Best software for cutting STL files?

I’m using STL files to cut out stuff and am using Vector Aspire, but I am wondering if there is a better program for this? Something designed for STL?

MeshCAM is the usual suspect:

(ob. discl., it’s made by one of the partners and is bundled w/ the Nomad)

Very simple and deceptively capable.

Other options include:

  • FreeMill
  • pyCAM
  • Autodesk Fusion 360
  • HSM Express

I keep thinking of MeshCAM but the cost is just so high, which as a starting hobbiest is hard to swallow. What is the best CAD program to pair with Mesh? What advantages does MeshCAM have over other CAD programs like the ones you listed?

The only CAD program I listed is Autodesk Fusion 360 — the others are free CAM programs.

The MeshCAM folks have a list of CAD software:

and note esp. the mention of Alibre which we sell w/ MeshCAM bundled:

Oh I got excited about Alibre until I saw it’s windows only, I’m one of those Apple Chumps, I do have a windows box but am trying to move back to all Mac. What are you personally using @WillAdams?

I don’t do much free-form 3D work — I’ve looked into Blender and FreeCAD and SolveSpace, all of which are opensource and run on Mac OS X — mostly I use OpenSCAD (using BlockSCAD as a front-end), but I’m doing woodworking joinery and I don’t export an STL, I get a DXF or SVG and import that into Carbide Create.

One program I’ve been considering is Moment of Inspiration:

which runs on both platforms and is listed on the GRZ Software page linked above.

A Mac-specific program which is well-regarded (and quite affordable) is Cheetah 3D: