A Guide to Selecting the Best CAM Software to Meet Your Needs.

As the buzz continues around AI, smart manufacture, and industy 4.0. Selecting the most suitable computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software can feel like the leap from 3-axis to 5-axis cnc machining. Follow our tips to choosing the best package for you.

In the fast-paced world of engineering, efficiency and precision reign supreme. Selecting the right CAM software can make all the difference between an effective manufacturing methodology and a missed deadline. But fear not, fellow innovators! This guide will be your trusty reference, to helping you navigate the intricate landscape of CAM software and determine the perfect tool to transform your CAD designs into machined components.

Step 1: Know Your Business (and Your Projects)

Before diving into software comparisons, take a deep dive into your own requirements. Here are some key factors to consider:
  • Project Complexity: Are you dealing with intricate 3D models requiring 5-axis machining, or simpler 2D designs for basic parts?
  • Machine Compatibility: Does the software seamlessly integrate with your existing CNC machines and controllers? Ensure compatibility to avoid post-processing headaches.
  • Budget: CAM software pricing varies significantly. Determine your budget constraints and explore options that offer the best value for your needs.
  • Ease of Use: Consider the skill level of your CAM programmers. If your team is new to CAM, prioritize user-friendly interfaces and readily available training resources.

Step 2: Feature Focus – Functionality Makes the Difference

Now that you understand your project landscape, explore some essential features to prioritize during your software evaluation:
  • Computer Aided Design (CAD) Integration: Does the CAM software work seamlessly with your existing CAD software? Streamlined data transfer between design and manufacturing phases is crucial for efficiency.
  • CAM Capabilities: Identify the specific CAM functions you require. This might include toolpath generation, simulation capabilities, collision detection, and nesting optimization for material savings.
  • Advanced Machining Techniques: Do you need features like multi-axis machining, high-speed machining (HSM) support, or specialized toolpath strategies for specific materials?
  • Post-Processing: Ensure the software generates compatible G-code or machine code that your CNC machines can understand. Robust post-processing capabilities can further optimize toolpaths for efficiency.

Step 3: Beyond Feature – Exploring Additional Considerations

While features are vital, don’t overlook these often-underrated aspects:
  • Scalability: Consider your future growth plans. Will the software adapt to handle more complex projects as your business evolves?
  • Customer Support: Reliable and responsive customer support is invaluable for troubleshooting and maximizing software utilization.
  • Community and Resources: A thriving user community and readily available online resources can provide invaluable learning and problem-solving assistance.

Step 4: Trial and Error – Embrace the Power of Demos and Free Trials

Many CAM software providers offer free trials or product demonstrations. Don’t hesitate to leverage this opportunity! Test-drive the software with your real-world project data to assess its ease of use, functionality, and suitability for your specific needs.


There is no single “best” CAM software. The best choice for you depends on your unique requirements, budget, and team skillset. By following these steps and conducting thorough research, you will be well-equipped to select the CAM software that enables your team to transform CAD models into reality, unlocking peak efficiency and productivity gains on the shop floor.

Bonus Tip

Also consider attending industry trade shows, exhibitions, or online webinars hosted by CAM software providers. These events offer valuable insights into the latest software features and trends, allowing you to make informed decisions. As well as providing you with the opportunity to connect with people face to face to discuss your specific requirement.

What we found.

After following our own advice above, FJH Group has tried and tested several different CAM packages. For us, the best at delivering on the different types of projects we work on is Mastercam.

Especially, as its seamless integration with Cloud NC‘s CAM Assist is coming soon. A revolutionary AI technology hitting the engineering scene to make single-click manufacturing a reality.

Our resultant success with both of these packages and their shared vision of engineering in the future. Has resulted in us working in partnership with both companies as demonstrators of their tech.

If you would like to know more about either of these technologies please click the button below to access our contact form. Alternatively, you can call us on +44 (0)1543 523750 or by email to [email protected]