CNC Router Software Solutions
When you invest in a CNC router machine, you want the right router software driving it to maximize productivity and avoid downtime due to costly errors. Mastercam Router delivers the right tool exactly when you need it.
Anyone with a CNC router, from the home hobbyist to professional manufacturers, can appreciate the ease, speed, and reliability of Mastercam Router software. The software delivers industry-proven CNC programming for safe and efficient router machining of everything from wood to composite materials.
- From CAD inception to part completion, Mastercam CNC Router software is designed as a comprehensive solution for manufacturing productivity.
- Mastercam CNC Router software supports features that are unique to CNC routers, including toolpath and geometry nesting, block drill support, aggregate head support, saw cutting support, and full 2- through 5-axis cutting.
Many CAM packages for CNC routers are limited in scope, but with Mastercam, you have the flexibility to do more. From simple 2D programming to complex 5-axis machining, the world’s leading CAM Software helps get the best performance out of CNC routers.
- Full 3D CAD modeling.
- Versatility to program simple contours and nest them or set up Automatic Toolpathing (ATP).
- Powerful Multiaxis tool motion.
- Complete tool library and custom tool support.
- Specialized options like Art and
5-Axis Curve Machining and Drilling.
- Toolpath creation, verification, and simulation for any CNC router.
- Feature-rich product allows shops to diversify as needed to remain competitive.
Learn how our CNC router software solutions can help solve your manufacturing challenges.
Detect collisions between your stock, tool, and machine components before sending code to your machine tool. Machine Simulation is a safe way to prove out 3-axis, 4-axis, or 5-axis Router toolpaths to make clean, efficient, and accurate programs.
Standard nesting delivers a fast, efficient, and easily identifiable way of nesting. Advanced nesting gives you a variety of additional tools, including TrueShape nesting and nesting in scrap material.
You can create signs, artistic carvings, molds, and more.
Easily regulate tabs, webs, and cutting specifics for efficient flat panel cutting.
Links you to a variety of top design software to read in entire projects and have them program automatically using presets that you choose.
Automatically take apart your assemblies and move the components to different levels based on part thickness.
Feature Based Machining
Evaluates a part’s features and automatically designs an effective machining strategy.
From direct editing of your solid models to advanced free form surfacing capabilities in Model Prep, Mastercam takes you from an idea to a completed part faster and more efficiently.
See the table below for minimum and recommended system configurations for Mastercam. These recommendations are based on systems we have in use at CNC Software for testing and evaluation purposes. Our recommendation is to get as much power (processor, video card, and memory) for your systems as you can afford.
|OS||Windows 10 or Windows 11 64-bit Professional||Windows 10 (version 20H2 or later) 64-bit Professional|
|Processor||Intel® or AMD 64-bit processor, 2.4 GHz or faster||Intel i7 or Xeon® E3, Kaby Lake or later, 3.2GHz or faster|
|Memory||8 GB||32 GB|
|Video||OpenGL 3.2 and OpenCL 1.2 support with 1 GB memory. No onboard graphics.||NVIDIA Quadro® or AMD FirePro™ / Radeon Pro card with 4 GB (or higher) dedicated memory.|
|Monitor||1920 * 1080 resolution||1920 * 1080 resolution, dual monitors|
|Storage||Solid State Drive (SSD) with at least 20 GB free and a USB 2.0 reader (for installation media)||NVMe Drive with at least 20GB free|
|3D Mouse||3Dconnexion 3D mouse|
Connection to Internet and email is recommended for installation, support, and updates.
CNC Software continues to review the operating system (OS) requirements for Mastercam with a goal of providing the best possible user experience for our customers.
We recommend using Windows 10 (version 20H2 or later) or later 64-bit Professional editions. While Mastercam may run on other Windows editions (such as Home Edition) or virtual environments (such as Parallels for Mac), it has not been tested on these configurations and is therefore not supported.
Mastercam 2021 was the last release to officially support Windows 7 as Microsoft ended extended support for the OS in January 2020. Mastercam 2022 will install on Windows 7 systems but will not be supported. Future versions of Mastercam will not install on Windows 7.
The processor speed will impact how fast the software will calculate and complete tasks. With each release, more and more aspects of Mastercam are becoming multi-core processor aware. Toolpath calculation and Simulation will generally run faster with a multi-core processor. We typically see a 50% reduction in toolpath calculation time with the latest Intel i7 or Xeon processors.
When Mastercam uses all available RAM, it switches to using virtual memory space, which is stored on the hard drive and will dramatically slow the system down. We recommend a minimum of 8 GB of memory. For large toolpath generation and simulation, we recommend 32GB of RAM.
When purchasing a new computer for Mastercam, one of the most important component is the video card.
We recommend an NVIDIA Quadro® or AMD FirePro™ / Radeon Pro card with 4GB or more of memory. Other graphics cards can be used, but they must offer full OpenGL 3.2 and OpenCL 1.2 support. OpenCL is required for Mastercam to be able to hand off certain computation tasks to the graphics card to increase system performance.
We do not recommend or support the use of onboard graphics found with some PC configurations. These do not generally have the capability to drive graphics intensive applications such as Mastercam and can lead to system instability.
Make sure you are using up-to-date drivers from your card manufacturer. We often see issues that are resolved with updated video drivers. The driver version can have a great impact on how the card performs.
The latest drivers for NVIDIA and AMD can be found at the online links. We recommend using the automatic detect feature to detect which video card is installed. More information on configuring the graphics card can be found at this Mastercam knowledge base article.
Most of our internal systems utilize dual monitors and we find this to be a more productive setup. Mastercam displays on the primary monitor while applications such as Mastercam Simulator, Code Expert, or Tool Manager display on the secondary monitor.
The minimum recommended resolution for the primary display is 1920 * 1080 resolution typical of widescreen monitors available today. Mastercam will run on lower resolution screens but beware of potential sizing issues with larger dialog boxes and panels which may be awkward to work with. Lower resolution monitors may work fine as a second monitor in a dual screen setup.
Mastercam will run on large format displays, including 4K monitors and high-DPI devices however, we do experience some display issues with these configurations.
We have found that one of the best computer upgrades is to invest in a NVMe drive. These drives are now priced at a point which makes them a good investment. Many of our test systems employ a smaller primary NVMe drive for the OS and installed applications with a second large capacity conventional drive for data.
A 3D mouse improves the way you interact with your 3D application. It is designed to be used by your non-dominant hand in tandem with a standard mouse for a balanced and cooperative work style. You gently manipulate the 3D mouse’s controller cap to simultaneously pan, zoom and rotate 3D content while your standard mouse is free to select menu items or parts of the model. Additional technical and purchase information can be found on the 3Dconnexion website.
Most computers today have some kind of anti-virus software to protect from unwanted malware. In some cases, these have been found to interfere with applications such as Mastercam which are running on the computer. CNC Software does not recommend specific anti-virus products, but if you see unexpected issues, it may be a conflict with anti-virus software. Try temporarily disabling the anti-virus software or setting an exception for Mastercam.
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When you choose the world’s most widely used CAM, you gain benefits beyond the technology driving our software. Our global community of Mastercam users, experts, educators, and enthusiasts helps you get the most from your investment.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is CNC router software?
CNC router software is used to create toolpaths through G-code to operate computer numerical control (CNC) routers. This allows for machine automation, where the machine cuts a part to the specifications of the input code.
Why is router software needed?
Computer numerical control (CNC) routers are complex machines capable of extraordinarily precise manufacturing. Router software, like Mastercam, is needed to program these scientific instruments accurately, in order to maximize cycle times, extend tool life, and minimize the wear and tear on the router itself.
What is the difference between a CNC router and a CNC mill?
There are many similarities, but a router generally refers to a gantry-style machine with a stationary table, where a mill may have a moving table and a tool held in a Z-axis spindle.
Can router software help improve productivity?
Router software improves productivity by saving time, reducing errors, and improving both precision and productivity in the manufacturing process. Programming a router by hand is a painstaking process, with a human margin of error built into every step of the process. Router software, like Mastercam, makes preparing parts and programming the machine a much more efficient and accurate process.
Can I cut metal on a router?
Routers have traditionally focused on cutting softer material such as wood or plastic, but modern routers include the precision and power needed to cut some metals accurately and safely.