Software

 

Control

I have a licensed copy of Mach3 and the add on Wizards.

CAD/CAM Software

cad cam

 

Current 3d parametric CAD software is Alibre again, (formerly Geomagic Design Elements (formerly Alibre)).  The software is comparable enough to industrial solutions like Inventor and Solidworks when modeling in 3d and making assemblies, but the 2d portion is weak.  I constantly get crashes when working on radii and dimensioning radial features.  It was the only affordable option when I bought it. If they find some reason I have to pay more money I will likely migrate to Fusion 360.  I also 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.  Right now AutoCad is subscription only and $380 per year.

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.