What's new
What's new

Mastercam vs nx cam???

adperfo

Plastic
Joined
Aug 6, 2021
I've been working with Mastercam for over 2 decades...the company i'm working for is thinking of getting NxCam in. I've spent a couple weeks in training on Nx and really not convinced.

Was wondering what you guys had to say about it. Don't know if there are people out there that have worked with both regularly that would have some input

Nx seems less versatile to cheating for modifying existing parts at first glans witch we do a lot of.

Any input would greatly appreciated

Thks in advance
 

mft

Plastic
Joined
Apr 25, 2022
I spent roughly 10 years using NX (CAD and CAM) and now 10 years using Mastercam (Solidworks CAD) at two different jobs. In both positions I've been the engineer, programmer and machinist. I do mostly 5-axis work for motorsports. I can say unequivocally that NX is a much more capable system. Some think that it is more complicated, but I think that mostly comes down to frustration of trying to learn something new. The documention in NX is notoriously poor. I think they do that to persuade people to purchase training classes.

If you are concerned with manipulating existing models then NX is definitely the correct choice. The synchronous modeling is very powerful. I would also encourage your company to leverage the CAD and PLM capabilities of NX.
 

mft

Plastic
Joined
Apr 25, 2022
Which has better support? Forums to ask questions? etc..

I found the NX support to be better but we didn't have a reseller so I could go straight to Siemens. I also had a GTAC account where I could search through incident reports from other customers. 99 times out of 100 someone had already experienced the same problem and Siemens published the resolution. Very rarely did I have a problem that needed their direct support. I would ask your vendor if you get access to a GTAC account to search problem reports. Very handy.

Our Solidworks reseller has changed hands four times in the last ten years. It seems after each handoff the support gets worse. I usually just end up googling for answers.

As for forums, I have no idea. Between google searches, youtube, etc you should be able to find pretty much any answer you need.

Again, if you company has the means to do so I would not hesitate to switch to NX. There may be growing pains, but it is a much better package. I would switch back in a heartbeat.
 

adperfo

Plastic
Joined
Aug 6, 2021
I spent roughly 10 years using NX (CAD and CAM) and now 10 years using Mastercam (Solidworks CAD) at two different jobs. In both positions I've been the engineer, programmer and machinist. I do mostly 5-axis work for motorsports. I can say unequivocally that NX is a much more capable system. Some think that it is more complicated, but I think that mostly comes down to frustration of trying to learn something new. The documention in NX is notoriously poor. I think they do that to persuade people to purchase training classes.

If you are concerned with manipulating existing models then NX is definitely the correct choice. The synchronous modeling is very powerful. I would also encourage your company to leverage the CAD and PLM capabilities of NX.



Yeah i've noticed...tutorials are jam packed full of crap and your right about it being a patience trying task learning a new software from scratch after almost 25 yrs of the same

So far i have fooled around with the turorials to get a baseline. i almost feel like i have to fight the software to get anything to from "outside" the immediate solid entity and your stock setup. I found it complicated to simply bind a finish profil inside of bnd that is not necessarily part of the solid.

Just creating a simple contour of a bnd to trim something is complex. It feels like if your part doesn,t fit "into the box" that the sequence was setup for, it gets comnplicated to get the result you want. As where in masteram in 5 min i can think of 5 workarounds..lol

That being said, haven't had an official training yet.....to be contuined

tks for your input and looking forward any others that are out there
 

empower

Stainless
Joined
Sep 8, 2018
I spent roughly 10 years using NX (CAD and CAM) and now 10 years using Mastercam (Solidworks CAD) at two different jobs. In both positions I've been the engineer, programmer and machinist. I do mostly 5-axis work for motorsports. I can say unequivocally that NX is a much more capable system. Some think that it is more complicated, but I think that mostly comes down to frustration of trying to learn something new. The documention in NX is notoriously poor. I think they do that to persuade people to purchase training classes.

If you are concerned with manipulating existing models then NX is definitely the correct choice. The synchronous modeling is very powerful. I would also encourage your company to leverage the CAD and PLM capabilities of NX.

i'm only a few months into NX, and while it is a bit frustrating to find where things are - i do think it is LIGHTYEARS ahead of mastercan't, as well as others like hypermill etc.
parametric modeling natively in a CAM environment is EXTREMELY powerful. i cant wait to get more accustomed to it.
 

gkoenig

Titanium
Joined
Mar 31, 2013
Location
Portland, OR
Nx seems less versatile to cheating for modifying existing parts at first glans witch we do a lot of.

I can't speak to MasterCAM as I only know older versions. The rest is in passing and through reputation.

Having said that, my gut tells me that the nice CAM packages are all roughly equal in overall capability, with some different strengths and weaknesses here and there - but I don't think one can program a part that any of the others can't. The rest of it is really user preferences and experience, which makes quantifiable comparison wickedly difficult, and basically a Ford v. Chevy pissing match (one I sometimes enjoy arguing about myself!).

The CAD side is another matter, where NX simply whips the everliving shit out of everything else. So you want to slice and dice imported dumb geometry to prepare it for CAM?

NX Synchronous Modeling Demonstration - YouTube

Yea, that is a bit of a dog and pony show demo, but yes... all the tools and workflows he demonstrates are 100% useful and just that robust in NX (I use them all the time). NX CAD has a bunch of other mind blowing tricks up it's sleeve, but Synchronous is one of the more broadly useful and incredible ones.

This video is a CAM programming demo that sorta races through a lot of things about the NX CAM side. It helped me start to wrap my head around a lot of stuff:

NX CAM workflow overview for 5Axis machining with Andy Schaefers - YouTube
 

Marvel

Aluminum
Joined
Jan 14, 2019
Location
Minnesota
I can't speak to MasterCAM as I only know older versions. The rest is in passing and through reputation.

Having said that, my gut tells me that the nice CAM packages are all roughly equal in overall capability, with some different strengths and weaknesses here and there - but I don't think one can program a part that any of the others can't. The rest of it is really user preferences and experience, which makes quantifiable comparison wickedly difficult, and basically a Ford v. Chevy pissing match (one I sometimes enjoy arguing about myself!).

The CAD side is another matter, where NX simply whips the everliving shit out of everything else. So you want to slice and dice imported dumb geometry to prepare it for CAM?

NX Synchronous Modeling Demonstration - YouTube

Yea, that is a bit of a dog and pony show demo, but yes... all the tools and workflows he demonstrates are 100% useful and just that robust in NX (I use them all the time). NX CAD has a bunch of other mind blowing tricks up it's sleeve, but Synchronous is one of the more broadly useful and incredible ones.

This video is a CAM programming demo that sorta races through a lot of things about the NX CAM side. It helped me start to wrap my head around a lot of stuff:

NX CAM workflow overview for 5Axis machining with Andy Schaefers - YouTube

I agree 100% with you here on the CAM side, I've been saying the same thing for years and when you take into consideration for this discussion the two asked about, Siemens and MasterCam both license toolpaths from ModuleWorks, at the end of the day you have to find which one you yourself as a programmer are more comfortable with getting from model to machine, essentially which one you find implemented the tool paths better into their software. I don't care how great someone says NX is over MasterCam, or vice versa, or any other CAM out there, if it doesn't make sense to the programmer they will struggle, not every programmer is the same. We all take to software differently.

If you are concerned with manipulating existing models then NX is definitely the correct choice. The synchronous modeling is very powerful. I would also encourage your company to leverage the CAD and PLM capabilities of NX.

Question for both of you, as mentioned above I use CAMWorks (SolidWorks) you both mentioned Synchronous Modeling in NX, does the part have to be a NX native file? Are you able to utilize that option if say you received a STEP file?

If I get a file that isn't a SolidWorks native file I can't go into the design tree and modify the part, unless I use the FeatureWorks-Recognize Features and it builds the part in the design tree how it "thinks" it was designed, which sometimes just does weird things, but if it is a SolidWorks native file I can go into the design tree and do whatever.


But as a programmer is there much need for it? I can see the benefits to someone designing and needing to modifying designs.
 

thesidetalker

Hot Rolled
Joined
Jan 11, 2015
Location
Bay Area, CA
NX Synchronous Modeling Demonstration - YouTube

Yea, that is a bit of a dog and pony show demo, but yes... all the tools and workflows he demonstrates are 100% useful and just that robust in NX (I use them all the time). NX CAD has a bunch of other mind blowing tricks up it's sleeve, but Synchronous is one of the more broadly useful and incredible ones.

Yeah... seems like a dog and pony show. @ 4:51 I'd like to see him change diameter to something like 300, or smaller, where the first little cavities or ribs would be eliminated. Would it handle that without issue? My guess is probably not. I'd be impressed if it could, though. Otherwise it just seems like Move Face in Solidworks. Maybe better integrated or quicker to use for something that complex, but surely that same part could be modified similarly in SW.



But as a programmer is there much need for it? I can see the benefits to someone designing and needing to modifying designs.

If you don't use those tools, maybe it doesn't seem like it. Once you start using them, you'd find more uses just like anything else. I use move face & delete/patch face quite a bit in Solidworks for various reasons. It is pretty handy when it is smart enough to extend or trim faces to match where things will end up.
 

gregormarwick

Diamond
Joined
Feb 7, 2007
Location
Aberdeen, UK
Yeah... seems like a dog and pony show. @ 4:51 I'd like to see him change diameter to something like 300, or smaller, where the first little cavities or ribs would be eliminated. Would it handle that without issue? My guess is probably not. I'd be impressed if it could, though. Otherwise it just seems like Move Face in Solidworks. Maybe better integrated or quicker to use for something that complex, but surely that same part could be modified similarly in SW.

At face value, yes, it looks like SW can do the same thing.

As someone who has used both, NX synchronous is in a whole different league to the direct modelling in SW.

SW DM frequently fails for no obvious reason, especially when de-filleting a model and the like, or removing holes that intersect multiple faces, so on and so forth. Trying to defeature a moderately complex model in SW you will spend fucking ages messing around with moving and deleting faces in different orders until you find one that works.

For the most part, NX just figures it out. Occasionally in NX you still have to do the same ritual, but it is way less frequent compared to SW.
 

empower

Stainless
Joined
Sep 8, 2018
I can't speak to MasterCAM as I only know older versions. The rest is in passing and through reputation.

Having said that, my gut tells me that the nice CAM packages are all roughly equal in overall capability, with some different strengths and weaknesses here and there - but I don't think one can program a part that any of the others can't. The rest of it is really user preferences and experience, which makes quantifiable comparison wickedly difficult, and basically a Ford v. Chevy pissing match (one I sometimes enjoy arguing about myself!).

The CAD side is another matter, where NX simply whips the everliving shit out of everything else. So you want to slice and dice imported dumb geometry to prepare it for CAM?

NX Synchronous Modeling Demonstration - YouTube

Yea, that is a bit of a dog and pony show demo, but yes... all the tools and workflows he demonstrates are 100% useful and just that robust in NX (I use them all the time). NX CAD has a bunch of other mind blowing tricks up it's sleeve, but Synchronous is one of the more broadly useful and incredible ones.

This video is a CAM programming demo that sorta races through a lot of things about the NX CAM side. It helped me start to wrap my head around a lot of stuff:

NX CAM workflow overview for 5Axis machining with Andy Schaefers - YouTube

i agree, HOWEVER - CAD is such an integral part of CAM that i'd argue that NX is overall best package out there once you learn it.
 

thesidetalker

Hot Rolled
Joined
Jan 11, 2015
Location
Bay Area, CA
At face value, yes, it looks like SW can do the same thing.

As someone who has used both, NX synchronous is in a whole different league to the direct modelling in SW.

SW DM frequently fails for no obvious reason, especially when de-filleting a model and the like, or removing holes that intersect multiple faces, so on and so forth. Trying to defeature a moderately complex model in SW you will spend fucking ages messing around with moving and deleting faces in different orders until you find one that works.

For the most part, NX just figures it out. Occasionally in NX you still have to do the same ritual, but it is way less frequent compared to SW.


What do you think about my comment about making the diameter in that demonstration small enough to cut off those first small ribs? How do you think NX would handle that? I don't think SW wouldn't handle it, you'd probably have to delete those pockets first.

Yeah delete/move face isn't perfect. I've seen it struggle for no rhyme or reason too. But it should be able to accomplish that example similarly. Recently I was trying to simplify a casted part with several ribs with fillets on everything, which makes Surfcam just absolutely choke. 1000s of faces. Some features you'd think it should have no troubles with, it just couldn't delete and patch.


Does Mastercam have this modeling functionality?

Having that integrated in your CAM package would be really nice. I'm surprised OP made those comments. Having the ability to easily to modify or change the model while you're programming is very handy. For me it kinda sucks, with Surfcam. Gotta save another solid or surfaces, then append those into my file. Changing existing geometry with toolpaths already setup? Version I'm using doesn't regenerate anymore unfortunately.



Nx seems less versatile to cheating for modifying existing parts at first glans witch we do a lot of.

Maybe you just need more seat time? How can you compare 2 decades vs a couple weeks? Not really a fair comparison. Every software is going to have "tricks" you can do to accomplish something in a way other than intended. I'm guessing for NX though, a lot of those are probably already designed to work for you, not necessarily a cheat or trick.
 

gregormarwick

Diamond
Joined
Feb 7, 2007
Location
Aberdeen, UK
What do you think about my comment about making the diameter in that demonstration small enough to cut off those first small ribs? How do you think NX would handle that? I don't think SW wouldn't handle it, you'd probably have to delete those pockets first.

It's a bit of a specific scenario to say for sure, and I don't have access to NX anymore to test it.

It is pretty smart about merging/deleting intersecting/non-manifold geometry, or at least being informative about why it won't work (unlike SW), so I'd optimistically say that it would result in a solid ring, but I can't say that for certain.

Maybe GK can chime in on that.
 

empower

Stainless
Joined
Sep 8, 2018
I can't speak to MasterCAM as I only know older versions. The rest is in passing and through reputation.

Having said that, my gut tells me that the nice CAM packages are all roughly equal in overall capability, with some different strengths and weaknesses here and there - but I don't think one can program a part that any of the others can't. The rest of it is really user preferences and experience, which makes quantifiable comparison wickedly difficult, and basically a Ford v. Chevy pissing match (one I sometimes enjoy arguing about myself!).

The CAD side is another matter, where NX simply whips the everliving shit out of everything else. So you want to slice and dice imported dumb geometry to prepare it for CAM?

NX Synchronous Modeling Demonstration - YouTube

Yea, that is a bit of a dog and pony show demo, but yes... all the tools and workflows he demonstrates are 100% useful and just that robust in NX (I use them all the time). NX CAD has a bunch of other mind blowing tricks up it's sleeve, but Synchronous is one of the more broadly useful and incredible ones.

This video is a CAM programming demo that sorta races through a lot of things about the NX CAM side. It helped me start to wrap my head around a lot of stuff:

NX CAM workflow overview for 5Axis machining with Andy Schaefers - YouTube

goddamn, dude needs to slow down a bit! nice video but hard to keep track of wtf he's doing, lol
 

empower

Stainless
Joined
Sep 8, 2018
That's because he recorded, replayed at an increased speed and voiced over that.
'LOOK HOW FAST NX IS' :nutter:

eh idk, the motion doesnt look abnormally fast, just looks like someone that knows the software really well and goes through it quickly to not make the video too long.
 

goooose

Hot Rolled
Joined
Nov 14, 2007
Location
canada
lol. Dude, that is obviously edited. He's even cut sliding in different video segments.
....I'm referring to the CAM video not the CAD one.
 

ChipSplitter

Titanium
Joined
May 23, 2019
Location
Maybe
Just as a PSA, Solid Edge now comes with a 2.5D CAM package included. I was told by our VAR that it is rebranded NX CAM minus the advanced CAM features. Solid Edge Foundation | Siemens Software You get full SE with Synchronous CAD capabilities plus integrated basic CAM for a very reasonable price. What's not to like?

I've never used NX, but Solid Edge Synch is lightyears ahead of SWX Direct Editing. There is Just. No. Comparison.
 

gregormarwick

Diamond
Joined
Feb 7, 2007
Location
Aberdeen, UK
Just as a PSA, Solid Edge now comes with a 2.5D CAM package included. I was told by our VAR that it is rebranded NX CAM minus the advanced CAM features. Solid Edge Foundation | Siemens Software You get full SE with Synchronous CAD capabilities plus integrated basic CAM for a very reasonable price. What's not to like?

I've never used NX, but Solid Edge Synch is lightyears ahead of SWX Direct Editing. There is Just. No. Comparison.

Last I tried SE, sync was a weird modal thing where it was either parametric or sync and you had to switch between them, losing the history tree when in sync mode.

Is it still like that?
 

ChipSplitter

Titanium
Joined
May 23, 2019
Location
Maybe
Last I tried SE, sync was a weird modal thing where it was either parametric or sync and you had to switch between them, losing the history tree when in sync mode.

Is it still like that?

A qualified "yes". Typically a model starts in Synch where you make direct edits to faces without any history. It IS still parametric, however, and can be controlled by explicit rules and dimensions. The concept is simple but very deep. Synchronous Technology At any point you can jump to Ordered mode and add history based features; usually detailing work like fillets and corner reliefs in sheet metal. You can go back to Synch and it will show the Ordered features in a ghosted display. It's difficult to explain, but a few google searches for "Synchronous and Ordered modelling" should help.
 








 
Top