The latest in CAD/CAM software - Mastercam

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Mastercam, produced by CNC Software Inc., is a pretty expansive CAD/CAM program that does everything from nesting to multiaxis cutting.

"Toolpaths are what we really do and that's the bread and butter of our software, which is generating g-code to power machines," said Mastercam's Ben Mund. "The software runs from 2D to 3D to five-axis."

CNC Software recently released Mastercam X2 Maintenance Release 2 (MR2), which offers new and improved toolpaths, block drill enhancements and common edge nesting.

AutoDesk Inc.
AutoCAD allows design professionals the flexibility to work in an integrated environment for conceptual and detailed design, as well as create, manage and share in one environment. The program, updated regularly and now being introduced in its 2008 version, makes it fast and easy to explore design alternatives and then reuse that information as a basis for the documentation drawings needed to build the design, according to company spokesperson Marie Domingo.

AutoDesk also offers AutoCAD LT, a simpler version of AutoCAD that might be more appropriate for smaller woodworking shops.

AutoCAD LT is a 2D drafting and detailing product for design professionals who require full DWG native file format compatibility without 3D capabilities, advanced customization, or network licensing. The program allows users to minimize time-consuming workarounds with annotation scaling and layer properties per viewport while refining their aesthetic precision with text and table enhancements and multiple leaders.

A 30-day trial of AutoCAD LT 2008 is downloadable at

Completely embedded with AutoCAD, the Microvellum's Toolbox features AutoCAD drawings containing all the manufacturing information necessary to create a bill of materials. Other features include, but are not limited to: automated exploded views for cut listing and part labeling within the drawing, the ability to create a product library conforming to your method of construction and machining, manufacturing reports that include edging, hardware, door and drawer details, the creation of 2D and 3D presentation, part geometry and machining creation for CNC applications or drawing applications only.