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Thread: Mastercam 19 or fusion 360?
12-07-2016, 02:16 PM #1
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
12-07-2016, 02:27 PM #2
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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12-07-2016, 02:28 PM #3
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.
12-07-2016, 02:54 PM #4
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!
12-07-2016, 03:20 PM #5
I've downloaded fusion 360, wish me luck
12-07-2016, 03:54 PM #6
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
I've downloaded fusion 360, wish me luck
12-07-2016, 04:01 PM #7
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.
12-07-2016, 08:16 PM #8
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.
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.
12-08-2016, 06:00 AM #9
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.....
12-08-2016, 07:42 AM #10Not 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.
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.....
yes i'm a SW advocate
12-08-2016, 09:09 AM #11
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.
12-08-2016, 09:25 AM #12
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.
12-09-2016, 11:45 AM #13
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.
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?
12-09-2016, 12:56 PM #14
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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12-09-2016, 01:26 PM #15
F360, first experience using above pictured assembly. have the video tutorial on one screen and the above part on another screen. The tutor saysOriginally Posted by fusion360
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
04-20-2017, 10:46 AM #16
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.
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04-20-2017, 06:33 PM #17
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.
04-24-2017, 04:53 AM #18