Has anyone tried EstlCAM?

I stumbled across a few references to EstlCAM during my research. I heard favorable things about it, but nothing more than “It’s pretty good!”

Has anyone tried it? It’s free to try.


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I use it exclusively, and have for the past 3 years. I haven’t done anything super elaborate with it, most of my stuff is created from an imported DXF file. For me, it’s powerful enough without being overly complex. I deal with complex CAD issues every day at work, so I like my hobby CAD/CAM work to be enjoyable, and Estlcam is a big piece of that puzzle.


That’s exactly what I was hoping for. And for the same reason. I do CAD stuff, solid modeling and analysis daily. I’m looking for tools powerful enough to do what I want with minimal heavy lifting. As soon as I get a computer, I’m giving EstlCAM a try.

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Excellent, and you don’t need a real powerhouse to run Estlcam, unless you are needing one to run another 3D application. If their demo is still structured the same way, it runs with full capability in demo mode, but adds a 1 second count each time you generate the g-code (until registered). I think it’s still only about $60.

Thank you both for this thread. I have been looking at software options that are intuitive, powerful (for what I think I need - still figuring that out), and at a good entry level price point.

I will spend some more time watching more of their available video tutorials.

Most videos are for older versions of Estlcam. However, they are helpful. Pop-up help within the software is very thorough and easy to follow.

I am currently using Estlcam as my primary CAM tool. I also use 2D CAD software to layout my projects, working primarily with DXFs. This combination came more naturally to me after many years as a mechanical engineer.

My intent is to use lightweight software on older PCs, and Estlcam has not let me down. Considering all its features, it is rather small.


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I appreciate your feedback. I am currently using Fusion 360 to design parts for my 3D printer - when I say using, I mean watching “how to” videos then spending hours with trial and error. I am learning a great deal through the process, but like many, would like a simplified yet capable alternative. I remember reading that one expert suggested spending at least two weeks using each software on a short list of perhaps three before choosing the one you will commit to. I am thinking what software I ultimately use will depend on the complexity and variety of projects I undertake, likely more than one - that and my time, patience, and pocketbook.

I started with EstlCAM and it suited my needs at the beginning, but once you become acquainted with a program like VCarve, you’ll never go back. Some parts of estl aren’t super intuitive but it’s a decent software considering one guy developed it and you can actually control your CNC with it with the right hardware. It has some neat features, but it’s definitely aimed at hobby use. The editing controls and selecting which vector you want to carve aren’t the best at all, but then again, it’s a $60 software. And free at the beginning too, saving programs just adds one second to the time so eventually you wait a minute before it’ll save the program and is when you decide to pay the nominal fee.