Here’s my take on this stuff. I started out drawing in 2d with a simple CAD program called MacDraft. Around 20 years ago I saw an ad for a 1000 dollar cnc mill. I bought it. At that time there were expensive industrial programs to run cnc machines and simple proprietary programs that came with the machine. I bought a book and started to write my own Gcode. Over the next 5 years or so, hobbiest cnc started to become a thing and I built my own cnc router from hardware store materials. Resources started to become available in the new market. I bought a BobCad software program and that converted drawings into Gcode to run on the proprietary software I was still using. Then I purchased a commercially made cnc router and that came with Mach3. Mach3 is the controlling software that uses a parallel port on a PC ( or usb adapter now available). Along the way I bought into Rhino3d which was THE program of the time used by a lot of folks. That allowed me to draw in 3D. I had no classroom experience doing that, so I learned the rudiments by following their tutorials. Between Rhino and Meshcam, I was creating and making the stuff I wanted.
One day during a cold winter, I heard about a the Shapeoko2 and thought it sounded like a cool project that might be just what I needed to have a larger work area. Much to my dismay, it was a little on the flimsy side and used GRBL to control it. It got mothballed pretty quickly. Fast forward to Xcarve. After a few years I heard about x carve and decided to upgrade the S2 to current X carve specs. It was better but not perfect. I bought some upgrades along the way and that has improved things a lot. It’s still not as perfect as I’d like. That would require lead screws I think for my applications.
Anyway…the point of all this is that you need to learn how to draw and you need good programs to convert your drawings to Gcode. I am still drawing in Rhino and using CamBam for Gcode conversion of DXF files. For 3D I’m using Rhino with Meshcam. Quite frankly fusion360 looks way more complex than Rhino, as I downloaded it and am trying to learn it. Rhino seems more intuititive to what I’m used to though. As a beginner, I bet most will struggle through all of the programs. I haven’t used Easel for anything myself, but it is an easy place to start and seems like it would require a lot less effort than more complex programs.
One thing I found you can do with the X carve is make your zero on the drawing as the place where you home to. That way any screw up, you can home back to zero ( home). GRBL isn’t perfect and strange things can happen, so having a real world physical zero location that won’t be impacted by a power failure or idiosyncrasy of the controller or software makes me sleep a lot better.
Also, you can turn off the 4th dip switch on the x controller for each axis and change one of the $ settings, and your motors will hold still when you change bits. I did this last year.