Anyone here using Solid Edge Cam Pro or NX Cam Express? - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mud View Post
    Thanks for the review of NX.
    I'm asking about SE Cam Pro and what it was previously called, NX Express. I'm pretty sure it's not exactly the same or it would be called NX. I'm looking for someone using it.
    Its the same.. NX CAM module just re branded

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  3. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harri View Post
    FWIW, I'm a Solid Edge and CAM Pro/Express/NX CAM user. As stated above, the products are the same and the name has changed a few times. I can go to Siemens and download CAM Pro or NX CAM and they do the same thing. It's a silly marketing gimmick to confuse everyone

    And as with NX, you can choose which modules you need in CAM Pro. So if you're not doing simultaneous 5-axis stuff, you can leave out this bit. Same applies to machine simulation. You pay for the basic program and whatever extras you choose. SE integrates nicely into NX CAM (or CAM Pro if you prefer), so toolpaths are associative.

    My guess; the old CAM Express sounded too watered down so they re-branded it CAM Pro. And because they want to push CAM to SE customers they named it Solid Edge CAM Pro. But once again, the actual product is NX, with all its strengths and weaknesses.
    Thanks Harri !

    Quote Originally Posted by Harri View Post

    so toolpaths are associative

    ^^^ that's key.

    I see "They " have an online community / portal , are they any help if you get stuck with things ? Or are the VARs your best bet or just make sure you don't twizzle in the wind somehow ?


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    I'm in two minds about integrated CAD/CAM , in the case of SolidCam built into solidworks there were a couple of bad years (quite some time ago) where Solidworks were going through major upheavals to it's code base / feature set and Microsoft were screwing around with Vista and just coming out of that, and industry players (hardware wise) were not fully Open Gl compliant which made for a very unstable wobbly "stack" and then shove SolidCAM in there + complications of not jiving very well with license of SW that has pretty much all the bells and whistles. Seems simplicity and a shorter stack would be more helpful.

    So, having a stand alone CAM system , i.e. not integrated has it's appeal in terms of bomb proof stability i.e. not dependent on three other products to have carried out rigorous testing on newer roll outs.

    Solid Edge seems stable enough … Long term and I'm guessing NX CAM is a lot more usable than it used to be ~ I was thrown a bunch of NX 4 discs (UGS) circa 2008 (4.0.3) … Seemed very disparate and disjointed (not unlike myself) but wanting something that would lean towards easy workflow rather than a full time job combing through low level minutiae where it would be more time effective to write programs that spit out the code that I want (the time taken would have been the same) - not very good for a smaller outfit that spends a lot of time doing fairly complex prototype work (constant and diverse iterations) . ~ I assume a lot has changed since then in terms of installability (hence downloads) and usability of NX CAM / SE_CAM_PRO ?



    I understand Mud's skepticism with all this too unless the price tag is more or less identical.

    Perhaps one hopes for a streamlined more cost effective CAM solution that is very Sold Edge like in character but I'm guessing that's not the case in the moniker of Solid Edge CAM Pro . Why didn't they call it NX , so they could lure NX 'Curious" peeps in (hoping that it would be more Solid_Edge "Like" )?

    At least it's trial-able I guess , kick the tries but can't post code

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  5. #23
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    Cameraman,

    I can only speak for our VAR, but they are superb. And when they aren't around (2:00AM, Sundays etc.) the community is always there with some brilliant minds. I can't comment on how current NX compares to NX4, I've only been around since version 9. But I'll echo what others have said. NX is incredibly powerful, can be customised to do almost anything but is not particularly user-friendly. It is not super intuitive like Fusion etc. but when you get the hang of it, it is very, very good. The price was reasonable, and they do a 3 month trial (at least here), so give it a go, but have someone help if possible - or at least watch a lot of videos.

    I'm also a great fan of SE and synchronous, but I'm a user so it doesn't count

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harri View Post
    Cameraman,

    I can only speak for our VAR, but they are superb. And when they aren't around (2:00AM, Sundays etc.) the community is always there with some brilliant minds. I can't comment on how current NX compares to NX4, I've only been around since version 9. But I'll echo what others have said. NX is incredibly powerful, can be customised to do almost anything but is not particularly user-friendly. It is not super intuitive like Fusion etc. but when you get the hang of it, it is very, very good. The price was reasonable, and they do a 3 month trial (at least here), so give it a go, but have someone help if possible - or at least watch a lot of videos.

    I'm also a great fan of SE and synchronous, but I'm a user so it doesn't count
    That sounds quite appealing (at least to me) maybe.

    Fusion is not my bag , not to bash it.

    I did a Ph.D. in CAD laboratory (Cambridge University U.K.)-[I was more VR / photogrammetry based / GIS ] - seems like a long time ago now, but even back then we had the 'rule of thumb" that Software could either be "High level' / automatic and easier to use but really DUMB / unintelligent - hence development of "Expert systems" that are now AI based, OR you could have something that is lower level , more granular but "Smarter" i.e. more able to achieve more diverse and difficult and specialized things... BUT you can't have both. You can't have a high level system that is 'Smart".

    Definitely worth a go and see if it 'Fits" our organization / workflow timewise.

    @Harri thanks for chiming in (really appreciate it).

    Ta,

    Eric

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harri View Post
    can be customised to do almost anything but is not particularly user-friendly.
    ^^^ Depending on how OCD one gets there is a certain value on getting exactly what you want … (assuming it's not too obstructive to more conventional work (captain obvious :-) ..) .

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    You’re welcome Eric, and please just contact me if you need any furhter info.
    We use NX & SE in our product development lab every day so know them quite well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harri View Post
    You’re welcome Eric, and please just contact me if you need any furhter info.
    We use NX & SE in our product development lab every day so know them quite well.
    You bet , Thanks ! that's really kind.

    It will be interesting to get a handle on the hassle factor / frustration "index" of the software ~ Sounds promising / doable.


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    Quote Originally Posted by cameraman View Post
    ^^^ that's key.
    Mind you, tool path associativity to the solid model has limits. Like all CAD/CAM interfaces, a lot of it is based on internal Parasolid geometry identifiers assigned per element during creation or import. If I nuke those elements and replace them, the associativity will be broken.

    NX tries to do this all intelligently, but if it can't automatically map toolpath to geometry, it has tools to help you manually re-map new faces to old geometry.

    Probably the best single overview of NX CAM I've seen is from Andy @ Acuity. It is very well worth a watch overall, but at the end, he brings in new geometry and goes through NX's mapping:

    YouTube

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkoenig View Post
    Mind you, tool path associativity to the solid model has limits. Like all CAD/CAM interfaces, a lot of it is based on internal Parasolid geometry identifiers assigned per element during creation or import. If I nuke those elements and replace them, the associativity will be broken.

    NX tries to do this all intelligently, but if it can't automatically map toolpath to geometry, it has tools to help you manually re-map new faces to old geometry.

    Probably the best single overview of NX CAM I've seen is from Andy @ Acuity. It is very well worth a watch overall, but at the end, he brings in new geometry and goes through NX's mapping:

    YouTube
    Thanks for that,

    Watched that video and probably hit the play and pause button about 40 times to see what he was doing.

    Looks like there is some nice stuff in there and the basic approach to the interface seems fairly fluid to getting quite complex and tricky tasks done.

    I'm wondering if the latest version of NX CAM makes Vericut and Camplete somewhat redundant / pointless ?

    Kinda cute seeing the UMC 750 be modelled to that degree , actual specific modelled tools in the correct tool pot in the magazine ~ Nice psychological touch there + all the Lang vice models and short cuts.

    Yup ~ That was interesting with the revised stretched/ altered geometry that features had to be manually selected and paired - which IMO is the most efficient, accurate and least time consuming method, as these machines can't actually "See" or understand the intent of a model nor (as you point out @gkoenig) correctly unscramble a set of parametric definitions and reconstitute those "properly" in a way that makes sense "automatically" without making a total hash of everything without manual intervention / user guidance.

    Thumbed through a few more of Acuity's videos seems Andy Schaefers really has a handle on NX/ NX-CAM but seems to understand machining issues to pretty deep level.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cameraman View Post
    I'm wondering if the latest version of NX makes Vericut and Camplete somewhat redundant / pointless ?
    I've been considering that question as we start down the move to a 5 axis machine. Intrinsically, I sorta think a little separation of Church and State when it comes to G-code verification is likely a good thing.

    Vericut seems to not offer anything above what NX Machine Simulation does though.

    CAMPlete is a different matter in that you're not so much buying the software as you are buying a full post-processor + machine simulation kit in a complete package, from a company with a sterling reputation for building very good implementations of both. They are also rolling that into a lot of machines at a massive discount or as part of the base price (Matsuura, Methods, lots of HFO's discount it heavily with UMCs, etc).

    In NX, Machine Simulation is reasonably priced at about $6k, but you'll spend that much again getting a VAR or other vendor to sell/build you a fully sorted post-processor and Sim kit for it. Lots of folks can do this for you, but everything about NX is priced for a Fortune 500 size company.

    In the end, I'm probably going to go with CAMPlete.


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