Best Laser Engraver & Cutter Software of 2023 (Free & Paid)

by Winnie Li Posted in December 28, 2022

For a laser engraving and cutting machine, you need to use two types of software. One is the control software in which you import the files and then engrave or cut using the laser machine. It has the ability to direct the machine and get the work done; therefore, it is known as control software. This type of laser engraver software is a must for every machine. 

The second type of software is design software. It allows you to design your own cutting and engraving patterns. If you already have the design, you don’t need the design software. You can just import it into the control software and start your work. But if you want to design something on your own to make a unique and attractive product, you need to use design software.

Both these types of software play a very important role and help you create the best items. Your ability to make various products and control the machine depends on these. Therefore, we are going to introduce the best laser engraver and cutter software of 2023. We will mention the features, pricing, difficulty level, and everything else you need to know.

In This Article

  • 3 Best Design Software for Laser Engravers & Cutters 
  • 3 Best Control Software for Laser Engravers & Cutters
  • Laser Engraving & Cutting Software FAQs

3 Best Design Software for Laser Engravers & Cutters 

Design software is a must if you want to take laser engraving and cutting to the next level. Here are a few free and paid software options you can try.

1) Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is one of the pioneers in the design industry. If you want to create vector graphics, it is the first option you can think of. However, it is a bit complicated, and it requires proper training or learning before you get started.

But once you learn everything, you can make anything you want. It gives you complete freedom and extraordinary tools that can make anything from scratch.

laser engraving and cutting design software: adobe illustrator

With Adobe Illustrator, you can design laser cutting files with perfection. It is an ideal tool or software for professional work. You can turn your imagination into reality, and the sky’s the limit. If you have Adobe Illustrator, it is more than enough for your design needs.


  • Free-hand drawing of objects and items of your choice
  • Complete tool set to make exceptional vector graphics
  • Edit objects and create them from scratch
  • Combine multiple objects for laser cutting
  • Replicate existing items and create vector graphics
  • Export files in laser machine compatible formats, such as SVG, DXF, etc.
  • Image formats can also be exported for raster or vector engraving


Adobe Illustrator is a bit expensive. It costs $20.99 per month. Although it is a bit expensive, it is worth it. With the tools and the features that it offers, you can take your creativity to the next level.

2) Inkscape

If you are disappointed after looking at the price of Adobe Illustrator, don’t worry; you can use Inkscape. It is open-source and free laser engraving and cutting design software for vector graphics. It is quite similar to Adobe Illustrator and has every tool you need to create exceptional graphics for laser cutting files and other purposes, but still, it cannot reach the level of Adobe.

laser engraving and cutting design software: inkscape

You can download the software for free, and there are no hidden charges. It gives you all tools, features, and options for free. For laser cutting designing, it is a perfect tool. You can design everything from scratch. Whether you need simple cuts or intricate engraving and cutting patterns, everything is possible in Inkscape. 


  • You can create designs from scratch or edit anything
  • Complete tool set to make exceptional vector graphics
  • It supports various formats that are compatible with laser control software
  • It also offers an XML editor, which is quite helpful for expert designers
  • Contains multiple drawing tools to design vectors without any hassle
  • You can create clones of objects to make your work easier
  • Fill and stroke tools for engraving
  • Supports grouping of objects, layers, and z-order operations


It is completely free, and you can use it for a lifetime. However, you can donate to contribute to the development of the software and the efforts of the developers.

3) CorelDraw

Many designers consider CorelDraw as the best option for their laser-cut and engraving designs. If you visit the laser-cut files library, you will see the CDR format, which is made by CorelDraw; however, not all control software supports this format. But you can export files in SVG.

CorelDraw is an alternative to Adobe Illustrator. It has some extraordinary and distinct features that people love. It is a bit easier to learn, but you still need proper guidance or training for it. You can create almost any type of vector graphics in the software. For laser engraving and cutting, it empowers you to make the design of your choice.

laser engraving and cutting design software: coreldraw

The best thing about CorelDraw Graphics Suite is that you can edit your photos with perfection. You can make vector drawings from any image. 


  • It is a complete graphics Suite that offers you all tools and features
  • Ideal for making dollhouses, boxes, and other laser cutting items that are assembled afterward
  • Any sketch or vector graphics can be made. It also offers a LiveSketch tool
  • Precise and accurate designing


The graphics suite costs $439 per year, which is quite expensive. But it has a different set of tools and features that make it ideal for various purposes.

3 Best Control Software for Laser Engravers & Cutters

1) LightBurn

LightBurn is the father of all laser engraving and cutting software. It is because of its compatibility with almost all laser machines and advanced features that experts love. You can make simple sketches or vector graphics, such as names and objects, from scratch.

You can edit designs, create layouts, and make various changes to the existing graphics. The most important thing about LightBurn is the optimal result. You get the best results for engraving and cutting as it allows you to take complete control over the machine. Even if you are using any laser engraver with rotary attachment, you can use it with perfection.

laser engraving and cutting software: lightburn

LightBurn has advanced features that many other tools and software lack. It is a complete laser control software and CAD design tool. It is the best for all your laser engrving and cutting projects.


  • Supports almost all formats for laser cutting and engraving
  • You can create and edit vector shapes, objects, and designs
  • Full control over speed, power, passes, brightness, and other options to make the engraving and cutting better
  • Compatible with a wide range of desktop and commercial laser machines


LightBurn is not a free tool, but it is quite affordable. You only need to pay $60 to $120 once, depending on the license you select. After purchasing, you can use the software for a lifetime.

2) XCS

XCS(xTool Creative Space) is a special laser control software developed for xTool machines. It is the native laser engraving/cutting software that offers the best results on compatible machines and is completely free.

You can insert the basic shapes and elements on the software that can help you create designs. Other than that, you can write the text you like in the desired font and style. Most importantly, the vector tool can help you draw free-hand designs, which is exceptional.

laser engraving and cutting software: xcs

You can group, ungroup, align, reflect, and do various things in a few clicks. The minor editing of images, such as cropping, sharpness, and object removal, can be done using native tools. If you are using a laser cutter machine that has a camera, you can extract the vector graphics from the images, and this feature is just unbelievable. 


  • Complete software for creating laser control and editing graphics
  • Beginner friendly and easy to use
  • Compatible with the rotary attachment
  • Free projects that can be imported into the software


The software is free, and you can use it for a lifetime. It is also frequently updated, and you can get the latest updates from the official website.

3) LaserGRBL

LaserGRBL is an old laser control software. It is quite basic and suitable for laser engraving only. You cannot expect much from it.

It is open-source software that you can get for free. It offers some basic options that are good for engraving on objects. It is compatible with a wide range of laser machines.


  • Easy positioning of the image
  • Gives the status of every point or pixel of the image
  • Offers exceptional engraving results
  • Suitable for beginners


LaserGRBL is free, and you can download it from the official website.

Laser Engraving & Cutting Software FAQs

1) How to design for laser cutting & engraving?

If you want to write text and create simple designs, you can use laser control software. For intricate and advanced designing, you need to learn graphics software, such as Adobe Illustrator and Inkscape, and then use them to make your design.

2) What files can laser cutter/engraver software use?

The compatibility of each software differs, but the commonly used formats are SVG, DXF, AI, PDF, PNG, JPEG, and EPS.

3) How to use a laser cutter/engraver software?

Beginners can also use laser cutter/engraver software. It is not that difficult, but you need to go through some tutorials and guides. Keep in mind that there will be trials and errors at the start, but it teaches you a lot.

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