There are hundreds of options out there when it comes to software. I’m going to cover adobe illustrator and Design2Cut, as well as a general overview of what CAD (Computer Aided Design) software even is.
What is CAD / ART Software?
This is the software that your going to use to make or create your part, object, sign ect that your going to cut. There are lots of options here and many free options as well. When it comes to CNC plasma cutting your going to end up cutting a few different types of objects. Broken down most simply CAD “PARTS” and artwork, like pictures and signs. It’s not uncommon to use two design programs one for CAD parts and one for artwork. While many programs can do both they can not always do both great.
This is a popular artwork program as well but mainly used by people with graphic design backgrounds. Illustrator is $30 a month which over several years is crazy expensive. This program has been around for a long time and has a tremendous amount of support and tutorials.
At Westcott Plasma we exclusively use a program called Design2Cut. This software is a proprietary blend just for Westcott Plasma. It’s an all-in-one software, including CAD, CAM, and CUT (Machine Control). We chose this model to make the user experience as seamless as possible. You’re also able to import .dxf files from other programs, if needed. Feel free to check out our free Design2Cut Demo.
When you pick your software for this component of CNC Plasma work, make sure you pick something that is tried and true and comes with lots of support. Video tutorials on the web are also a great thing to look for. The learning curve involved in CAD and artwork programs can be steep, but stick with it. Having the ability to design and make your own images and parts will set you above most, who can only cut something that others have designed or made. Once you start using a program and become proficient, you will likely stick with that program for years to come.. so pick wisely.