Mastercam 19 or fusion 360?
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    Default Mastercam 19 or fusion 360?

    I just read this thread Fusion 360 vs. Solidworks/CAMWorks....
    and there's a lot of very positive comments about F360. I'm currently running a very old version of mastercam, (think wireframe drawings) I bought X2 and never used it, last year I bought X8 and never had a chance to learn/use it because i got buried with some very difficult projects. Now, don't want to bother with 18 since it's already been replaced but I have to do something as my current platform will no longer operate with Windows 10 (my current windows Operating System end of support is in April. )

    We have an educational license , so Mastercam is almost free although I still need my HASP (which is annoying sometimes). Fusion 360 would be free and I can get solidworks as well.

    The work I do is pure prototype and design as well, so squeezing every last second out of a toolpath is of Zero importance. To me the biggest importance is ease of learning and ease of use, no other consideration comes close. We only have a CNC mill here, 3 axis, and no lathe. 3D profiling with a ball mill is about all I need.

    Anyone here used both? what are your impressions? Which would you guys recommend and why?

    also included anonymous poll if you prefer not to comment
    thanks

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    Forgive me if I come across poorly but, what makes you think that you will learn Fusion 360? Sounds like you've had years to catch up and never have.

    I am assuming you are coming from pre MCX?

    As a long time MC user I can tell you that the hardest things to get used to are non-toolpath related.

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    You bought Mastercam X8 last year but never bothered to learn it? What makes you think you will bother to learn anything else? Not trying to be pissy here but come on. You have a seat of one of the best CAM systems out there and you won't use it. For what you are doing, X8 will serve your purposes perfectly. It has design, drafting and CAM and outputs great toolpaths for 3D contouring. Plenty of help out there too and lots of downloadable tutorials. Plenty of help here and at eMastercam.com forums. I use MX every day and would be willing to help where I can. don't waste any more money.

    Paul

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    If you can get SolidWorks, get HSMWorks. Although I like Fusion 360, and it's a great deal if you're paying for it, it is not without its issues (cloud server went down today, for instance, and many CAD formats need converting on the server side so that leaves you without a solution).

    HSMWorks is very easy to learn IMO, very powerful, and also free with an educational license. Frankly I like both of them a lot more than Mastercam but the last version of MC I used was X6 and I have heard it's changed a fair amount since that release.

    What I really like about the integrated systems is leveraging real CAD. Geometry creation in X6 was abysmally time-consuming and I hated every minute of it. But if you spend an hour making a 3D compound radius you sure feel proud of yourself when you're done!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Atomkinder View Post
    HSMWorks is very easy to learn IMO, very powerful, and also free with an educational license. Frankly I like both of them a lot more than Mastercam but the last version of MC I used was X6 and I have heard it's changed a fair amount since that release.If you can get SolidWorks, get HSMWorks. Although I like Fusion 360, and it's a great deal if you're paying for it, it is not without its issues (cloud server went down today, for instance,
    thank you, that's very helpful. sorry for the dumb question, but you design in HSMworks and then do the CAM portion in 360?



    Quote Originally Posted by Atomkinder View Post
    HSMWorks is very easy to learn IMO, very powerful, and also free with an educational license. Frankly I like both of them a lot more than Mastercam but the last version of MC I used was X6 and I have heard it's changed a fair amount since that release.If you can get SolidWorks, get HSMWorks. Although I like Fusion 360, and it's a great deal if you're paying for it, it is not without its issues (cloud server went down today, for instance,
    are you saying that when the cloud server goes down everything is dead in the water, CAD, CAM, accessing files etc.? If so then it's really worrisome IMHO. I need something that can operate on my PC independently of the web or the cloud or whatever

    Quote Originally Posted by Atomkinder View Post
    What I really like about the integrated systems is leveraging real CAD. Geometry creation in X6 was abysmally time-consuming and I hated every minute of it. But if you spend an hour making a 3D compound radius you sure feel proud of yourself when you're done!
    I know i'm 10 years behind (at least), but I have also been designing assemblies and that wasn't fun in 2D wireframe either. Basically you have to memorize the parts and how they go together. Having true 3D will be great but less pain in the learning process is always better. I'm also not familiar with how different mastrcam 16 is from 18, barely got started on 18 before the real machines and the TIG welder pulled me out office. The tutorial didn't seem to terrible , but there appeared to be a ton of features on there I just don't need or want.
    Quote Originally Posted by Atomkinder View Post
    and many CAD formats need converting on the server side so that leaves you without a solution).
    Accessing old files is also an issue I'm facing now with 13 years accumulation of old drawings. Will probably just keep my old PC around in case I need them, which is rare, versus trying to save and import, convert etc.

    I've downloaded fusion 360, wish me luck

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    Quote Originally Posted by draganm View Post
    thank you, that's very helpful. sorry for the dumb question, but you design in HSMworks and then do the CAM portion in 360?
    No, I have a personal license of Fusion 360 and was involved back to the CAM 360 beta before they integrated them. I use HSMWorks at work, though, so that's where I spend much of my time in CAM. I am an Autodesk Expert Elite for Fusion though (almost entirely CAM) and I spend a good amount of time on the forums helping users solve problems. You may find MANY answers there in fact even by searching for them: Fusion 360 - Autodesk Community

    are you saying that when the cloud server goes down everything is dead in the water, CAD, CAM, accessing files etc.? If so then it's really worrisome IMHO. I need something that can operate on my PC independently of the web or the cloud or whatever
    Not everything is dead in the water. The software is a standalone so if you have IGS, STEP, IPT, or a few other formats you can still create new files locally off-cloud, but many other formats need to be uploaded for conversion. You can create new files, the CAD is local, the CAM is local, but your data is cloud-stored, meaning you can access the same data from any computer with the software installed. You can also export files as .F3D that contain all the model and CAM data but this is tedious if you want to avoid cloud storage. There are folks (me included) clamoring for a cache that does not depend as heavily on the cloud as it does now.

    I've downloaded fusion 360, wish me luck
    Good luck! Drop in on the forums if you have questions, there are lots of helpful folks there.

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    thanks, i have a 3D file one the engineers sent me, I will import and play around with that.

    Also heard from mastercam vendor today, Master 2017 is quite a bit different from V18, so it's just as well I didn't bother with 18. He said if your used to 18, Mastr-2017 will take you 2 days to acclimate. For me , that probably means 2 months LOL. On you-tube the new format looks very clean and uncluttered, a lot like fusion 360 actually.

    I will have it here soon as well, then decide which i like better.

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    Just remember Fusion 360 is cloud based, so....

    1) Must have an internet connection, though can work offline for a very short period of time (days) without a connection.
    2) Files are stored on the cloud server not locally without some finagling
    3) Doesn't currently have 3D Flow cutting like HSMWorks
    4) Lathe is better than HSMWorks since they developed it new

    SW is installed on the PC as well as HSMWorks

    1) HSMWorks was bought by AutoDesk and migrated into Inventor and Fusion 360, so they all work basically the same.
    2) Lathe needs alot of work
    3) some of the toolpaths are not in the other 2
    4) lags behind the outer 2 since AutoDesk is no longer a Gold Partner of SW
    5) SW has many other CAM software that can run inside of it if HSMWorks doesn't fit your needs, SolidCam, BobCam, MasterCam and more.
    cam-gold-partners.jpg

    What I would say is what is easier for you to learn on the CAD side cause the CAM side it is all the same, you can use the same post file in all 3 as well as tools until the new tool library is instituted.

    SW is the most used CAD across the world but Fusion is making its move because of its low cost.

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    I think Fusion would be pretty good for what you list as your needs. I would personally stay away from HSMWorks if I were not already using it. It will never receive the same attention that InventorHSM or Fusion currently get.

    Not to mention that HSMWorks is priced at a disadvantage to InventorHSM. There are supposed to be some license changes that would allow you to use any of the 3 products if you are a customer. I got an email about it but have yet to see it put in place.

    IMO the CAM side of Fusion is pretty much on par with HSMWorks and InvenotrHSM. The CAD side of Fusion is really lacking IMO. Things that make design some much easier in SW are just not there. No standard hole sizes for fasteners, not toolbox for fasteners, no pipe threads, no weldments, hole wizard, assembly level hole wizard, etc.....

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    Not to mention that HSMWorks is priced at a disadvantage to Inventor HSM. There are supposed to be some license changes that would allow you to use any of the 3 products if you are a customer. I got an email about it but have yet to see it put in place.
    Yep you'll pay for SW and HSMWorks every year. After initial pruchace your yearly nut would be ~ SW $1295 + HSMWorks $2470 = $3765\yr. where as Inventor HSM would only be $2470\yr. and Fusion 360 $300\yr.

    IMO the CAM side of Fusion is pretty much on par with HSMWorks and Inventor HSM. The CAD side of Fusion is really lacking IMO. Things that make design some much easier in SW are just not there. No standard hole sizes for fasteners, not toolbox for fasteners, no pipe threads, no weldments, hole wizard, assembly level hole wizard, etc.....
    I'm with C on this SW is a better more mature product. Just about every CAD, CAD\CAM take the native file directly in without the need of import\exporting different formats, unlike Fusion 360 wear you have to export for other software to import the files, not to mention that most Higher Education instruct SW because of the need of industry. here at ASU we have 4000 seats of SW alone for students use.

    yes i'm a SW advocate

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    I'm one of those people that learn by instruction better than I do by learning on my own. I must have ADHD because I get lost or my mind wanders off when trying to learn new things.

    Are there any in-person instruction options for fusion 360 or is it all youtube videos and self learning? I would love to learn this, but I just don't get very far and then I'm lost.

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    Quote Originally Posted by draganm View Post
    I just read this thread Fusion 360 vs. Solidworks/CAMWorks....
    and there's a lot of very positive comments about F360. I'm currently running a very old version of mastercam, (think wireframe drawings) I bought X2 and never used it, last year I bought X8 and never had a chance to learn/use it because i got buried with some very difficult projects. Now, don't want to bother with 18 since it's already been replaced but I have to do something as my current platform will no longer operate with Windows 10 (my current windows Operating System end of support is in April. )

    We have an educational license , so Mastercam is almost free although I still need my HASP (which is annoying sometimes). Fusion 360 would be free and I can get solidworks as well.

    The work I do is pure prototype and design as well, so squeezing every last second out of a toolpath is of Zero importance. To me the biggest importance is ease of learning and ease of use, no other consideration comes close. We only have a CNC mill here, 3 axis, and no lathe. 3D profiling with a ball mill is about all I need.

    Anyone here used both? what are your impressions? Which would you guys recommend and why?

    also included anonymous poll if you prefer not to comment
    thanks
    I actually use all three products mentioned. Mastercam 8 (not X8! regular Seinfeld-era 8 - LPT port hasp!!) for the day job, X9 at the night job, and Fusion 360 for personal use as I'm designing my own product.

    In my opinion, you're better of with 360 because of the part of your quote I put in bold.

    In one weekend I had a basic design with moving parts and everything with Fusion. There's still quite a bit to learn and I'm no expert but it was easy to get going.

    If you were a machinist first and designer second, I would have said X9. Partly because the leap from 8 to X8 isn't as big as you might think. My nephew is in a similar boat as you though, having access to both at his college. He prefers the 360 because not only because of the ease of use in designing things but all the extra options Mastercam has he says are more of a nuisance because he doesn't care if his toolpath is the most efficient way possible.

    Having said that, the toolpaths that I've seen Fusion come up are excellent really.

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    thanks to all for the helpful info and encouragement as well. Can't express my gratitude enough. I'm an old(er) dog who actually went to school for cad/cam in the 90's. I worked in a shop then that had it's own CAD guy then so didn't actually get to use that stuff until after 2000. It was mastercam 9. & 9.1 I self-taught right from the book (remember those things, all full of paper and stuff) making this leap will take me thru to retirement but it's causing me a lot of anxiety none the less.
    Quote Originally Posted by len_1962 View Post
    Just remember Fusion 360 is cloud based, so....
    What I would say is what is easier for you to learn on the CAD side cause the CAM side it is all the same, you can use the same post file in all 3 as well as tools until the new tool library is instituted.

    SW is the most used CAD across the world but Fusion is making its move because of its low cost.
    yeah the cloud thing seems to be the only real drawback for me, we don't have a cnc lathe and have almost never needed one due to the nature of the work. The CAM portion doesn't worry me in the least , I used to write my own programs straight into MDI (including thread interpolation) using only a calculator. CAM is faster, but i can edit if it's not perfect.
    Quote Originally Posted by csharp View Post
    I think Fusion would be pretty good for what you list as your needs.
    IMO the CAM side of Fusion is pretty much on par with HSMWorks and InvenotrHSM. The CAD side of Fusion is really lacking IMO. Things that make design some much easier in SW are just not there. No standard hole sizes for fasteners, no toolbox for fasteners, no pipe threads, no weldments, hole wizard, assembly level hole wizard, etc.....
    I have never had those last few things you mention, so wouldn't miss them. SW is really popular here too, but I'm reluctant to introduce a 3rd variable into my current dilemma. Also, we don't have a SW SolidCam license here and the thought of designing in SW and then exporting to a separate CAM platform is not that appealing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Volitan View Post
    I actually use all three products mentioned. Mastercam 8 (not X8! regular Seinfeld-era 8 - LPT port hasp!!) for the day job, X9 at the night job, and Fusion 360 for personal use as I'm designing my own product.
    LOL, if you know what Seinfeld era 8 is your probably not 20-something. I'm using 9.1 now, maybe Seinfeld last episode

    Quote Originally Posted by Volitan View Post
    In my opinion, you're better of with 360 because of the part of your quote I put in bold.
    If you were a machinist first and designer second, I would have said X9. Partly because the leap from 8 to X8 isn't as big as you might think. My nephew is in a similar boat as you though, having access to both at his college. He prefers the 360 because not only because of the ease of use in designing things but all the extra options Mastercam has he says are more of a nuisance because he doesn't care if his toolpath is the most efficient way possible.
    Having said that, the toolpaths that I've seen Fusion come up are excellent really.
    ok, another vote for Fusion . I was supposed to get a quote for masterC-2017 yesterday, but if i don't get it soon F360 will be the choice by default.

    one quick question if someone doesn't mind answering. Sometimes I did assembly drawings in mastercam . In order to get back down to individual parts for machining, I would copy the assembly file as and individual piece, delete everything except that piece, then save it and add CAM, Repeat for every part , etc. My reason for this was that in an assembly, not all the parts are oriented the way they need to clamp in the vice. if you start changing planes , re-orienting the assembly drawing, you obviously mess up that drawing.
    This design was drawn by an engineer here in autocad, I imported in Fusion 360 as an IGES. Would you break this down into individual parts and save them as such for purposes of CAM or is that an antiquated approach?
    stage.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by draganm View Post
    LOL, if you know what Seinfeld era 8 is your probably not 20-something. I'm using 9.1 now, maybe Seinfeld last episode

    ok, another vote for Fusion . I was supposed to get a quote for masterC-2017 yesterday, but if i don't get it soon F360 will be the choice by default.

    one quick question if someone doesn't mind answering. Sometimes I did assembly drawings in mastercam . In order to get back down to individual parts for machining, I would copy the assembly file as and individual piece, delete everything except that piece, then save it and add CAM, Repeat for every part , etc. My reason for this was that in an assembly, not all the parts are oriented the way they need to clamp in the vice. if you start changing planes , re-orienting the assembly drawing, you obviously mess up that drawing.
    This design was drawn by an engineer here in autocad, I imported in Fusion 360 as an IGES. Would you break this down into individual parts and save them as such for purposes of CAM or is that an antiquated approach?
    stage.jpg
    I'll be 45 in a few weeks

    If I were working on that assembly in either of the Mastercams, I would save each part in a folder according to it's part number, then in that folder would be another folder containing any work holding fixtures or soft jaws I might have made. You'll probably get different opinions on that.

    I wanted to point out though, that in Mastercam you can easily define a new machining plane with it's own origin and orientation without disturbing the original drawing/model/assembly. The location and orientation of the model are irrelevant when you do it that way. I'll typically make a new toolpath group and plane for each side I'm working on and usually name them based on their order (1ST_OP, 2ND_OP etc..)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Volitan View Post
    I'll be 45 in a few weeks
    45 wasn't too bad, i think i even enjoyed it. what a difference 4 years can make
    Quote Originally Posted by Volitan View Post
    If I were working on that assembly in either of the Mastercams, I would save each part in a folder according to it's part number, then in that folder would be another folder containing any work holding fixtures or soft jaws I might have made. You'll probably get different opinions on that.
    thanks, i think different folders are easier too.

    F360, first experience using above pictured assembly. have the video tutorial on one screen and the above part on another screen. The tutor says
    Quote Originally Posted by fusion360
    "right clicking on a body opens up body commands and right clicking on a sketch opens up sketch commands.
    right clicking on a body does nothing. not a good start when a very basic feature 4 minutes into the video doesn't work

    I know this is not the place to learn this and i'll take it to the autodesk forums for further guidance if they can tolerate newby questions. if that fails, there's always mastercam 2017. I've never had their instructions not match up to the GUI

    thanks again

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    Just to wrap this up, I wound up going with mastercam 2017. Fusion 360 was too alien for me, after 2 days of messing with it I didn't feel like i had made any progress at all. Instructional videos were patchy, hard to follow, and didn't seem like they were linear in terms of teaching the GUI, jumped around a lot. I wound up un-installing it completely.

    Now if you were born with a lap-top in your hands, you might have different results, but for this old dog Mstrcam was just easier. I struggled a bit, some things i really don't like (like drawing a rectangle was much easier in V9.1 IMHO) ,some things are better like being able to pick a point on a circle or square without having to manually draw a point first, drafting notes are a little easier to manipulate, etc., but to be fair I have not had time to go thru the tutorial guide step by step so I'm probably mucking around more than necessary.

    Nevertheless I am able to generate simple wire-frames and G-code for now just by diving in and hunting around + a few you-tube vids. Will add to this later on and go thru the tutorial as/if time allows.

    thanks for the all the help and encouragement.

    cheers

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    If you get a chance to attend one of the roll outs as they call them when master cam comes out with an update , do it. I always find it a great learning tool to be in a room with a large group of people that all use the same software for different things, exchanging ideas etc. I always walk away with something new learned.

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    Quote Originally Posted by draganm View Post
    Just to wrap this up, I wound up going with mastercam 2017. Fusion 360 was too alien for me, after 2 days of messing with it I didn't feel like i had made any progress at all. Instructional videos were patchy, hard to follow, and didn't seem like they were linear in terms of teaching the GUI, jumped around a lot. I wound up un-installing it completely.

    Now if you were born with a lap-top in your hands, you might have different results, but for this old dog Mstrcam was just easier. I struggled a bit, some things i really don't like (like drawing a rectangle was much easier in V9.1 IMHO) ,some things are better like being able to pick a point on a circle or square without having to manually draw a point first, drafting notes are a little easier to manipulate, etc., but to be fair I have not had time to go thru the tutorial guide step by step so I'm probably mucking around more than necessary.

    Nevertheless I am able to generate simple wire-frames and G-code for now just by diving in and hunting around + a few you-tube vids. Will add to this later on and go thru the tutorial as/if time allows.

    thanks for the all the help and encouragement.

    cheers
    I don't have MCX2017, company off maintenance, so I have X9 and X8. I'm willing to offer help through this forum if needed. Good luck!


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