We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is CNC Router Software?

By Jean Marie Asta
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
About Mechanics is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At About Mechanics, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

CNC router software is what distinguishes the Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) wood router from other types of routers. Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software, Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) software, or a combination of the two is used in CNC router software. While there are a number of software programs that fall into these categories, they all fundamentally differ on the basis of axes. If only two axes are available, only two-dimensional work can be done, and if there are three axes, three-dimensional projects can be pursued.

Although it can take quite some time to learn all of the instructions for CNC router software, the basic way that it functions is quite simple. An individual working the CNC router will enter a set of vector graphics and coordinates into his or her CAD/CAM software program matching the design he or she is intending to produce. Since the computer the CNC router software is working off of is connected to the router itself, commands entered into the software program will be transferred on to the router blades that do the physical work during the project.

Each of these blades can be thought of as operating on a specific axis. The coordinates that are entered into the CNC software program tell the router the positions along the axes it needs to be in at every point in time over a set interval. X axis and Y axis coordinates will command the two-dimensional cutting of an object such as a design on a table top. Three-dimensional work is done along the Z axis. In the CNC software program, the Z axis coordinates can relay commands to the router blades resulting not only in three-dimensional objects like spheres, but also in interior three-dimensional cuts, as would be necessary when hollowing out a cylinder, for example.

Other types of wood routers are on the market, such as the trim router, the fixed-base router, and the plunge router, but the CNC router stands out as the only one that is controlled by computer software. All of the others have blades and tools that must be positioned and moved by the individual working the router himself. He may not be moving the blades themselves, but he is moving machinery parts that control the movement of the blades. There are certain settings on other routers that can be used to specify certain depths and types of cuts, but because human hands are involved in the movement of router blades, room for error arises. Shaky hands and incorrectly eyeballed estimates do not present a problem with the CNC router because the CNC router software dictates specific movements based on the vector graphics and coordinates entered; all the work is done by the router itself, which receives its instructions from the software.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.