What's new
What's new

Mazatrol Smooth AI vs CAM software


Sep 1, 2023
Hello everyone,

I'm working in a high mix low volume shop and started to ponder little.
The machine im mainly working with is a Variaxis C-600 (a 5-axis mill) with the fancy smooth AI that apparently is capable to do programming for you, however we never bothered to take advantage of that feature as we use MasterCAM for the programming in our shop.

Let say a program can be done in MasterCAM in 30-45 minutes, but the guys at Mazak says their smooth AI can get a program done in minutes in the single digits. Is there anybody here who actually have experience on the floor with this feature and can say that yes, smooth AI works really well and will save you time and your brain power?
Definitely, sometimes.
If you doing parametric parts-Yes it will save you time, lots of surfacing-stick w CAM.
It doesn't produce the cleanest programs, but in many circumstances it gets you 80% there in 4 minutes.
We are going to the Mazak show in October. We are in the market for another Integrex and have sent them a solid of one of our parts, along with a tool list. They will demo it for us when we get there. I will let you know what I saw.
As others have stated in some cases (simpler parts) it works great. Conversational in my opinion (Mazatrol, et al) loses its value quickly when you start getting into 4+ axis parts of moderate to extreme complexity. It's kind of analogous to having an adjustable wrench and a hammer. Can they both do the same job? Sure. I can smack something with an adjustable wrench and it MAY work out that in that instance it was effective. But the tools in truth were made for different purposes. I don't see too many people ridding themselves of one or the other because usually there is a time and place for either one. Same goes for conversational vs cam. Time and place are best learned through experience. If you get a simpler part give conversational a try to see if you like it and maybe better learn how to use it in the process. But I cannot recommend getting rid of your CAM package if you're doing more advanced 5 axis programming. You've likely been sold a line by your salesman who isn't really sure on how it works, he just wants to get you in the machine and is trying to upsell the value.
I haven't used the smooth AI programming but I have used the 3D assist that is just below it and something I feel needs clearly started is that it does not add functionality to conversational programming. It only streamlines the process. At the shop I worked at we were only conversational and I believe we won quotes from most of the customers we had simply because of this. Very few to none could provide a 3d model of the part so a shop using CAM would be higher due to needing to quote drawing the part prior to programming. If the functionality of Conversational cannot run the parts you make Smooth AI will not change that.