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CAD/CAM choices Siemens NX or Fusion 360

car2

Stainless
Joined
Sep 19, 2009
Location
Apex, NC
If you're starting from zero, sure. But once you understand that how to start with a sketch, add dimensions, turn that into a solid, and put a WCS on the corner, they're all pretty much the same. Just different names and icons for the same functions.
I don't doubt that there are people whos first foray into CAD/CAM is going to be in NX, but its probably not most of them. The only thing that I remember needing training for was post processor development, but again that's probably not something that most users need. Modeling and programming becomes pretty intuitive after a few years experience using anything else.

As a current Fusion360 user and ex-NXer; if the budget is big enough then there's no need for a debate, just get NX.
One of the main things I have always liked about Unigraphics, now NX, and I've been using it since 1995, is that it does not force you to use a sketcher (and I rarely do)--you can model free-form lines, curves, 3-d curves, splines, surfaces, have multiple solids in the same model, project random 3-d curves in space onto surfaces, split surfaces with weird projected curves, etc. I've used CATIA many years ago (horrible at the time, forced you to use surface-modelling), Pro E a bit (hated being constrained to sketcher), Solidworks (again hated being constrained to sketcher, and very limited complex surfacing capabilities, and assemblies drove me crazy with all its forced links to everything).
Assemblies is very good in NX, and I find it very fast and efficient for doing development work because of the flexibility of methods of working (it fits my "stream of consciousness" random thinking...). On two occasions in the past, I had the ProE folks attempt to do some common modelling tasks that I had at the time that involved projecting curves out in space onto 3-d surfaces, then doing things like subdividing and offsetting those curves on the surface---those are the types of things UG/NX could do that couldn't be done by other programs (well, some might approximate the operations with a huge amount of rigamarole).
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2018
Location
Airstrip One, Oceania
On two occasions in the past, I had the ProE folks attempt to do some common modelling tasks that I had at the time that involved projecting curves out in space onto 3-d surfaces, then doing things like subdividing and offsetting those curves on the surface---those are the types of things UG/NX could do that couldn't be done by other programs

Did you ever try Alias Studio ? That's the kind of artsy-craftsy stuff it was good at. None of my parts have ever been those weird-ass shapes, so sketcher doesn't bother me :D

That's one thing a lot of these "what's the best cad ?" discussions miss - what works best kind of depends on what you're doing.

However, under no circumstances would I ever depend upon anything from Autodesk. They have proven themselves to be totally unreliable. Caveat emptor.
 

car2

Stainless
Joined
Sep 19, 2009
Location
Apex, NC
Did you ever try Alias Studio ? That's the kind of artsy-craftsy stuff it was good at. None of my parts have ever been those weird-ass shapes, so sketcher doesn't bother me :D

That's one thing a lot of these "what's the best cad ?" discussions miss - what works best kind of depends on what you're doing.

However, under no circumstances would I ever depend upon anything from Autodesk. They have proven themselves to be totally unreliable. Caveat emptor.
I've never used Alias, but the industrial-design guys used it at the cellular phone company where I worked, and drove the designers and engineers crazy when they forked over their random-complex stretched and pulled gumby surface-models and had to transfer them into UG(NX) with "real" defined surfaces, symmetry and such. Lots of hours cross-sectionizing the Alias models and defining curves to create swept/guided surfaces and such.
The things I was working on weren't art/craft type things, but required exact knowledge of the size/location of the resulting features. For example, some of these were "frequency selective surfaces" where a flat pattern (like an array of specific cross shapes), had to be projected and tweaked to closely approximate that flat pattern, but on a compound surface like a parabolic dish or nosecone (interestingly, it often took quite a bit of persuasion of some PhD antenna experts that you could not take a flat-pattern and put it on a compound surface and 100% retain the dimensions/shape of the flat-pattern). So a standard process was to take the flat-pattern, project that array (or parts of it) of cross outlines (usually hundreds) onto the parabolic surface, then adjust the arc lengths of the resulting splines on the surface, offset them on the surface, trim etc. to get the average close to the flat-patterns. It may be that some of the advanced sheetmetal modules would work for the aforementioned. cheers
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2018
Location
Airstrip One, Oceania
I've never used Alias, but the industrial-design guys used it at the cellular phone company where I worked, and drove the designers and engineers crazy when they forked over their random-complex stretched and pulled gumby surface-models and had to transfer them into UG(NX) with "real" defined surfaces, symmetry and such.

Thanks for the laugh, I didn't like it either but chalked that up to being from the "I want dimensions" school. Guys doing auto body tho were either using Design Studio or IceM, the only two that had class A surfaces, so if you were doing that ... Kinda funny you'd be pissed at sketcher, I can see not liking parametric cuz it can be a pain but sketcher doesn't seem like such a big deal to me. But then I liked I-DEAS best, followed by Pro/E with UniAp ... err, graphics bringing up the rear. Now lots of people think NX is the bee's knees :(

Fusion, tho ... jeeze, I can't imagine being stupid enough to put yourself at Autodesk's mercy. That's like going for dinner at Count Dracula's castle.
 

Marvel

Aluminum
Joined
Jan 14, 2019
Location
Minnesota
They are the only two relevant and thriving CAD/CAM packages. Everyone else is currently lost in the woods to the point where I wouldn't bet on any of them besides F360 and NX.

- SolidWorks w/CAM is in a bad place. DSS doesn't have a cohesive strategy and SW growth has stalled (doesn't help that the feature set stalled years ago). Any survival of SolidWorks is 100% based on flywheel momentum and no on anything good DSS has had done to it in almost a decade.
- Inventor is a dead product walking. Just like PartMaker and Feature CAM. The Fusion team is stripping all of these other packages for parts and incrementally shifting resources away. This is a statement of fact, not an opinion.
- Esprit is now owned by Hexagon. Who knows how that will wind up?
- MasterCAM is now owned by a cutting tool company. Who knows how that will wind up?
- CATIA makes NX look like a bargain and has zero user base outside of a handful of Fortune 500 companies and their captive suppliers.
- SolidEdge is a dumb offering. Ok, it is fine CAD... sure. Who cares? The CAM is NX and what Siemens should do is strip TeamCenter integration from NX, lower the price to make it the SMB path for NX, and kill SE. Supporting two packages - one of them always crippled because it can't ever be allowed to cannibalize the crown jewel, is management bozo dumb dumb extreme.

I'm curious to see where SolidWorks ends up with this rebranding of CAMWorks into SolidWorksCAM, I've heard rumors it was an initial phase of acquiring CAMWorks from HCL and making it a SW product.

But the thing about Sandvik owning Mastercam, is that it also owns Vericut, Icam and Gibbs.
So for the moment at least, i would like to think it has a stable ownership.
Unlike someone like Topsolid who is now owned by a venture capitalist.
Or Autodesk which only ever buy a company to close it.....

I'm also curious on what Sandvik's plan is, and what they will do with MasterCam, are they planning on improving the terrible CAD side of MasterCam, is that why they are pulling the add-in for SolidWorks?

You would be *shocked* at how many shops think the junk CAM built into MasterCAM is just fine.

I can't help but laugh when I see someone comment on MasterCam's "CAD" being good!
 

empower

Titanium
Joined
Sep 8, 2018
I'm curious to see where SolidWorks ends up with this rebranding of CAMWorks into SolidWorksCAM, I've heard rumors it was an initial phase of acquiring CAMWorks from HCL and making it a SW product.



I'm also curious on what Sandvik's plan is, and what they will do with MasterCam, are they planning on improving the terrible CAD side of MasterCam, is that why they are pulling the add-in for SolidWorks?



I can't help but laugh when I see someone comment on MasterCam's "CAD" being good!
IMO mastercan't or mastercrash - whichever you prefer - is the WORST piece of software i've ever used. i'd MUCH rather use fusion over it. thankfully i have NX to save me from them though.
 

riverside_eng

Plastic
Joined
Mar 3, 2021
I'm curious to see where SolidWorks ends up with this rebranding of CAMWorks into SolidWorksCAM, I've heard rumors it was an initial phase of acquiring CAMWorks from HCL and making it a SW product.



I'm also curious on what Sandvik's plan is, and what they will do with MasterCam, are they planning on improving the terrible CAD side of MasterCam, is that why they are pulling the add-in for SolidWorks?



I can't help but laugh when I see someone comment on MasterCam's "CAD" being good!

I thought DS was pushing Delmia machining (machining from CATIA and now 3dExperience) as the future. I remember the integration of Delmia and Solidworks being a big talking item a number of years ago at an IMTS. Of course plenty of things have changed over the years.
 

Marvel

Aluminum
Joined
Jan 14, 2019
Location
Minnesota
IMO mastercan't or mastercrash - whichever you prefer - is the WORST piece of software i've ever used. i'd MUCH rather use fusion over it. thankfully i have NX to save me from them though.
I never took to MasterCam, tried it a couple of times. I know a few guys that love it and can program complex parts no problem. The one thing I always tell people asking about CAM software is, I don't believe there is a "best" software, there is only a "best" software for the user in which they can navigate and create the program needed for their parts, machines, etc and every programmer is going to take to software differently. Find something you are comfortable with. Like buying a car, they will all get you from point A to B, but what are you comfortable in.
 

Marvel

Aluminum
Joined
Jan 14, 2019
Location
Minnesota
I thought DS was pushing Delmia machining (machining from CATIA and now 3dExperience) as the future. I remember the integration of Delmia and Solidworks being a big talking item a number of years ago at an IMTS. Of course plenty of things have changed over the years.
I haven't heard anything about Delmia recently. I know they rolled out SolidWorksCAM a few years ago, which a lot of people think its a new CAM system and don't realize its CAMWorks rebranded. CAMWorks has actually been around for a long time and was the first CAM system fully integrated solely into SolidWorks.
 

riverside_eng

Plastic
Joined
Mar 3, 2021
I haven't heard anything about Delmia recently. I know they rolled out SolidWorksCAM a few years ago, which a lot of people think its a new CAM system and don't realize its CAMWorks rebranded. CAMWorks has actually been around for a long time and was the first CAM system fully integrated solely into SolidWorks.

Yep, I have met the CAMworks guys before.

This is the latest I can see about Delmia and Solidworks.


Best I can tell they might be looking to phase over to Delmia for anyone who gets the 3dExperience version of Solidworks.
 

empower

Titanium
Joined
Sep 8, 2018
I never took to MasterCam, tried it a couple of times. I know a few guys that love it and can program complex parts no problem. The one thing I always tell people asking about CAM software is, I don't believe there is a "best" software, there is only a "best" software for the user in which they can navigate and create the program needed for their parts, machines, etc and every programmer is going to take to software differently. Find something you are comfortable with. Like buying a car, they will all get you from point A to B, but what are you comfortable in.
yeah i'm not saying you cant program complex parts with it, you certainly can. and for guys that maybe havent tried anything else it might be just fine - you dont know what you dont know kinda thing.
i've personally tried most of the current big name programs and i can CONFIDENTLY say that MC is the worst of them.
 

Marvel

Aluminum
Joined
Jan 14, 2019
Location
Minnesota
yeah i'm not saying you cant program complex parts with it, you certainly can. and for guys that maybe havent tried anything else it might be just fine - you dont know what you dont know kinda thing.
i've personally tried most of the current big name programs and i can CONFIDENTLY say that MC is the worst of them.
I’d have to go with SurfCam being the worst! It felt like I was in MS Paint
 

cj.abraham

Plastic
Joined
Aug 3, 2015
Fusion 360 is cheap enough that you can comfortably buy BOTH it and NX and make the decision on what to move forward with on your own schedule. Fusion can do all the boring stuff that 99% of machining is at <10% the price, and it is still being improved by adding toolpaths from PowerMill and from 3rd party algorithm providers that are prolific in multi-axis milling packages. The reality is that there are Fusion 360 users that can wipe the floor with NX users, NX users that can wipe the floor with Fusion 360 users, and people that make loads of money using either one.
 

len_1962

Stainless
Joined
Dec 1, 2008
Location
Tempe
I’d have to go with SurfCam being the worst! It felt like I was in MS Paint

More like AutoCAD 12, but still it produces great code, just make sure you have SW for the design side because there is a link that updates surfcam when SW changes are made.
I still have it and fall back to it when HSMWorks cannot do what I need.
 








 
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