CAD/CAM Software

Autodesk Fusion 360 is integrated CAD/CAM software that allows machinists to create higher-quality parts faster.

using Fusion 360 to prepare a milling project on the Matsura MX-330 machine.

What is computer-aided design & computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) software?

CAD/CAM refers to the integration of Computer-aided design (CAD) and Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM). CAD/CAM software is used to design and manufacture prototypes, finished products, and production runs of products using a single development tool.

Autodesk customer, Hermle AG, uses PowerMill to create its machines.

How do I use CAD/CAM?

CAD/CAM software is used to both design a product and program manufacturing processes, specifically, CNC machining. CAM software uses the models and assemblies created in CAD software, like Fusion 360, to generate toolpaths that drive machine tools to turn designs into physical parts. CAD/CAM software is used to design and manufacture prototypes, finished parts, and production runs.

Unify your CAD-to-CAM workflows using Fusion 360

Integrated CAD/CAM software

Fusion 360 replaces fragmented design-to-manufacturing processes with unified CAD-to-CAM workflows. While maintaining communication with customers, suppliers, and internal stakeholders, you can create your parts correctly the first time and on schedule. Integrated CAD/CAM in Fusion 360 allows you to:

  • Easily import designs using a broad range of data translators for over 50 different file types
  • Quickly change existing features or model fixtures directly on imported models
  • Rapidly generate multiple design iterations and toolpaths in minutes
  • Maintain complete control over who has access to view, comment on, and edit projects

Featured CAD/CAM software

Cloud-based 3D CAD/CAM/CAE software for product design

Gain access to advanced manufacturing functionality

Expand your advanced manufacturing capabilities

Best CAD/CAM software for CNC machining

Fusion 360 for machinists

Now more than ever, you need modern, integrated manufacturing tools to help you remain competitive. Utilize the most cost-effective CAD/CAM solution available in the market to streamline your production processes. For professional designers, engineers, and machinists, Fusion 360 is the solution for all your CAD/CAM needs.

Working on Fusion 360 using extensions

Expand your CAD/CAM capabilities

Fusion 360 extensions expand the functionality of Fusion 360 by enabling sophisticated machining, additive manufacturing, simulation, generative design, nesting and fabrication, and data management capabilities.

Make CAD/CAM your competitive advantage

Truly integrate CAD/CAM

With unified workflows in Fusion 360, you can design soft jaws and fixtures, prep CAD data, and create assemblies. Automatic data translation and toolpath updates save time.
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Get CAD/CAM at a fraction of the cost

Stretch your budget by swapping costly, disparate CAD/CAM tools for one affordable, integrated solution.
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Work smarter, not harder

Seamless updates deliver new functionality without disrupting your interface. You'll maintain high efficiency rates, since everyone will use the same version of Fusion 360.
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How customers use Fusion 360 as their CAD/CAM solution

Fusion 360 resources for CAD/CAM

Get started with CAD/CAM with these tutorials, guides, and tips.

Learn how Fusion 360, a cloud-based, integrated CAD/CAM software, can transform your design process.

This article expands upon CAD, CAM, and CAE, advantages across crucial touchpoints in the end to end product development process.

Learn about how cloud-based CAD software makes collaboration easy, with an all-in-one repository for data that works faster and smarter than other solutions.

Make your CAD/CAM experience official with a Fusion 360 certification. Explore the six different certification options and registration process.

Read about the the importance of digitally upgrading the manufacturing shop floor, the benefits of digital product development, and how it can improve your company’s manufacturing process.

Access video tutorials and self-guided courses for 3D modeling, CAM/CAM design and programming, cloud CAM software, and manufacturing through the Fusion 360 Learn & Support Hub.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ) on CAD/CAM software

What is the best free CAD CAM software?

There are many different types of CAD/CAM software available today. The one you choose very much depends on the work you typically do and the tools you're going to need to be successful. One excellent choice for those wanting to design and manufacture products is Autodesk Fusion 360 for personal use. The free version of Fusion 360 for personal use combines powerful 2D and 3D CAD modeling tools with entry-level CAM programming capabilities. This is the ideal choice for hobbyists, startups, and small businesses to drive a variety of 2- and 3-axis CNC machines. As your business needs change, you can choose from various subscription options to unlock more advanced CAD and CAM capabilities.

What is the difference between AutoCAD and CAM?

Autodesk develops a range of software tools to meet the different needs of industries such as architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC), design and manufacture (D&M), and media and entertainment (M&E). These software products typically provide computer-aided design (CAD) and/or computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) capabilities that can be used to design and manufacture the buildings and products that we use in our everyday lives. Autodesk AutoCAD is one of the most famous software products developed by Autodesk. It is CAD software that architects, engineers and construction professionals rely on to create precise 2D and 3D drawings of the buildings in which we live and work.


By comparison CAM software, like Autodesk Fusion 360, goes beyond designing products on a screen and provides additional tools that can be used to help to convert the 2D and 3D designs into physical products that can be sold and used. CAM software typically provides the ability to generate additional data that is used to control different types of manufacturing machinery, such as CNC milling machines, CNC lathes, or 3D printers, to convert a 3D digital design into a physical part.

What is the price of CAD/CAM software?

The price of CAD/CAM software varies depending on the product that you choose and how you prefer to pay for it. Autodesk offers a range of different software products with tools designed to meet the needs of different industries. Autodesk Fusion 360 for personal use is free to use and provides entry-level CAD and CAM capabilities ideally aimed at hobbyists, startups, and small businesses. As your business needs increase, you can pay for a subscription to Fusion 360 to unlock additional CAD and CAM capabilities. Autodesk offers a range of payment terms, including yearly, monthly, and daily Flex access, meaning you only pay for the tools you need when you need them.


If you’re already a medium-sized business with more advanced needs, you may wish to consider subscribing to the Autodesk Product Design & Manufacturing Collection. The collection is a powerful set of applications that provides extended capabilities to Inventor and AutoCAD for engineers who design complex and custom products, equipment, and systems.

What is the best CAD/CAM software for CNC?

There is a wide choice of CAD/CAM software for CNC (computer numerically controlled) programming and machining. Autodesk offers a number of products, with different capabilities to serve the needs of different industries and applications.


Fusion 360 – is a cloud-based 3D modeling, CAD, CAM, CAM, and PCB software platform for product design and manufacturing. It provides integrated CAD and CAM, CNC programming tools for 2D, 2.5D, 3-axis, 3+2, and 5-axis machining applications. A range of subscription options exist, including a free option for personal use, a commercial subscription ($495 per year), and a range of Extensions to unlock additional technology to meet the needs of more advanced applications (for example, generative design, or multi-axis CNC machining).


Autodesk offers alternative CAM software products for other industries and applications, including:

  • Fusion 360 with PowerMill – part of the Fusion family of products, PowerMill is expert high-speed and 5-axis CAM software for manufacturers of molds, tools, and dies, that need to get the very best performance from their CNC milling machines and industrial robots.
  • Fusion 360 with FeautureCAM – part of the Fusion family of products, FeatureCAM is automated CAM software that replaces manual data input (MDI) with fully automatic CAM programming using intelligent machining templates for milling machines, lathes, turn-mill, wire EDM, and Swiss-lathes.

What is the best CAD/CAM software for woodworking?

There are many different software tools that can be used for woodworking, including Autodesk Fusion 360. Fusion 360 is easy-to-use 3D modeling software that allows you to design, test, modify, and visualize your projects in 3D before bringing them to life. Each phase of the product journey is integrated into one CAD/CAM solution. Fusion 360 is cloud-based, which greatly improves collaboration within your business and across your supply chain, helping you be more productive and bring your products to market faster.


For design, Fusion 360 provides parametric tools, advanced 3D modeling, sculpting, advanced nesting and arrange functionality to help optimize material utilization and reduce waste. For manufacturing, Fusion 360 provides highly efficient CAM programming tools to simplify the process of generating NC machining code for a range of 2D and 3-axis routers.

How much does Fusion 360 cost?

The cost of Fusion 360 varies depending on your specific business needs and how frequently you need/want to use it.


  • Fusion 360 for personal use is free of charge
  • Fusion 360 for commercial use costs $545 (USD) per year per user (monthly and daily access is also available)
  • Unlock more capabilities by subscribing to a Fusion 360 Extension (typical prices are $1,600 per year per user)


What is CAD/CAM?

CAD or computer-aided design and drafting (CADD), is the technology for design and technical documentation, which replaces manual drafting with an automated process. If you are a designer, drafter, architect, or engineer, you have probably used 2D or 3D CAD programs such as AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT software. These widely used software programs can help you draft construction documentation, explore design ideas, visualize concepts through photorealistic renderings, and simulate how a design performs in the real world.


CAM or computer-aided manufacturing is the use of software and computer-controlled machinery to automate a manufacturing process. CAM software is used to create 3D toolpaths that instruct a machine how to make a product. These instructions are converted into machine-specific NC code that is then sent to the CNC machine. The CNC machinery is then used to turn raw material into a finished product either by subtracting material from it (CNC machining) or by depositing material onto it (additive manufacturing or 3D printing).

What is CAD and CAM used for?

CAD/CAM software is used to design (CAD) and manufacture (CAM) products that we all use in our daily lives. From the chair that you're sitting on, to the desk that you're sitting at, to the computer or smartphone that you're using to read this article. All of these products have been designed using CAD software and then converted into physical objects using some kind of computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) process.

What companies use CAD/CAM?

Autodesk CAD/CAM software is widely used by many of the worlds leading designers and manufacturers in diverse industries, including; aerospace, automotive, construction, medical, consumer goods, and more. You can learn more about Autodesk customers, and how they are partnering with Autodesk to design and make a better world.

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