Software

Control

I have a licensed copy of Mach3 and the add on Wizards on the G0704 and Mach4 hobby on the 12Z.

CAD/CAM Software

cad cam

Current 3d modelling CAD software is Alibre again, (formerly Geomagic Design Elements (formerly Alibre)).  The Expert level software is comparable enough to Pro level industrial solutions like Inventor and Solidworks when modeling in 3d and making assemblies, but the 2d portion is little weak.  The sheet metal has work very well on many projects. I bought a 3 year maintenance subscription in order to transition from Win7 to Win10 which also permitted a second license so I can have it on the PC inside the house as well as the shop PC.

I  use Draftsight for 2d designs.  It is free if you re license every 30 days (just confirm your email address) or there is a pro version $99-$299 that offers support.  I like this software as I am an AutoCad guy since 1991 and Draftsight recognizes all of the typed commands that I use in AutoCad.

CAM software I selected CAMBAM.  For someone new to both machining and cam there is a steep learning curve, the support forums and documentation are helpful.  I printed out the whole manual and put it in a 3 ring binder.

I got a discount ordering CutViewer with CAMBAM and have found it helpful to see the simulation prior to running a part in the mill, especially when I offset the surface the wrong way in cam.

I have finally invested the time to start learning Fusion 360 thanks to NYCCNC videos, primarily for CAM