Home » Manufacturing » What Software Can Be Used For CNC Prototyping

Team Rapid Manufacturing Co., Ltd

Tel: +86 760 8850 8730 [email protected]


We regularly update articles related to the prototyping and manufacturing industry. You’re welcome to check our previous blogs and subscribe to our newsletter.


What Software Can Be Used For CNC Prototyping

The emergence of Computer Numerical Control (CNC) rapid prototyping within the realm of rapid manufacturing heralds a groundbreaking epoch defined by its extraordinary precision, enhanced productivity, and boundless innovation. The journey from conceptualizing to finalizing prototypes has been profoundly redefined with the shift toward digital automation in tool machining. The cutting-edge software that powers these systems, as well as the actual hardware, are what make CNC so successful. Achieving your objectives requires selecting the best CNC software, just like choosing the best chef for a gourmet dining business. Let’s embark on an exploration of CNC prototyping software. In addition to a wide range of options, each distinguished by its special features.

The Essentials of Software for CNC Prototyping

Setting the stage is crucial before we get into the details. The heart of the operation is CNC software. It transforms your 3D drawings into commands that the machine can understand and carry out.

This software is catering to various phases of the CNC workflow. It is diverse from design inception to toolpath generation, and ultimately, machine operation. It orchestrates a ballet of precision, with each step meticulously timed and executed.

CNC Machining Software

CAD Software: The Blueprint Creator

Autodesk Fusion 360

Fusion 360 is a cloud-crafted sanctuary that masterfully weaves together CAM and CAD functionalities, shining brightly as a lighthouse of flexibility in the vast sea of CAD software options. Its intuitive interface and a wide array of functionalities bridge the gap between beginner efforts and professional-grade results. Serving as a virtual collaborative studio, it invites participants to jointly transform their visions into palpable creations with simplicity and exactness. Fusion 360 transcends the ordinary software experience, fostering a lively community dedicated to innovation and easing the complex process of design and production.


Occupying the summit of CAD innovation, SolidWorks earns acclaim for its refined solutions that prioritize precision and reliability. This software serves as the backbone for engineers and designers tasked with bringing complex, detailed constructs to life. SolidWorks offers more than just tools. It provides a reliable foundation for innovation, enabling the meticulous crafting of projects where every detail matters. Its esteemed position in the industry reflects its capacity to consistently meet the rigorous demands of modern engineering and design. What’s more, it is an indispensable ally in the creation process.

Autodesk Inventor

For precision mechanical designs, Inventor leads the pack. It’s especially valued for its advanced simulation and tooling features.

CAM Software: The Choreographer of Tool paths


Boasting a long history and widespread usage, Mastercam is praised for its depth of experience. It supports a broad spectrum of machining operations, appealing to both experts and newcomers.

Gibbs CAM

Gibbs CAM stands out for its intuitive operation, efficiency, and capacity to manage intricate machining tasks smoothly. The simplicity of its interface and the ability to work with a variety of CAD formats are among its most distinguished attributes.

HSM Works

Purpose-built for integration with SolidWorks, HSM Works provides a straightforward path from design conception to CNC machining programming for individuals deeply rooted in the SolidWorks environment.

Specialty Software: The Craft Specialists

Rhinoceros (Rhino)

For those venturing into the realm of innovative projects, Rhino emerges as the premier software, renowned for its prowess in navigating intricate shapes and textures.


Tinker CAD

Designed as the starting block for newcomers stepping into the vast universe of CNC and 3D modelling, Tinker CAD lights the path with its exceptionally intuitive interface. It transforms the daunting intricacies of digital design into a welcoming journey of discovery. It will be the ideal sandbox for those beginning their creative voyage. By simplifying the entry into design and prototyping, Tinker CAD not only opens up a world of possibilities for novices but also nurtures their growing confidence, encouraging them to delve deeper, experiment boldly, and broaden their artistic scope with ease.


Standing proud as a beacon for small businesses and passionate hobbyists, Bob CAD-CAM melds top-notch CAD and CAM functionalities with an eye for the budget-conscious. This platform proves that high quality and cost-effectiveness can walk hand in hand, offering a rich array of tools designed for the precise demands of modern crafting and manufacturing. It empowers its users to achieve detailed precision in their projects, enhancing their ability to innovate and excel. Bob CAD-CAM is celebrated for its comprehensive toolset and its dedication to democratizing advanced design technology. It creats a fertile ground for ingenuity and progress to thrive.

Open Source Pioneers software: The Innovators

Free CAD

Living up to its moniker, Free CAD presents itself as a cost-free, open-source CAD program endowed with powerful capabilities. It showcases the strength of community-led development with its adaptable and modular design approach.

Libre CAD

For those concentrating on 2D design, Libre CAD presents a free entryway into CAD. It boasts a simple learning curve and community support.

Blender CAM

While Blender is famed for 3D animation, it also contains a CAM plugin—Blender CAM, merging artistic design with CNC machining prowess.

Industry Leaders: The Titans of CNC

Siemens NX

NX emerges as the summit of CAD/CAM innovation, providing a sophisticated, high-powered, and feature-rich environment designed for the discerning professional in pursuit of excellence.


Engineered by Dassault Systemes, CATIA towers in the landscape of complex system design and engineering, wielding its superior modelling prowess as a critical asset within essential fields like aerospace and automotive, where accuracy reigns supreme.

Conclusion: Crafting the Ideal Software Mix

Selecting the right CNC prototyping software is akin to curating an exquisite menu for a grand event, necessitating a deep understanding of your project’s specific needs, preferences, and subtleties just as a skilled chef knows which wine complements a dish, the success in choosing CNC software lies in matching it to the demands of different types of holes or other features.

Whether you’re designing intricate jewellery requiring the delicacy of Rhino or Tinker CAD, or developing a new drone that benefits from the precision of SolidWorks or Autodesk Inventor, or even if you’re a hobbyist exploring CNC with Fusion 360 or Free CAD, the vast array of software choices means there’s something for every project.

It’s crucial to look beyond popularity or sophistication; consider your project’s unique needs, budget, and expertise level. The community and support surrounding software can be as important as the software, offering guidance and resources as you learn. Open-source options like Free CAD and Blender CAM provide cost benefits and customization possibilities, supported by a community of passionate users and professionals.

CNC Prototyping

Tap into Team Rapid Tooling’s superior CNC prototyping offerings now

Our team delivers a comprehensive suite of CNC rapid prototyping services and are able to handle large scale orders. Here’s a quick case study that demonstrates our extensive capabilities. TEAM Rapid accelerated an air conditioning fan cover project utilizing specific technology for a U.S. company in China. A 16-day tooling period was promised. Quick sample approval led to the production of 1000 parts in 5 days using PC/ABS materials. Shipments were made before Chinese New Year. The client praised the fast and high-quality service. For efficient CNC prototyping services, contact TEAM Rapid at [email protected].

Instant Quote