Affordable Option for CAM

Here is a past post from the previous forum on the use of HackerCAD for 5-axis toolpaths.

Are there any other choices for 5-Axis CAM? Fusion looks like it is now $2100 a year for the base license plus the manufacturing extension.


Even at that price, Fusion 360 still provides one of the best values for your money.

That being said, we have found that most of our customers do not need anything more than the basic license with the 3+2 toolpaths and basic 5 axis toolpaths. I believe that license is only $495/year.

Q Rothing
PocKet NC

As Q mentioned Fusion is still the most economical option. Other CAM options can be found here.

PNC might want to look at a SprutCAM bundling option for the the PNC or, better yet, for the new mill. Tormach arranged good pricing for buyers of their machines and PNC might be able to work something out with Sprut, too. I use SprutCAM with a Tormach mill and lathe and it has gotten much better over the past few years. I hardly swear at all any more while using it .

Agree with the above. Fusion has the best value and with the extensions it has more 5 axis and will even get more options in the future. I can imagine it being a steep price for a 5-6k machine, but then again, look at the price of good tools and materials and you see that it is no cheap hobby. Cheaper and betters is not something your will find on the market

I am with the OP on this one. I have been using Fusion 360 for years and the price goes up just about every year. I bought a PocketNC because it is 5 axis. The one feature in Fusion 360 that would make this 5 axis machine very useful is rotary tool paths. Unfortunately Fusion puts this one tool path behind a very steep pay wall.

Have anyone tried DeskProto? They even have a page on Pocket NC use.
Now I can see on the webiste that these people are not graphic designers but maybe that’s why it’s cheap? :smiley: I know, I know, there’s no free lunch.
I bought a 3 year Fusion 360 license like a year ago when it was $800 and that’s more than reasonable but the lack of the rotary toolpath bugs me too.

SprutCAM, which I mentioned before in this thread supports 5-axis mills in addition to robots and other technology and is relatively inexpensive so far as 5-axis capability goes. It is sold through Tormach here in the States in various versions. There may be an add-on at added cost for some 5-axis functions but one big advantage to the product is that your license is good as long as you own it and have a PC that will run it. No annual maintenance costs and all files are stored locally on your hard disk. Upgrade prices for new versions are also pretty reasonable and are released at about 18-month intervals. You can see info and pricing for the various versions here:

There is also a free trial available at that site if you want to see how it works. It is available at a discount when you buy a Tormach mill, lathe, router, or plasma cutter, I think, which is how I got my copy.

It “should” be usable with the PNC. @Kerry was checking on that but I don’t how her discussion with them went. I’m waiting for the new PNC mill to come out before deciding which PNC mill I’ll buy and will be trying SprutCAM with it at that time.

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Fusion 360 March update… mumble grumble…

This is so annoying. It would be nice if they would “Re-balance” something into favor, like the overall cost. #@$%^&*