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Best CNC Simulator Software [2023]-Free and Paid



John Abraham
Hey I'm John. I write about Manufacturing, Metalworking, CNCs and Lasers at Mellowpine. If you have any questions related to CNCs or Lasers, I'd be happy to answer them. Reach me at mail@mellowpine.com


CNC Simulation

It’s always helpful to simulate what result you are going to get when you run your CNC machine.

It saves you from making costly mistakes and thereby damaging your expensive workpieces and machines.

A CNC simulation software does exactly this. It visualizes the toolpath using the G-code you input.

The software alerts you regarding errors in your G-Code.

Some simulation software programs are free with limited features, while others are paid and have more advanced features.

Best Free CNC Simulator Software

The software cost for CNC machining is a significant factor that can be missed while calculating the cost of operating a CNC.

However, you can save on software cost by using free CNC software programs that offer all the basic features you need for CNC cutting.

1. CAMotics

CAMotics software interface
CAMotics software interface
SoftwarePriceOperating SystemInternetG-code Editing
CAMoticsFreeWindows, Mac, LinuxOfflineYes

Quick summary of CAMotics software

CAMotics is an open-source software, which is freely available for anyone to download and use.

Don’t get confused by its name, it can’t perform CAM operations as of now, for that you will need additional CAM software.

It’s compatible with 32 and 64 bit Windows, Mac, and Linux-based operating systems. 

If you have a multi-processor CPU it can help the software with multi-threaded rendering.

The software works offline, which means you don’t have to be connected to the internet to run the software.

It allows for a 3-axis simulation of the workpiece in a virtual 3-dimensional space.

You have the flexibility of editing G-code while using this software.It comes in handy when you find an error in the G-code simulation, it can be fixed by editing the G-code.

One problem I found while using this software is that it can’t estimate the overcutting and undercutting which happens during a regular milling operation.

CAMotics website has detailed documentation of how to navigate and use the software.

The user interface looks like that of Windows XP and is pretty easy to navigate.

It provides simulation settings, shows the data of the simulation process, and has a status bar to notify errors.

Since it’s free open-source software, it has huge community support.  

There is a Google group for CAMotics users where you can discuss your issues, active discussions are happening through Reddit also.

Some of the main highlights of this software are that it is free-to-use open-source software that can work in offline mode, and is not limited to just one OS.

It is free and its cross-platform compatibility gives everyone a chance in the CNC simulation world.

2. NC Viewer

NC Viewer window
NC Viewer window
Software Price Operating System Internet G-code Editing
NC ViewerFreeWindows, Mac, Linux, Android, iosRequiredYes

Quick summary of NC Viewer

NC Viewer is a popular handy CNC simulation software. It is cloud-based meaning you can use it from anywhere and on any device.

However, it also means you cannot use it in places without an internet connection.

Since it’s cloud-based, it’s not dependent on any OS.

It can even be used from a smartphone running android OS.

Though web-based, it loads into your system instantly and doesn’t have an annoying buffer length.

There is no suggested minimum system requirement to run the program, the complex calculations happen on a cloud-based server.

This comes to the rescue if you have to do a fast verification of your code with any device you have, which might have an internet connection and browser.

It allows you to edit and save your G-code, has a simple design, and can be used by anyone.

You can do full 5-axis simulations, and it can also simulate lathe turning operations.

CNC lathe simulators like NC viewer are ideal for use by hobbyists and for home shops.

NC Viewer is quite popular among woodworkers as well.

Active discussions are happening about the software on Autodesk forums.

The collision of the tool parts cannot be determined since we can’t set boundaries of the machine’s work area and machine size values in this software.

Collision detection is of utmost importance in CNC simulation, it helps to foresee likely damages the operation can incur to your machine.

If you are someone who has access to the internet all the time and is looking for free G-code simulation software, then this is for you.

1. CNC Simulator Pro

cnc simulator window
CNC Simulator Pro
Software Price Operating System Internet G-code Editing
$OSInternetG-code edit
CNC Simulator ProPaidWindowsOnlineYes

Quick summary of CNC Simulator Pro

This software matches the time of its existence. Advanced yet easy-to-use!

It houses a gear-maker, image-maker, 3D-maker, CAD, CAM, G-code editor, G-code simulation, and much more, all in a single software.

You will need a computer with Windows OS and an active internet connection to access and run the software.

It is compatible with both 32 and 64-bit systems and works on Windows 10 and later versions.

For running version 4.0 and later of the software, you should have a 64-bit Windows system.

It demands a RAM capacity of 4GB and above, a CPU of Intel Pentium, or better.

There is a free version of the same available, but with very limited capabilities.

It has plugin support and provides free cloud storage, which helps you to continue your work by just logging in from any computer.

You can create and fabricate your custom workpieces, and it can also simulate the weight of a workpiece.

It can mimic the performance and simulate the working of almost 40 different machines.

They offer a wide range of subscription models for users. It starts from as low as $99 to $2,300. 

Subscription models of yearly, three-year, perpetual, and upgrade options are available for individuals.

You can purchase the platinum edition and get the upcoming version 4 of the software for free.

Other than individual license options, they also provide educational multi-seat licenses.

As for customer support, the developers of the software provide a ticket-based customer support system to solve your issues.

Customers can get access to online help, FAQ, and support tickets through their website.

The main advantage of choosing this software is that there are a lot of subscription options to choose from.

Individual users can try a one-year subscription, and if you would like to continue further, you may purchase the lifetime license.

Multi-seat licenses are also available in different formats, hence educational and training institutions have the flexibility to choose as per their demand.

2. G-Wizard Editor

G-Wizard Editor window
G-Wizard Editor
Software Price Operating System Internet G-code Editing
G-Wizard EditorPaidWindows 64-bitOnline and OfflineYes

Quick summary of G-Wizard Editor

It’s a paid G-code editor and simulator with a free 30-day free trial to test it out before purchasing. 

Also “CNC Cookbook” the developers of the software provide a 30-day money-back guarantee for all purchases.

They offer three subscription models from $75 to $225, and there are lifetime, 3 years, and 1-year plans.

It requires an internet connection, but not continuously, only while installing, authenticating the software, and then once every 28 days.

The software demands a computer with a 64-bit version of Windows OS. 

It doesn’t demand a high-powered CPU, but having one will help you with good graphics performance.

Single block G-code simulation and error found notification while typing the G-code is helpful in finding errors quickly.

Though the UI design needs a desperate update, the software can do complex calculations quite fastly.

It supports M-code and tool change simulations and various G-code editing features to correct your code before running.

Navigation throughout the software is quite easy to understand and will help starters and the old-schoolers who want to get into the simulation part.

Customers can get help from CNC Cookbook’s website through support tickets and email contact pages.

Active discussions are happening about the software on YouTube, Facebook, and on developers’ blog posts.

One major advantage of this software is its online-offline capability and its introductory support phase.

They provide a great introductory software familiarisation phase, 30 days of trial, and another 30 days of a money-back guarantee.

This gives you a chance to try the software first and later you can choose to continue or discontinue depending on your fulfillment.

3. Eureka G-code

Eureka G-code simulator window
Eureka G-code simulator window
SoftwarePriceOperating SystemInternetG-code Editing
Eureka G-codePaidWindowsOnlineYes

Quick summary of Eureka G-code

Brain-child of Roboris, an Italian company, It’s a machine simulation tool, which provides an almost realistic simulation of G-code.

A paid software, but the company only provides the pricing through consultation.

Different subscription models like Eureka Pro, Eureka Premium, and Eureka Elite are available.

The software is used in educational institutions, workplaces, training centers, and more.

It allows G-code editing and has some of the most advanced features on the list.

The software is available only for Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10 OS and works on both 32 and 64-bit systems.

It analyzes the outcomes of the machining process to reduce the production time and detect potential risk points.

You can simulate multi-channel milling machines with synchronized 5-axis routines which is great if you use a 5-axis machine.

The software can generate detailed analysis reports to help you understand your cutting process better.

G-code simulation results can be accessed and reviewed on the go through the Eureka Mobile app.

With all of these features, it requires a powerful computer to run on. But you can use the EurekaCloud feature to make it easy on your computer.

EurekaCloud feature helps to distribute simulation processes to a powerful remote server. After the analysis, files can be downloaded to a shared folder.

It needs all-time internet access to perform its operations since some operations directly happen on the cloud servers.

Eureka Chronos, an AI-based feature, optimizes the G-code program feed rates while maintaining original tool-path geometry.

They provide in-person online support for their customers and have offices in the USA, Italy, Germany, and France.

Every paid G-code simulation software has almost all the required features which are common to them, but what’s unique about this is its cloud-based processing.

This provides liberty to small processor CPUs by processing complex mathematical operations directly on cloud-based intelligent servers.

Eureka Cloud works in sync with Eureka Viewer, Eureka Cloud will process data and will send the simulation via email to the user, this can be opened in Eureka viewer.

Through Eureka Viewer, customers can analyze and see their G-code simulation.

If you are someone who has a limited working CPU but has a high processor demanding simulation to try on then this simulator may help you.

Frequently asked questions

Why is a paid simulation software better than a free one?

Most free versions can simulate G-codes running on some of the classic computer numerical control (CNC) machines. These are the machines which are widely used for a long time.

While on the other hand paid software integrates some niche advanced machines and lets you check your G-code with some of the complex machines.

The main advantage of having paid simulation software is that it can break the limitations of all the free software out there.

It can help you with simulating some of the complex operations, with greater flexibility and wider analysis.

Why cloud-based proceesing is used for CNC G-code simulation? 

As the complexity of G-code increases, it might become difficult for your regular PC to compute the outcome efficiently.

In such cases, the G-code is processed by dedicated remote servers that can quickly and accurately calculate and predict the outcome of your G-code.

This helps you from having to buy powerful computers just for the sake of simulating G-code. However, you will need an active internet connection to use such services.

John Abraham
Hey I'm John. I write about Manufacturing, Metalworking, CNCs and Lasers at Mellowpine. If you have any questions related to CNCs or Lasers, I'd be happy to answer them. Reach me at mail@mellowpine.com