January 17, 2022

What is the best software for a CNC router?

A CNC router is a useful tool that simplifies operations, reduces labor costs, and enhances safety. CNC routers rely on various software programs that work together to achieve a common goal. If you are looking for the best CNC router software, you should prioritize software that is user-friendly, compatible with both hardware and software, has a wide range of features, and offers excellent customer support functionalities.

Computer Numerical Control (CNC) software allows you to design and program machine tools to function. There are both free and expensive 3D CNC software options available, each with unique features. To help you choose the best CNC router software, we have compiled a list of these different software applications and their essential features.

The CNC software guides the machine through the manufacturing process using CAD blueprints. The Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software first generates the blueprints.

After that, a CAM (Computer-Aided Manufacturing) will convert your CAD design into g-code, which is the most used CNC programming language. The g-code instructs the CNC machine on the tasks that must be done. Generally, this is how the CNC router software works.

List of CNC router software and their functions

So, What is the best software for a CNC router? Here are some options:

  1. CAD-CAM CNC Mill software for GRML

It is one of the best CNC machine software that is easy to install and use. It provides the necessary tools to run your CNC machine and is well-integrated to offer CAD-CAM designs. It has simple menus to help you find lesson films to conduct complicated and straightforward functionalities. Using a mouse or entering coordinates to perform varying geometry with CAD is easy.

The CNC software offers everything to operate your CNC router machine and execute the CAD-CAM design. Moreover, there’s a graphical and text description for every completed CNC task and a list of predefined configuration files.

The software product cokes with the following features

  • Arduino Firmware
  • CH340 guided setup
  • Automatic installer for GRBL
  • Rout Cad CAD-CAM for GRBL
  • USB stick that you can use for self-installation
  • CNC Mill and CNC laser that you can use for the initial start-up stage
  • Serves as a RoutBot for CNC


  • Easy installation
  • Versatile
  • It contains a user guide that includes video tutorials
  • It is easy to use
  • Provides both CAD-CAM designs as well as CNC
  • It is so simple to start using a CNC Mill and CNC laser.


  • There’s no warranty for this product
  1. Vectric Vcarve professional CNC design software

The Vectric Vcarve CNC router design software offers both 2D and 3D functionalities for carving designs. It helps you to make unique designs and can import vector files. Additionally,  it has complete 2D plans that can import bitmap images.

Moreover, the software supports importing many vectric 3D Clipart files and single 3D model files in different formats, including STL, OBJ, 3DM, etc.

The product features the following.

  • 3D model files
  • Offers optimized drilling and pocketing.
  • It contains a complete set of 2D design and layout tools
  • It can import 2D files and images in Bitmap
  • Quickly engraves and inlays


  • It comes with a free clipart.
  • Easy to use
  • It is user-friendly because it supports different formats.
  • Offers both 2D and 3D designs for CNC
  • It contains unlimited paths and tool size way


  • The software requires more time to understand
  • It is not returnable
  1. Auto-cad 2020 CNC software

You can now use the A360 cloud-based service from Autocad web and Autocad mobile apps that come with Autocad 2020 membership. Autocad 2020 has a noticeable new style and is the 34th major version of Auto Desk’s flagship CAD software. It contains the seven specialist toolsets: Autocad Electrical,  Map 3D, Autocad Mechanical, Plant 3D, Autocad MEP, and Autocad Raster Design.

The software has the following features.

  • It contains 2D and 3D designs.
  • Supports drawing and drawing tools
  • It is compatible with both Mac and Windows
  • You can use it on microcomputers
  • Has the ability to add dimensions
  • Offers architectural, mechanical, and electrical modeling


  • It is compatible with various file formats
  • Versatile
  • It comes with a lot of versions and a few differences
  • It comes with dark and light themes for user experience
  • Very user friendly


  • It is expensive
  • Requires a powerful computer
  • It is not compatible with the Linux operating system
  1. Fusion 360 Free CNC software

The Fusion 360 is a free CNC software that gets all your work desires done. It comes with engineering, manufacturing, design, and electronics facilities, and you can get CAD, CAM, CAE, and PCB on a single development platform. It provides consumptive services like cloud simulation, rendering, and generative design. Moreover, you can develop many things with a complete collection of modeling tools and sketches with sketching tools.

Additionally, this software can edit complicated parametric surfaces for patching, repairing, or designing geometry. It is one of the best CNC-free software that gets the job done.

It has the following features.

  • Can perform 3D printing
  • It comes with integrated CAD, CAM, CAE, and PCB
  • It uses G-code programming
  • Can perform shift, loft, and router functionalities


  • Its Graphical User Interface is user-friendly.
  • Versatile
  • Provides the best customer support
  • Best for 3D printing jobs
  • It is a free software
  • Exact modeling tool


  • It does not provide strong support for organic sculpting
  • Not suitable for people unaccustomed to 3D modelling
  • If functionality changes during the middle of a project which sometimes happens, it disturbs the workflow.
  1. Routcad De Luxe professional CNC software mill

It is straightforward to install CAD-CAM and CNC router software integrated with tools to create designs and run your CNC machine. You can configure your CNC automatically or manually, and it comes with a guided setup for the CH340 driver. You can also automatically install the current GRBL. It has a help menu to utilize and find lesson films to conduct complicated and basic activities.

It has the following features.

  • RoutCad CAD-CAM for GRBL
  • It contains the CNC XY plotter
  • It comes with a RoutBot CNC for GRBL
  • It has an automatic installer and automatic fillet
  • Works well with Windows 2000, XP, 7,8,10, and Pro


  • Very compatible with all Windows versions
  • It contains an automatic offset.
  • It is easy to use and supports English, Spanish and French languages.
  • It can incorporate formats such as DXF for importing and exporting.
  • It comes with a user guide that contains videos.
  • It can work as a laser, XY plotter, and CNC mill.


  • It cannot work on Linux and Mac OS.
  • It needs RAM that is 512MB or more

Best CNC software for beginners

CNC has a variety of beginner software that makes life easier for those who have just started the CNC system journey. CNC newcomers have to understand the software suite and learn about using it.

MASSO CNC Controller is the best software for CNC milling and is suitable for beginners.

It contains integrated software and hardware that runs Mill, Lathe, and Router.

It now has a new style that is most noticeable by users. It is simple to use, which makes it ideal for beginners.

The Enroute CNC software has tool path capabilities and provides a GUI user-friendly platform that makes it easy to use, especially for beginners. It gives explicit directions for CNC lasers, routers, and plasma.

Easel is also one of the best integrated g-code software and a CNC control tool compatible with various operating systems.

Because Easel contains beneficial education initiatives and classes, it is ideal for beginners. It is also free software and has an active community.

Master Cam is also an excellent software for beginners that offers 2D Programs. You can learn how to use this software with many free YouTube videos, and it is simple to start with.

Best Free CNC Software

Openbuilds control offers tools to build DIY projects. It is free, open-source software. It is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux OS.

It is an open and free CNC software on the Linux operating system. It is capable of running giant machines.  

The free software product comes with its hardware. It is an excellent CNC router software that uses modern techniques focusing on g-code manipulation.

It is also free software integrating engineering, manufacturing, and designing facilities. It is a single development platform that offers CAD, CAM, CAE, and PCB.

It is open-source software that works as motion control for an Arduino microcontroller board operating CNC machines.

Best CAD software for CNC router

What is the best software for CNC router? The following software offers CAD facilities for the CNC router. You do not have to worry about your designs; they offer a CAD platform to generate blueprint designs.

  • Vcarve Pro. CAD-CAM
  • Autodesk Fusion 360
  • Inkscape
  • Solidworks
  • NC Viewer
  • CNC Simulator Pro
  • GRBL
  • FreeMill CAM software

Best 3D software for CNC router

These softwares contain 3D functionalities for the CNC router. They offer various facilities that produce excellent designs and tools for easy manufacturing.

  • Fusion 360
  • Solid works
  • SelfCAD
  • EnRoute
  • Exocad
  • Catia V5
  • Mach 3
  • PlanetCNC
David D. Hughes

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