Mastercam vs. Esprit for overall CAM system
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    Default Mastercam vs. Esprit for overall CAM system

    All,
    We are looking to purchase a CAM system for our Okuma Multus. We have one company singing the praises of Esprit for just that machine, but we have a few guys familiar with Mastercam. The rep for Mastercam is suggesting a seat that will not only program the Okuma but our VM's, HMC, and our other lathes. The price is up there, but taking that out of the equation, I've heard horror stories about the post processing of Esprit and Mastercam. The bottom line is, we are wanting ease of use without the junk code included. I appreciate any advice you may have.

    Thank you!

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    If your looking for ease of use without a ton of frills, bells and whistles but makes great code...GibbsCAM is the route I took.

    Didn't mean to toss another log on the fire...but my choice was made after having sales guys come in to my place and make code for one of my parts while walking me through the steps.
    In 20 minutes Gibb guy had me code for the machine, cycle time was a few seconds longer then my FingerCAM. He said he could tweak the cycle down.

    MasterCAM and Esprit guys walked me through the many many options of ways to go about programming the part...many of which ran into snags and then they went another route. Esprit after 45 minutes had code that ran good.
    MasterCAM sales guru after an hour I told him I had a good feel for the software.

    In truth I liked MasterCAM, but I really just needed to make good code quick and did not have the time for the learning curve of that software.

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    Esprit has machine builder certified posts. In other words, the code is perfect out of the box. I've programmed with both Esprit and Mastercam for both simple lathe/mill and complex HMC/Mill Turns. Hands down Esprit wins. Throw in the fact that Esprit is much easier to automate and there is no real comparison. The only advantage for Mastercam is the interface is newer (for now) and it's easy to find guys who already know Mastercam. That being said, if you can program in Mastercam you can be programming in Esprit very quickly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by goooose View Post
    Esprit has machine builder certified posts. In other words, the code is perfect out of the box.
    That was not our experience with Esprit. I was told that, but when we purchased our Integrex it was like the first time they had ever seen one. It took 26 iterations of the post before it was correct. One of those crashed the head into the sub-spindle. Not their fault though. Yeah, right.

    Personally, I would stay away from Esprit. But that's just our experience. Maybe others have better luck.

    Dan

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    Quote Originally Posted by goooose View Post
    Esprit has machine builder certified posts. In other words, the code is perfect out of the box. I've programmed with both Esprit and Mastercam for both simple lathe/mill and complex HMC/Mill Turns. Hands down Esprit wins. Throw in the fact that Esprit is much easier to automate and there is no real comparison. The only advantage for Mastercam is the interface is newer (for now) and it's easy to find guys who already know Mastercam. That being said, if you can program in Mastercam you can be programming in Esprit very quickly.
    If the code is perfect, then why do they charge extra for a post processor?

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    I have used both.
    Primarily esprit though. They charged us 5 grand for a makino post. When the makino apps guy and myself looked at the code, and agreed that it was shit, we were told by the d.p. post guru "well, thats the way WE do it!"

    Esprit is great for making complex toolpaths quickly, the simple stuff (unless using the automation) can be frustrating.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan B View Post
    That was not our experience with Esprit. I was told that, but when we purchased our Integrex it was like the first time they had ever seen one. It took 26 iterations of the post before it was correct. One of those crashed the head into the sub-spindle. Not their fault though. Yeah, right.

    Personally, I would stay away from Esprit. But that's just our experience. Maybe others have better luck.

    Dan
    How many years ago was this? The integrex post I used was flawless, and yes it was the default certified post. These posts are created by the guy working directly at Mazak, but as an Esprit employee.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quadjay View Post
    If the code is perfect, then why do they charge extra for a post processor?
    See above. That guys time has to be paid for. Sure, you can get a default post or create your own but just like Mastercam if you want a machine specific post you will have to pay. Just with Esprit the posts are better.

    Quote Originally Posted by macds View Post
    I have used both.
    Primarily esprit though. They charged us 5 grand for a makino post. When the makino apps guy and myself looked at the code, and agreed that it was shit, we were told by the d.p. post guru "well, thats the way WE do it!"

    Esprit is great for making complex toolpaths quickly, the simple stuff (unless using the automation) can be frustrating.
    Can you give an example of something simple that is frustrating?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quadjay View Post
    I've heard horror stories
    Take those "horror stories" with a grain of salt.
    95% of them are most likely from people that don't know what the hell they're doing and don't want to take time to learn the software.

    Mastercam Lathe is...... so so. And people say that Mastercam Mill/Turn is even worse (I have no experience with mill/turn).
    The mill side of Mastercam is hard to beat, it's so versatile. I've been using it since the mid-90's.

    Never touched Esprit, but I hear good things about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtndew View Post
    Mastercam Lathe is...... so so. And people say that Mastercam Mill/Turn is even worse (I have no experience with mill/turn).
    I've been happily using Mastercam for 3-5 axis mill and live-tooling lathe since the mid 90's. On the other hand I know a guy who started a huge project in Mastercam Millturn, found it simply couldn't do what was needed even with the dealer's help, and had to start over from scratch in another software. Different hammers for different nails.

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    Hello.

    I have used both and have esprit. I think for mill turn esprit would be better. I do not know about mastercam mill turn as I have never used it but the simulation in Esprit is very nice. The creation of geometry is very annoying in Esprit and there are weird ways of working it (I find the multiple axis thing stupid) but once you figure it out it goes quickly. I really like the service though and the template system.

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    I would take your time and get them to give you a few weeks of full evaluation of the software. It took us 2 months to find a CAM system that did what we wanted for a very complex DMG CTX gamma mill turn. We programed the same part that made use of all the machines capabilities in each CAM software and checked the g code output along the the ease of using the software. Good luck!

    Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk

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    At this point? Neither.

    MasterCAM is very mediocre, but it's total garbage for complex applications. We have 9 seats of MasterCAM in our shop, but continue to use Esprit for all of our turning.

    Esprit is a great product for turning, especially complex applications like swiss or multi channel mill turns. However, Esprit 20XX is becoming an extremely dated platform. We were part of the test group for Esprit TNG (the next generation), and I have lost all faith that it will be developed in a robust sense any time in the near future. By the time TNG is fully developed, the other big players will be years ahead.

    We are using hyperMILL for our 5 axis milling, and so far it's been pretty positive. Unfortunately they don't support multi channel turning.

    We will probably be investigating PartsMaker for turning in the near future. Still trying to find a program that can handle EVERYTHING in the shop, but isn't NX or CATIA.

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    Happy New Years to the clan here....

    Has anybody here considered TopSolid for this application? Any feedback to offer? (We've been using V6.XX for milling-only work for 10+ years-very happily, and have heard good things about the mill-turn side of things. No first-hand experiences to share, unfortunately). I would be curious to hear from folks who are using it for mill-turn, or who have evaluated it for this sort of work. Big fans of the mill stuff here....

    Thanks, Brian

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quadjay View Post
    All,
    We are looking to purchase a CAM system for our Okuma Multus.
    Quote Originally Posted by SD&M View Post
    Has anybody here considered TopSolid.....have heard good things about the mill-turn side of things. No first-hand experiences to share.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SD&M View Post
    Happy New Years to the clan here....

    Has anybody here considered TopSolid for this application? Any feedback to offer? (We've been using V6.XX for milling-only work for 10+ years-very happily, and have heard good things about the mill-turn side of things. No first-hand experiences to share, unfortunately). I would be curious to hear from folks who are using it for mill-turn, or who have evaluated it for this sort of work. Big fans of the mill stuff here....

    Thanks, Brian
    We've been gradually working on switching to TopSolid for programming a b-axis mill-turn, and while we're not quite there yet (our fault, not theirs) it's definitely something i'd suggest giving a look at for this style of machine.

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    "How many years ago was this?"

    Our negative experience started in 2010. I don't think that is relevant however, since we were sold Esprit with the assurance that their posts were fully developed by a DP employee right in the Mazak factory in Kentucky. Turned out to be just another software salesman lie. First thing they asked for after we signed the PO was samples of good code so they could write a post. It was as if this was the first time they had ever heard of this machine. Wasn't sold to us that way. That's my issue with them. Tell you what you want to hear to close the deal.

    Dan

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    Quote Originally Posted by rlockwood View Post
    We've been gradually working on switching to TopSolid for programming a b-axis mill-turn, and while we're not quite there yet (our fault, not theirs) it's definitely something i'd suggest giving a look at for this style of machine.
    Hi Rob:

    Thanks for the feedback. Are you using V7.xx, or one of the V6 releases? May I ask what you were using previously, and the reason for switching? PM me if you'd rather-don't want to start a "name-and-shame" here on the forum.

    We're using V6.xx for mill work and a little design work, and are slowly transitioning to V7. It's interesting to learn V7 after using V6.xx for a long while-totally different program, not just an interface "face-lift." Lots to learn, but enjoying getting the hang of it.

    Thanks, Brian

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    Quote Originally Posted by goooose View Post
    Esprit has machine builder certified posts. In other words, the code is perfect out of the box. I've programmed with both Esprit and Mastercam for both simple lathe/mill and complex HMC/Mill Turns. Hands down Esprit wins. Throw in the fact that Esprit is much easier to automate and there is no real comparison. The only advantage for Mastercam is the interface is newer (for now) and it's easy to find guys who already know Mastercam. That being said, if you can program in Mastercam you can be programming in Esprit very quickly.
    I agree. Whenever I hear of software evaluations/trials, it seems whatever they might save up front is spent later on making up for inadequacies. Good software should have a lot of automation and customization abilities.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan B View Post
    "How many years ago was this?"

    Our negative experience started in 2010. I don't think that is relevant however, since we were sold Esprit with the assurance that their posts were fully developed by a DP employee right in the Mazak factory in Kentucky. Turned out to be just another software salesman lie. First thing they asked for after we signed the PO was samples of good code so they could write a post. It was as if this was the first time they had ever heard of this machine. Wasn't sold to us that way. That's my issue with them. Tell you what you want to hear to close the deal.

    Dan
    The reason I asked for a time frame is because I have used that post and it would be in the time frame you are referring to. Yes, the post developed by the DP employee in the Mazak factory in Kentucky. And yes, he is real. I talked with him on several occasions..phone and email.
    Since you are in Ontario I assume you dealt with CamFocus. Any post questions/issues you had should have gone straight to DP, not the guys at CamFocus. Machines like this are beyond their area of expertise especially if you are trying to do something 'weird'. If your problems did go the DP I have a hard time believing the issues were not solved quickly. DP headquarters has some of the best tech support I've ever come across in this industry....the resellers, hit and miss. (HQ was always my first stop, or their forum)

    If you still have Esprit and need help with it I am available by contract

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    "Since you are in Ontario I assume you dealt with CamFocus. Any post questions/issues you had should have gone straight to DP, not the guys at CamFocus."

    Remember Peter? That was the problem. I'm sure he's back to selling used cars by now.

    DP finally sent their employee to our facility and he brought with him a good post. In fact, 8 years later I believe it's still the same post we're using. Too bad it took 26 attempts, 5 months, and a smashed spindle to get there.

    It's all water under the bridge now. Our relationship with CAMFocus is much better since Peter left.

    Dan


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