We all know that what sets the CNC machine apart from all other manual tools in the manufacturing industry is its computerized nature. Instead of having to manually operate certain tools, we use computers to input commands and allow the machine to follow your instructions to the dot. For our part, it makes everything more convenient and accurate. This is why the software is important. It’s the software that translates your data into something that could be understood by the machine. That way, the machine can process the raw material and turn it into the exact result which you imagined and patterned.
However, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all type of software. Naturally, different manufacturers and brands compete by offering the best CNC router machine software that they can develop. They also build different types of software to best fit the purpose of a particular model. CNC machine software is often classified in two perspectives:
Software availability (i.e. freeware, built-in, and independent)
Purpose (i.e. as to the machine’s main function?)
If you’re planning on investing in CNC routers, you’ll eventually have to deal with the software. It’s ideal that you know how each of these types varies from one another. That way, you can make better choices when you need to replace the built-in software of your machine. Anyway, it’s not so hard to figure out the classification of the software in terms of purpose, since it’s all about matching the software to a type of machine, which could either be:
These three require different kinds of software simply because they function differently. CNC router machine software is designed to let users input dimensions in cuts and shapes more accurately in wood routing. A router’s main function, after all, is to cut through wood at a specific depth and angle. CNC routers may also differ in terms of axis flexibility. Thus, a 5-axis router might work better with a certain type of software as opposed to the typical 5-axis router.
The CNC engraver, however, focuses more on tasks that require a bit of intricate design. Instead of straight and measure angles and depths, you need to work with patterns and images which you have actually drawn. That’s why this type of machine would need CNC engraver machine software.
There are those who might say that a CNC plasma cutter has the same function as a router. This may be true, since both do cutting tasks. The only difference is that they cut different materials. Routers cut wood, while plasma is intended for sheets of metal. But this difference on the raw material used alone calls plasma cutters to use CNC plasma cutter software.
Keep these things in mind next time you plan on getting new software for your CNC machine. If you’re still confused about matters on compatibility and the different features of different programs, you can always ask your manufacturer for advice. by ZILLION RPM LABS