I’ve been searching for powerful CAD/CAM software that is affordable/free. I finally found it in Fusion 360 from Autodesk. They offer a full featured parametric 3D modeling software with integrated CAM. The integrated CAM makes the CAM parametric to the geometry as well.
Currently, there is only a single product in the family which is free for personal/hobby use (yes legally). The full featured version is $300/year now. Come November 8, 2014, they will be offering a standard version and an ultimate version. The ultimate version will contain all of the high powered 3 axis CAM features that are offered now in the “beta” version and the standard version will be all of the modeling plus 2.5 axis CAM (HSM express). Going forward, the standard version will be free for personal use ($300 for comercial use) and the ultimate version will be $1200/year (no personal use).
HOWEVER, for a limited time (until November 8), you can sign up for the full featured current version ($300/year) and get the ultimate version for that price for as long as you keep your subscription current. $300/year in woodworking isn’t much. I signed up. I think it may be valuable for others as well, so I did a little review of it
Just so you know, I have no ties to autodesk. They are not compensating me for any kind of promotion. I genuinely think this software is a great tool and a good value. I have been searching for this kind of software for some time now.
-- Blending Traditional Woodworking with 21st Century Tools http://www.21stCenturyWoodworking.com