pay someone the extensive amount of money that they’d have to pay a programmer for something like this.

Router Controller Software

Most people use various applications to actually control their machine. This control software is what translates your G-Code and tells your machine what to do, and how to do it, how much power to use, how far to drill, and more. Therefore, you want to pick a product like Mach3 (which is popular for most home users and small businesses). If you’re comfortable with and use Linux, you can even find software that is on Linux meant for CNC routers as well as Mac and Windows just the same.


If you’re looking for the best software out there, you really need to shop around, because every software application has certain features that you may or may not need. Just try to experiment and see what works for your CNC routing needs the most, and you can achieve a lot of great designs and creations in the process.