Supplying files for a CNC machine

Ok, random question of the month.

Can you use 3D studio Max to create a virtual 3D form that can be given to a CNC machinist to create that form in metal?

Can the same file be used for rapid prototyping, i.e. 3D printing polymer?

I think, you produce something eg in solidworks you then have to use another software to convert to whatever the standard is thats used by the equipment.

Think autodesk or someone is pushing an open source format to help unify things.

Normally you output to .dxf, sometimes .dwg.

It is a good idea to save files in both formats as part of your workflow.

I don’t work in metal, but I do in wood.
I create files usually in Corel Draw for the laser cutter and CAD for anything CNC.

PlasmaCAM is popular for profile cutting on a table … not particuarly good … but popular … like an iPhone .

Autodesk inventor works with cadcam so does rhino ,solidworks,cativa and I’m pretty sure turbocad
Because I’m old fashioned I use autocad to solid model as I can do it a lot quicker than doing it in inventor

Of all the above suitable packages, which is the easiest to learn the basics with?

inventor is easy

but I would say that

I think Google Sktechup exports to cad files ill look on my laptop when I get home