Most efficient CAM system for 2.5 axis?
Close
Login to Your Account
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 36
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Northeast USA
    Posts
    112
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    34
    Likes (Received)
    10

    Default Most efficient CAM system for 2.5 axis?

    We make almost entirely prismatic/2.5 axis type parts. Heatsinks and small details and the like, no turning. I've been using HSMxpress for the past 3 years and it has been able to do almost everything necessary and has really good toolpaths, but creating each operation is slow and it's sometimes buggy and the tool crib is junk, but it's amazing for being free (excluding Inventor). It just wastes so much of my time. From a perspective of repeat orders, it would probably be fine if the feed/speeds took care of themselves more. From a perspective of new orders, it's slow.

    So, what are some good options for quick and easy 2.5 axis CAM? I have been using the free trial for FeatureCAM and it has some intelligent... features... but it seems way more cumbersome and difficult than it should be, as if the only thing that's been updated since 2004 is the name. There are a lot of good CAM systems out there but I haven't seen a thread focusing solely on speed/ease/reliability/efficiency for 2.5 axis, so I'll start this one.

  2. Likes TopSolidCAM... liked this post
  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Paradise, Ca
    Posts
    2,113
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    612
    Likes (Received)
    1031

    Default

    I use Mastercam for Solidworks and have no complaints about anything. HSM re-machining toolpaths using stock models are a massive time saver for us. And from what I've seen & heard, nobody can currently beat the level of control over toolpaths that Mastercam has. That might not be important to you though. You also might want to mention a budget.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jrill View Post
    From a perspective of repeat orders, it would probably be fine if the feed/speeds took care of themselves more.
    I just want to clarify, you aren't reprogramming repeat orders every time, are you? I'm not sure what CAM has to do with repeat orders at all, actually.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    NY USA
    Posts
    801
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    155
    Likes (Received)
    509

    Default

    Gonna be tough to beat HSM in the free market

    It's tough to beat HSM in the 2.5 and 3 axis market at any price actually, it's the beyond 3d stuff and turn mill where HSM has serious competition.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Oregon
    Posts
    621
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    432
    Likes (Received)
    204

    Default

    May not be popular today but if you can find an old copy of EZ Cam I think you will be hard-pressed to find an easier/faster 2.5d cam. That said you won't have HSM tool paths.

    Not sure how the 2018 EZ Cam compares to the newer Cam Softwares but it most is good as there still around after all these years. Ezcam Solutions Inc. – Cad/Cam Software – CNC Simplefied

  6. Likes Philabuster liked this post
  7. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Mid-Iowa, USA
    Posts
    3,558
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    3455
    Likes (Received)
    2049

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jrill View Post
    We make almost entirely prismatic/2.5 axis type parts. Heatsinks and small details and the like, no turning. I've been using HSMxpress for the past 3 years and it has been able to do almost everything necessary and has really good toolpaths, but creating each operation is slow and it's sometimes buggy and the tool crib is junk, but it's amazing for being free (excluding Inventor). It just wastes so much of my time. From a perspective of repeat orders, it would probably be fine if the feed/speeds took care of themselves more. From a perspective of new orders, it's slow.
    What do you want in a tool library? There are certainly plenty of ways to gain efficiency in HSM, especially if you're making similar parts frequently.

    And as has been stated, it's going to be real hard to beat for the price.

  8. Likes BugRobotics liked this post
  9. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Morgantown, WV
    Posts
    787
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    236
    Likes (Received)
    316

    Default

    I just bought solidworks with their CAM professional. I can't really compare it to much since I don't know too much about any CAM systems. I did use fusion360 and it's CAM. The solidworks CAM, which comes from CAMworks, is quite a bit different. It uses a database to govern how it generates toolpaths based on its feature recognition. This is tweakable so as you see what it does vs what you need it can be optimized. One problem with it I have found so far is that for the moment it is kind of an orphan product because even though CAMworks has been around and has a support network I am not a CAMworks customer I am a solidworks customer and nobody at solidworks seems to know much yet. I find I learn best when i learn stuff the hard way so I don't mind for now. I think this will change as the user base increases.

  10. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Idaho
    Posts
    2,982
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1620
    Likes (Received)
    1916

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jrill View Post
    it would probably be fine if the feed/speeds took care of themselves more
    Maybe it's just me,but I tend to vary my feeds and sometimes speeds depending on the part shape.I don't really rely on a tool crib.Manually input usually,which is pretty quick if you know the numbers you want.
    Can you not save programmed tool paths and just load for similar jobs ?Then all you need to do is reselect geometry and assign a tool number ?
    For easy jobs and a fast down and dirty,get r done,BobCad V23 is quick.Probably find an old copy somewhere for a hundred bucks
    Fast forward 10 years to BobCads newest version V3O and it will take considerablely longer.Much more software with a ton more choices and simulation is way more advanced than the old version,,but all that takes more time.
    So I guess how much software do you need ?The more bells and whistles are going to take longer to program

  11. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Northeast USA
    Posts
    112
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    34
    Likes (Received)
    10

    Default

    Thanks for the input so far.

    I do mostly repeat parts, actually, but I need to change something pretty much every time. Either it's the setup is slightly different, or it's on a different machine than last time with different characteristics, or there are different but still compatible tools in the carousel, or something about it wasn't quite optimal last time and I want to improve it... etc. And there are annoying things like if I want to change the rpm because it's on a different machine, I need to overwrite all the feedrates for all of the ops with that tool, and then go back and manually adjust them to what actually works best if I don't want to be roughing at the finish feedrate or if there's a special internal corner I need to address or etc. Maybe some tips on efficient tooling in HSM would help.

    I could improve some of it by having more standardized setups, or buying more toolholders so I could always use the same ones, or maybe programming more conservatively so that it's more predictable, but I also know some of it could be improved by the CAM. For instance, FeatureCAM has a rough and finish feedrate formula it calculates out, and that's helpful. I don't have a wide range of CAM experience so I'm not totally sure what's out there that would help, to be honest. I have a 8 cncs that I'm responsible for setting up and programming, and I'd like to reduce the amount of double checking and overthinking that I'm doing now. I don't expect it to be free, but I don't want to pay for something that's harder and slower to use that what I'm doing now.

  12. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Oregon
    Posts
    621
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    432
    Likes (Received)
    204

    Default

    Well, that is a big one not having dedicated tool holders. If I had to guess there is more inefficiency in your have to set up tools due to not have dedicated holder then the issues you're having with HSM Works. I would start there and set up a proper tool Library.

  13. Likes Pete Deal liked this post
  14. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Northeast USA
    Posts
    112
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    34
    Likes (Received)
    10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by B-Mathews View Post
    Well, that is a big one not having dedicated tool holders. If I had to guess there is more inefficiency in your have to set up tools due to not have dedicated holder then the issues you're having with HSM Works. I would start there and set up a proper tool Library.
    Yeah, I know that having dedicated holders for each tool would help a bit. I have mostly organized the carousels to always have certain diameters in certain pockets, and I usually have those pockets full, so that's a step in the right direction and has saved a lot of time. The variation comes in when I either don't have enough pockets anymore, or when I need a long reach 1/8th instead of a stub, or I need a 3.3mm drill instead of a #31, etc. But it could be better if I had some extra holders with those tools set up. I still have a lot of inefficiency in CAM and I want to work on that.

  15. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Idaho
    Posts
    2,982
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1620
    Likes (Received)
    1916

    Default

    Experience and knowledge with time will help speeds and feeds
    If in doubt download HSM Advisor,good feeds and speeds app

  16. Likes Mtndew liked this post
  17. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Oregon
    Posts
    1,256
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    566
    Likes (Received)
    1321

    Default

    - Get more toolholders. Whatever time you're losing in HSM, you're probably doubling by going out and having to break down and set up a bunch of tools.

    - Standardize tooling/feeds/speeds. Sometimes being efficient isn't about optimizing speed, it's about optimizing the entire process. Same with setups. The shorter the run of parts, the higher the probability it is that most folks spend WAY more hours chasing down cycle time efficacy than they would have had just going with sub-optimal programming and getting shit done.

    - Start using templates.

  18. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    405
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    134
    Likes (Received)
    113

    Default

    Since HSM express and fusion 360 use basically the same software for cam you might want to look into tip and tricks for fusion. There are tons of ways to get way more efficient using that system and I am guessing your probably not using the custom tool cribs to their full potential.

    Here is an idea I'm talking about make a tool crib for each machine in HSM use conservative feeds and speed for the tools. Then when you need to use a different machine rather than overriding everything duplicate the entire setup and change the tools to the ones you have in the crib for that machine. This will update you speed and feed for each tool to get close for each op. You can certainly still tweak it further but then you will not mess up anything for the other machines.

  19. Likes len_1962 liked this post
  20. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Arizona
    Posts
    1,639
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    135
    Likes (Received)
    181

    Default

    What know one has asked him is.....

    do you have a CAD software like SolidWorks, Inventor or ?

  21. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Country
    CANADA
    State/Province
    British Columbia
    Posts
    1,049
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    241
    Likes (Received)
    548

    Default

    I am quite happy with HSM Works, using it with Solidworks. I was as well using Rhinocam with Rhino - it is the same as VisualCAM for Solidworks. Both work well. I think that the most important part is how familiar and experienced one is with a specific program. Learning and being proficient in new software can take a long time of consistent usage: this investment in time might out-wight the advantages the new software might have.

  22. #16
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Mid-Iowa, USA
    Posts
    3,558
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    3455
    Likes (Received)
    2049

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by len_1962 View Post
    What know one has asked him is.....

    do you have a CAD software like SolidWorks, Inventor or ?
    I don't think he can use HSMExpress without one...

  23. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    4,662
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    5473
    Likes (Received)
    5709

    Default

    Tough to beat FeatureCAM for speed of programming really.
    Takes a little time on the front-end to get dialed. But, once it is dialed, its freakin' fast!
    Although, the tool-crib is the most cumbersome POS on the planet. I have learned to deal.
    gkoenig made great points/advice.

  24. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    MA USA
    Posts
    12
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    0

    Default EZ-CAM & High Speed Machining

    Quote Originally Posted by B-Mathews View Post
    May not be popular today but if you can find an old copy of EZ Cam I think you will be hard-pressed to find an easier/faster 2.5d cam. That said you won't have HSM tool paths.

    Not sure how the 2018 EZ Cam compares to the newer Cam Softwares but it most is good as there still around after all these years. Ezcam Solutions Inc. – Cad/Cam Software – CNC Simplefied
    EZ-CAM offers High Speed Machining in Mill Express.

  25. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Arizona
    Posts
    1,639
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    135
    Likes (Received)
    181

    Default

    @Jrill
    what version of SolidWorks and HSMXpress are you using?

    SW2018 now includes CAM 2.5 axis, it is basically like FeatureCAM but it is inside SW instead of a standalone. Has a tech database that can be setup to cut the way you want and remembers.

    its been around along time since it is CAMWorks.

    as for HSMWorks as others have said make tool libraries for each machine and even for materials.
    if you are working on a job and you adjust the feeds and speeds, tool type and length all you have to do is copy and paste it into a new or existing library so you have it the next time.

    you can also make up part templates that already have the tools with the correct setting for a material that you can insert an existing part into, I beleave Xpress doesn't work in assemblies?.

    Again some work up front on your part will make it faster down the road, seat time..

    and again more more tooling as others said too.

  26. #20
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Near Seattle, WA
    Posts
    1,015
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    256
    Likes (Received)
    818

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by len_1962 View Post
    I beleave Xpress doesn't work in assemblies?.
    pretty sure it works fine, though its been awhile since I touched Xpress.


Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •