Mechsoft’s Visualmill is a proven CAM solution that has been around for quite a while. Their CAM system has a plug-in for many different CAD packages. I use their CAM system with Geomagic Design for my other business. Their CNC code is very stable and they have a user configurable post processor that is easy to manipulate… no messing with a programming language.
Powerful CAD/CAM software with a great entry price for learning and for hobbyists…FREE. Also, if you take the next step very affordable for small business.
Linuxcnc is our preferred CNC machine controller here on Pinewood CNC. It’s by far one of the most robust and stable controllers you can use. It’s linux based so if you’ve never run linux there is a little bit of a learning curve, but it’s worth it and it’s free! We run it exclusively on all our machines.
MOI 3d is one of my favorite little CAD packages. It has an extraordinarily simple yet powerful interface. It makes modeling your own car a breeze and it will even run on a USB stick. So you can put it in your pocket and keep modeling wherever you go. It’s a great tool for hobbyists and professionals. Give it a try and you may get addicted, too.
Rhino knows how to set the bar in CAD modeling organic shapes. Mecsoft’s VisualMill plug-in will complete your manufacturing needs letting you program and write G-code within Rhino. Although I don’t personally use it, I have friends in the industry that do and they love it.
Smooth-On is a great sight for all your casting needs. They are one of the largest suppliers of RTV silicon rubbers, and casting resins and epoxies in the industry. We use OOMOO 30 rubber and Smooth-Cast 305 to make our custom wheels.
Alibre is a 3d parametric solid modeler with parts, assemblies, sheet metal, 2D drafting, mesh editing and so much more. This package is a personal favorite of mine. It also has a CAM plug-in called VissualMill which allows you to program your CNC machinewith in Alibre. With the old development team buying back the rights from 3D Systems I’m excited to see where it will go. Here is a tutorial on using Alibre/CAM to create our free trial model.Free trial models created in Alibre.