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MasterCAM for Solidworks Discontinued, Anyone Know Anything?

rcoope

Stainless
Joined
Sep 25, 2010
Location
Vancouver Canada
We just got a not that MasterCAM for Solidworks is being discontinued. I was curious if anyone knows anything more about the product strategy, if there is anyway. Is this because SW now has its own in-house CAM? I have to say, outside of pricing considerations, while MC4SW is a cool idea in principle, I didn't in my limited usage of it find that it made life much easier vs using standalone MasterCAM after doing CAD in Solidworks. Once you've figured out how to manipulate models and create a bit of geometry in MCAM, the challenges are all around optimizing the tool paths and such. I'd be curious if others have thoughts.
 

Marvel

Aluminum
Joined
Jan 14, 2019
Location
Minnesota
I read on a Facebook Machinist page (not sure if its true) that the MC/SW users were something like less than 5% - 10% of it's user base and MasterCam didn't see the value in continuing investing into the option.

A lot of people seem to not know that SolidWorksCAM isn't actually a "new" CAM option. SolidWorksCAM is CAMWorks rebranded. CAMWorks was the first CAM system integrated into SolidWorks over 20 years ago. CAMWorks actually only functions in SW, it isn't a standalone CAM system, if you "buy" CAMWorks you also buy a SW seat.

I've also heard rumors SolidWorks (Dassault) may acquire CAMWorks fully and the SolidWorksCAM rebranding was one of the initial phases to see what kind of traction/interest they get out of it.
 

mhajicek

Titanium
Joined
May 11, 2017
Location
Minneapolis, MN, USA
MC4SW was a great idea, but since they never ironed out the major issues, very few people switched to it. And because very few people switched to it, they decided it's a dead end product. Self fulfilling prophecy.
 

barbter2

Aluminum
Joined
Nov 25, 2019
Location
On Tour....
MC4SW was a great idea, but since they never ironed out the major issues, very few people switched to it. And because very few people switched to it, they decided it's a dead end product. Self fulfilling prophecy.
This....plus millturn....plus active reports....plus tool manager.....Lots of things cock halfed!
"They" obviously have the resourse and the ability, one can only blame the managing....
 
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aldepoalo

Stainless
Joined
Mar 8, 2011
Location
Clearwater FLA
I agree that it's interesting seeing MC pulled the MC for SOLIDWORKS product line... Do you think this change would have happened if they weren't acquired?
 

rcoope

Stainless
Joined
Sep 25, 2010
Location
Vancouver Canada
I think if MC4SW had been really popular they would have kept with it despite any acquisition. As people have said, it just never worked smoothly enough to make sense vs running native MC. The good news is they seem to have very fair policies about migrating expiring MC4SW license to full MC. Come to think of it, it's actually the first fair thing I've seen in CAD/CAM pricing in ages!
 

Mtndew

Diamond
Joined
Jun 7, 2012
Location
Michigan
This....plus millturn....plus active reports....plus tool manager.....Lots of things cock halfed!
"They" obviously have the resourse and the ability, one can only blame the managing....
I don't have mill-turn, but their active reports is just not user friendly at all. X+ is 1,000x better for setup sheets. If it was better configured out of the box then it would be worth looking in to but as it stands, it needs way too much initial configuration to even begin to use it effectively.

I don't use the tool manager either because I really don't need it for what I do. I have messed with it here and there,but it just doesn't seem to have anything that would benefit me and how I use Mastercam.
 

barbter2

Aluminum
Joined
Nov 25, 2019
Location
On Tour....
I don't have mill-turn, but their active reports is just not user friendly at all. X+ is 1,000x better for setup sheets. If it was better configured out of the box then it would be worth looking in to but as it stands, it needs way too much initial configuration to even begin to use it effectively.

I don't use the tool manager either because I really don't need it for what I do. I have messed with it here and there,but it just doesn't seem to have anything that would benefit me and how I use Mastercam.
My biggest beef....is when 'grammin, you (grammer) enter ALL the detail to do the job.
Tools, stickout, stock size etc.
It really should be 1x click, to get a workable tool list/set sheet outta it.
But it took a few releases (= years), before rotary axis was incorporated and also for stock to be able to be a diameter.
Yup, 3axis only, no hori....and material was output/specified as 1" RADIUS :ROFLMAO:
This was after the big fanfare of the release....

I persevered and had CNC help me get a working tool list/set sheet and used to use it.
But also had to do any edits in NitroPro, as this was the best editing package I found, because CNC wouldn't pay AR manufacturers license to be able to save in MSWord format.
It was a registered enhancement request, and I kept banging on and on and on and on about it, but nope.

Yes, you can save as RTF, but that lost "lines and boxes" - yes you could save as HTML and then load into MSWord, but then the "lines and boxes" would disappear total ballache.

And what's the most import job of a 'grammer - passing the correct info onto the setup guy.
And it's all "in there", and should be a couple of clicks....

Yes, +1 to Gunther and X+.
I had that configured showing each OP G54/55 etc, planes, coolant state etc etc.
1x click and REALLY EASY to double check there was no spurious G59 (or whatever) datums, and that I hadn't forgotten to activate coolant.

So I would 'gram, verify checking to model, 1x click X+, Post, run through NCPlot, and lastly create the set sheet.
Then we'd set, check tool lengths at the start of every tool, and just run it.
But that's thanks to independent X+ and NCPlot for confidence....

In X5 I had a tool library.
Went to X7 and the other 'grammer wouldn't use it because the graphics were crap (which they were - it was the first release of the new UBinterface where they changed manufacturers).
So I converted the tool library and then we were running on old X5 and new X7... Then came good 'ol X9 and there were some compatibility issues between 5/7 and it, but I then knew that 2017 and the re-write, would be losing tool library compatibility so it was start again.
I stayed on 9, beta tested the new, and sold the business....
The thing about the tool manager....it was conceived with no initial thought for a gauge line.
When this was pointed out and asked to be implemented, CNC said it was impossible because of the way the toolmanager database was written.
I have used 2020, but not looked at any newer release, so IDK if this has been addressed....
 
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mhajicek

Titanium
Joined
May 11, 2017
Location
Minneapolis, MN, USA
Active Reports Viewer is hot garbage. It looks like it was someone's school project, where they were told to use a different style for every control.

That said, I got an AR setup sheet working to my liking about a decade ago, and I'm still using it.
 

barbter2

Aluminum
Joined
Nov 25, 2019
Location
On Tour....
Active Reports Viewer is hot garbage. It looks like it was someone's school project, where they were told to use a different style for every control.

That said, I got an AR setup sheet working to my liking about a decade ago, and I'm still using it.
Lol @ school project!
Yes - I got mine sorted right at the start - I was determined to make it work (get my money out the software LoL).
How are you editing the printed output - and what format are you saving in?
 

Trevor360

Plastic
Joined
Jul 25, 2021
This is not surprising. Mastercam and Solidworks on their own are both great pieces of software. So together was great in theory, but the integration was so bad and made it difficult to use. I would guess that most of the MC4SW users were students who were not paying for the software. I have never seen many industrial users use MC4SW over the standalone application.
 








 
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