The Most Popular CNC Software: A Comprehensive Ranking of Top Picks

Choose the software you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 19, 2024 06:57
Welcome to StrawPoll, where your opinion always matters! We're excited to present our latest ranking - "What is the most popular CNC software?" Calling all CNC enthusiasts, professionals, and hobbyists alike - this is your chance to cast your vote and have your say in crowning the ultimate CNC software champion. With thousands of polls and rankings under our belt, StrawPoll is the perfect platform for discovering the crème de la crème of CNC software solutions. Don't see your favorite on the list? Don't worry, you can easily suggest a missing option and rally others to vote for it too! So, what are you waiting for? Dive into the world of CNC software, explore popular options, and contribute to the definitive ranking that will leave no stone unturned. Happy voting!

What Is the Most Popular CNC Software?

  1. 1
    Autodesk Fusion 360
    I took the screenshot. · CC BY-SA 4.0

    Autodesk Fusion 360

    Autodesk Inc.
    This software is widely used for its advanced CAD/CAM capabilities and its cloud-based collaborative features. It is popular among makers, hobbyists, and professionals.
    Autodesk Fusion 360 is a cloud-based 3D CAD/CAM tool that combines design, engineering, and manufacturing capabilities into a single platform. It allows users to create complex designs, simulate real-world conditions, and generate toolpaths for CNC machining.
    • 3D Modeling: Powerful and intuitive modeling tools for creating complex 3D designs.
    • Parametric Design: Ability to create models with parameters and constraints for easy modification.
    • Simulation: Real-time simulation tools to test and validate designs before manufacturing.
    • Collaboration: Built-in collaboration and sharing features for team projects.
    • CAM Functionality: Integrated computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) tools for generating toolpaths.
  2. 2
    This software is known for its powerful 3D modeling and simulation capabilities. It is a popular choice among the manufacturing industry.
    SolidWorks is a powerful computer-aided design (CAD) software used extensively in various industries for creating complex 3D models and assemblies. It offers a comprehensive set of tools and features to design, simulate, visualize, and manage product development processes efficiently.
    • User Interface: Intuitive and user-friendly interface with customizable features.
    • Parametric Design: Ability to create models with parameters and constraints for easy modifications.
    • Assembly Modeling: Efficient creation and management of complex assemblies and components.
    • Simulation and Analysis: Integrated simulation tools for structural, motion, and flow analysis.
    • Collaboration: Enhanced collaboration through cloud-based sharing and online project management.
  3. 3
    This software is known for its powerful toolpath generation capabilities and its compatibility with a wide range of machines. It is often used in the aerospace, automotive, and medical industries.
    Mastercam is a leading computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software used for designing and programming complex parts and components for CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machines. It provides a wide range of tools and features to help users create efficient and precise machining operations.
    • 2D and 3D Design: Ability to create and modify both 2D and 3D models for machining operations.
    • Toolpath Generation: Automatic generation of toolpaths based on the design, material, and machining parameters.
    • Multi-axis Machining: Support for advanced multi-axis machining, including 4-axis and 5-axis operations.
    • High-Speed Machining: Optimized toolpaths and strategies for high-speed machining, increasing productivity and reducing cycle times.
    • Dynamic Motion Technology: Advanced motion control algorithms for smoother and more efficient toolpaths.
  4. 4

    Siemens NX

    Siemens PLM Software
    This software is known for its advanced capabilities in product design, engineering, and manufacturing. It is widely used in the automotive, aerospace, and industrial machinery industries.
    Siemens NX is a comprehensive and highly advanced computer-aided design (CAD) software. It offers a wide range of features and capabilities to support the entire product development process, from concept design to manufacturing. Siemens NX is known for its ability to handle complex designs, large assemblies, and sophisticated simulations with ease. It is commonly used in industries such as automotive, aerospace, and machinery.
    • Parametric Modeling: Allows for easy modification of design dimensions and relationships.
    • Assembly Design: Enables the creation and management of complex assemblies.
    • Simulation and Analysis: Offers extensive simulation and analysis capabilities for validating designs.
    • Manufacturing Integration: Seamlessly integrates with manufacturing systems for efficient production.
    • 3D Printing Support: Provides tools for designing and optimizing parts for 3D printing.
    Siemens NX in other rankings
  5. 5
    This software is known for its advanced capabilities in product design and engineering. It is widely used in the automotive and aerospace industries.
    CATIA (Computer-Aided Three Dimensional Interactive Application) is a powerful and comprehensive CAD software used for 3D modeling, design, and engineering. It offers a wide range of tools and features that enable users to create and simulate complex structures and products.
    • Advanced 3D Modeling: Allows for precise and realistic 3D modeling of complex shapes and structures.
    • Assembly Design: Enables the creation and management of complex assemblies of parts.
    • Generative Shape Design: Provides tools for creating and manipulating advanced surface and solid geometries.
    • Product Lifecycle Management: Integrates with PLM systems for efficient collaboration and data management.
    • Simulations and Analysis: Offers simulation capabilities for analyzing the behavior and performance of designs.
  6. 6
    This software is known for its powerful toolpath generation capabilities and its ease of use. It is often used in the mold and die, aerospace, and medical industries.
    GibbsCAM is a powerful computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software designed for programming CNC machines. It allows users to create, simulate, and optimize machining processes for various applications.
    • Multi-Axis Machining: Supports advanced multi-axis machining capabilities
    • Part Modeling: Includes tools for 3D solid modeling and surface modeling
    • Toolpath Verification: Offers comprehensive simulation and verification features to ensure accuracy
    • Post Processing: Generates machine-specific G-code for a wide range of CNC machines
    • Adaptive Roughing: Utilizes advanced algorithms for efficient roughing operations
  7. 7
    This software is known for its affordability and its ease of use. It is often used by small and medium-sized businesses in the manufacturing industry.
    BobCAD-CAM is a CNC software designed for creating, simulating, and optimizing machining programs. It offers a comprehensive set of CAD/CAM tools that streamline the process of creating parts and generating toolpaths for CNC machines. With its user-friendly interface and powerful features, BobCAD-CAM is widely used in industries such as manufacturing, woodworking, and aerospace.
    • 2D and 3D Modeling: Allows for the creation of complex parts and assemblies.
    • Toolpath Generation: Automatically generates precise toolpaths for cutting, milling, drilling, and more.
    • Simulation and Verification: Provides a virtual environment to visualize and analyze machining processes.
    • Material Library: Includes a vast database of materials for accurate machining simulations.
    • CAM Wizards: Assists in automating programming and reduces setup time.
  8. 8
    This software is known for its advanced capabilities in toolpath generation and simulation. It is often used in the aerospace, automotive, and medical industries.
    EdgeCAM is a popular Computer Numerical Control (CNC) software used in the manufacturing industry. It provides an efficient solution for designing and producing complex parts with high precision. EdgeCAM offers a wide range of features and tools to optimize machining processes and improve productivity.
    • 3D Machining: Enables 3D modeling and machining operations
    • Turning: Supports turning operations with advanced toolpath strategies
    • Milling: Includes various milling capabilities such as roughing, finishing, and pocketing
    • Simulation: Provides simulation functionalities to visualize and verify machining processes
    • Tool Management: Allows efficient tool selection, cataloging, and management
  9. 9
    This software is known for its advanced capabilities in 5-axis machining and its support for a wide range of machines. It is often used in the mold and die, aerospace, and automotive industries.
    SprutCAM is a popular Computer Numerical Control (CNC) software that is primarily used to generate toolpaths and control the operation of CNC machines. It offers a wide range of features and capabilities to assist in the design, manufacturing, and simulation processes. SprutCAM is well-known for its intuitive interface and advanced functionality, making it a preferred choice among CNC users.
    • Multi-axis support: Provides support for up to 5-axis machining
    • CAD integration: Allows importing and editing of CAD models
    • Advanced toolpath generation: Generates highly efficient toolpaths for complex geometries
    • Simulation and collision detection: Enables visual simulation and checks for potential collisions
    • Post-processing capabilities: Converts toolpaths into machine-specific G-code
  10. 10
    This software is known for its advanced capabilities in toolpath generation and its support for a wide range of machines. It is often used in the woodworking, metalworking, and composites industries.
    AlphaCAM is a popular CNC (Computer Numerical Control) software that is widely used in the manufacturing industry. It is a CAD/CAM software specifically designed for woodworking, metalworking, and stone cutting processes. With its intuitive user interface and powerful features, AlphaCAM provides efficient and precise control over the CNC machines.
    • CAD/CAM Functionality: AlphaCAM combines CAD and CAM functionalities, allowing users to design and program parts seamlessly.
    • Toolpath Generation: It offers advanced toolpath generation capabilities, taking into account material characteristics and machine capabilities.
    • Automatic Nesting: AlphaCAM includes automatic nesting features to optimize material usage and reduce waste.
    • 3D Modeling: It supports 3D modeling and visualization, enabling the creation of complex designs.
    • Multi-Axis Machining: The software supports multi-axis machining, allowing users to control machines with multiple rotational axes.

Missing your favorite software?


Ranking factors for popular software

  1. Compatibility
    The software should be compatible with a wide range of CNC machines and various file formats, enabling users to have a seamless experience across different operating systems and hardware.
  2. User-friendly Interface
    The software should have an intuitive and user-friendly interface, making it easy to learn and use, even for beginners in the CNC world.
  3. Features
    A rich set of features and tools are essential for effectively designing and programming parts. Look for software that supports advanced functionalities such as simulation, toolpath generation, post-processing, and more.
  4. Customizability
    Good CNC software should allow customization and offer various plugins/add-ons to enhance its capabilities and meet the specific requirements of the user.
  5. Community support and resources
    A well-established user community and knowledge base can be very helpful for troubleshooting and learning. Look for software that has a dedicated support community and offers resources like tutorials, forums, and dedicated customer support.
  6. Integration
    The software should be able to integrate well with other CAD/CAM/CAE solutions, making it easier for users to move between different tools in their workflow.
  7. Price
    Consider the pricing model and choose software that offers value for money, keeping in mind the functionalities and features that are essential for your operations.
  8. Stability and reliability
    The software should be stable and reliable, ensuring that it does not crash often or produce errors that can compromise the final product quality.
  9. Scalability
    As your business grows, you may need additional features or increased capacity. Ensure the software can scale accordingly and meet your future requirements.
  10. Regular updates and development
    The software development team must actively work on improving the software, fixing bugs, and adding new features. Regular updates will ensure that you always have access to the latest functionalities and improvements.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular CNC software. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or program is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 174 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each program once every 24 hours. The rank of each program is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


More information on most popular cnc software

CNC (Computer Numerical Control) software is an essential tool for anyone working in the field of machining and manufacturing. It allows users to program and control CNC machines, which can create precise and complex parts with ease. There are numerous CNC software options available on the market, each with its own set of features and capabilities. Some of the most popular CNC software programs include Autodesk Fusion 360, SolidWorks CAM, Mastercam, and BobCAD-CAM. Choosing the right CNC software for your needs can be a daunting task, as each program has its own strengths and weaknesses. However, by considering factors such as price, ease of use, and compatibility with your existing hardware and software, you can find the best CNC software for your specific needs.

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