CAD / CAM Package - Midsize machine shop
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    Question CAD / CAM Package - Midsize machine shop

    Hi.. our company has around 30 odd cnc machines (mid size cnc machine shop). We are looking for a new CAD/CAM Package that would be good for modeling and 3D programming.

    The usage is as follows:

    1. 90% modelling and 10% surfacing
    2. 40% 2D programming, 25% 2.5D programming, 25% 3D / 4axis continuous programming, 10% five axis positional programming - 5 axis continuous would be great but we rarely do those type of products.
    3. We have two 5 axis machines - 1 positional (FANUC) and one continuous (SIEMENS)
    4. 2 Turn mill lathes (YMC)
    5. Overall an even split of lathe and milling CNCs with 50% SIEMENS / FANUC controls

    We currently use Mastercam x7 and have updte to x9 but its been a while since we have had training on it. We may be getting fleeced on our annual costs but Im checking that.

    The target is to comedown to 1 platform for the team as one guy uses NX another 3 mastercam, 1 delcam sometimes, 1 powermill sometimes and 1 guy uses pro e sometimes.

    I would like to switch to one platform for all, get them formal training and move on that path.

    Options are:

    1. Solidworks + camworks
    2. Autodesk Fusion 360
    3. Inventor + HSMworks + etc (Mfg. Package)
    4. Solidworks + HSMworks
    5. Solid Edge + Solid Cam
    6. Solid Edge + HSMWorks
    7. NX CAD + CAM
    8. OnShape + OneCNC

    Others are also there.

    Appreciate the input from all users.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by msayani2 View Post
    Hi.. our company has around 30 odd cnc machines (mid size cnc machine shop). We are looking for a new CAD/CAM Package that would be good for modeling and 3D programming.

    The usage is as follows:

    1. 90% modelling and 10% surfacing
    2. 40% 2D programming, 25% 2.5D programming, 25% 3D / 4axis continuous programming, 10% five axis positional programming - 5 axis continuous would be great but we rarely do those type of products.
    3. We have two 5 axis machines - 1 positional (FANUC) and one continuous (SIEMENS)
    4. 2 Turn mill lathes (YMC)
    5. Overall an even split of lathe and milling CNCs with 50% SIEMENS / FANUC controls

    We currently use Mastercam x7 and have updte to x9 but its been a while since we have had training on it. We may be getting fleeced on our annual costs but Im checking that.

    The target is to comedown to 1 platform for the team as one guy uses NX another 3 mastercam, 1 delcam sometimes, 1 powermill sometimes and 1 guy uses pro e sometimes.

    I would like to switch to one platform for all, get them formal training and move on that path.

    Options are:

    1. Solidworks + camworks
    2. Autodesk Fusion 360
    3. Inventor + HSMworks + etc (Mfg. Package)
    4. Solidworks + HSMworks
    5. Solid Edge + Solid Cam
    6. Solid Edge + HSMWorks
    7. NX CAD + CAM
    8. OnShape + OneCNC

    Others are also there.

    Appreciate the input from all users.

    First you have some of the CAD and Cam pairs mixed up or wrong.

    HSMWorks is only for SW

    Inventor's CAM is called Inventor HSM

    SolidEdge has only CAMWorks

    So SolidWorks Has a slew of integrated CAM software's that you can choose.

    SW 2018 now has 2.5 axis CAM included for free, aka CAMWorks, you can upgrade to the a Premium with limitation or upgrade thru CAMWorks to get everything.

    SolidCAM = same levels as CAMWorks

    HSMWorks, lathe sucks, others 2 and 3 axis rock, 4th I do not use much and don't have a 5th. use it every day.

    MASTERCAM for SW

    HyperMill

    VisualMill for SW

    BOBCAD-CAM for SW, they have done a very nice job

    Autodesk
    Inventor has 2 options

    Inventor HSM

    SolidCAM for Inventor

    Fusion 360 is cloud based all files are stored there and if site goes down you cannot log in or work, might not be best only you know.

    they now own all the DelCam stuff.

    all there software is now subscription based, meaning you pay to use if you don't you are locked out! no more perpetual licenses.

    Siemens

    SolidEdge, CAMWorks

    NX with CAM option

    ONShape

    cloud based only yearly subscription, no pay no use, have to use standalone CAM



    I would go the NX route, then SW with CAMWorks 1st, SolidCAM 2nd (sorry Ken) and believe it or not BOBCAD-CAM 3rd do to what you do.

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    FYI
    NX cad and cam are not add-ons to each other, they are a single totally integrated software solution. The apsect of NX functionality which can be confusing is the licensing for all sorts of cad, cam and cae levels. Many people have the misconception NX cad and cam is on the same level of inter-functionality as the combos listed in the OP but in reality it is higher being a single software and it leverages more parametric data. Everyone does workflow automation but the real power lay in the ability to create journals and C programs which can directly call software functions. I know of zero small shops who do this and just a few medium sized companies. I wish more companies would actually buy what they need and would put to good use but the fact is so many companies make do with software because it's cheaper but in the long run they have spent much more making up for inadequacies.

    NX 11.0.2
    NX 12.0.2

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    Qwan

    NX has many option and CAM is one, yes it is an integrated but if you don't buy it it is not included in your license, so option is the correct statement.

    there is NX for Design and there is NX for Manufacturing which includes cam

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    Have you asked the guys which system they would prefer as they would be the ones using it. Truthfully I would find the one that has the best support, and training materials are readily available and one that is widely used in your area so you have a larger labor pool to choose from if need be.

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    We fought issues for years then went with Patrick at OneCNC West. Have had great luck not only yhe software but his customer service after the sale is the best we have ever had with anything. No maintenance, hidden costs, buggy software,etc. We have 2 axis lathe,3 axis mill, and a forth that we haven't got yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by len_1962 View Post
    Qwan

    NX has many option and CAM is one, yes it is an integrated but if you don't buy it it is not included in your license, so option is the correct statement.

    there is NX for Design and there is NX for Manufacturing which includes cam
    It's really a license choice. Aside from CAM Express, basically all Siemens NX CAM bundles have a high level of cam and cad capabilities out of the box with a little variances between them. Most of my bundles are old mach3 licenses which have pretty much everything the current licenses have. The exception being the turbine impeller option but my licenses have everything else; 3,4 and 5 axis milling, turning, wire edm. Also have full blown modeling and assemblies with the exception of the high end shape studio. The latter might be included the current cam licenses, not sure.

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    I would request a demo from a couple of the choices you listed. Set up an appointment and send the reseller a couple of your programs and files. See if they can duplicate your programs with their software. Then I would talk about training and support, possible need some customize posts to generate your programs the way you want to see them. Cost is a big factor but don't go too cheap with software because it will bite you later on.

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    So why did you take Mastercam off the list?

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    I second the choice of OneCNC. You'll never find better support that what you get from Patrick at OneCNC West, period! The program is easy to use, never had a crash, the best 4 axis I've ever used, and is reasonably priced. Patrick has sales now and then, so I'm betting he can get you a good deal, too.

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    It may be better to give you guys info about our workflow:

    1. Jobcard opened by salesperson
    2. Usual Job cards have 5-7 items on it. The qty for each item varies from 10-40 pcs.
    3. 1 in 20 jobs is a mass production job requiring either complete 2 axis lathe work, Turnmill work or just 3-4 axis milling work

    All the jobs come in with drawings and no stp or 3d models are available. We generally have to model the solid part and then make the program for it. Currently I have 2 seats of mastercam, both with turning and milling and the cost of the AMC (which i may not renew) is the cost of 1 turning and 1 milling seat.

    So i need 1 decent CAD program and a mid level cam program.. one seat of the CAM program that we want to buy should have full 5 axis capability for the odd 5axis positional job where we have to be competitve on cycle times.

    I was thinking of thus getting 4 seats of Fusion 360 std for all the modelling, 2 axis lathe and 3 axis milling stuff and 1 license of Fusion 360 ultimate.

    Fusion has a lot of learning resources and autodesk has good support here as our sister company has dealings with them for software for civil works.

    I dont want to spend more than I need to and at the same time I don't want to get stuck with something that is going to slow my guys down or cause problems.

    PS - most of the modelling is solid and mostly has slots, taper threads, threaded holes and the like. Its closer to an oil and gas machine shop actually.

    Any thoughts?

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    We have 2 seats of Mastercam 2018 and it works quite well for lathe and basic milling but I feel that it may be very expensive at $12K for 1 seat of lathe + milling capability. At that price i can get NX for full fledge modeling + 3axis mill + Lathe.

    These software is on the higher end side of the market and since we already have mastercam 2018 and need additional licenses for CAM + some CAD licenses, I was thinking of mid-end alternatives.

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    When you say 10% surfacing, what types of parts, or how complex? That could limit several of the programs right away.

    Do you want machine simulation? For the millturn, 3+2 and 5-axis that may be more important. If so, that will exclude some of the programs.

    Lastly, of the 3 MasterCAm, 1 NX and 1 PowerMill user, which one is the best teacher (meaning a good mix of skill and ability to help others) in your shop and can assist the others if you go to a single solution?

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    Quote Originally Posted by msayani2 View Post
    We currently use Mastercam x7 and have updte to x9 but its been a while since we have had training on it. We may be getting fleeced on our annual costs but Im checking that.
    The newest Mastercam version is 2019, if you're using X9 and still paying maintenance, that's not "getting fleeced",that's on you lol.
    That being said, if 90% of your work is modeling, then I would get Solidworks for the modeling, and then the Mastercam for Soliworks plugin. No need to learn a whole new cam program if you're already familiar with Mastercam.

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    If 90% of your 5 Axis work is positional MasterCam and Solidworks should be at the top of your list.

    MC 2019 is really good

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    We had mastercam x7 and x9.. got upgraded to 2018 6months back.. need some training on it and we will get it next month.

    Surfacing is just 3d machining work and 4th axis continuous like making mold parts or screw shafts for pumps.

    We dont do any surface modelling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by msayani2 View Post
    Options are:

    1. Solidworks + camworks
    2. Autodesk Fusion 360
    3. Inventor + HSMworks + etc (Mfg. Package)
    4. Solidworks + HSMworks
    5. Solid Edge + Solid Cam
    6. Solid Edge + HSMWorks
    7. NX CAD + CAM
    8. OnShape + OneCNC

    Others are also there.

    Appreciate the input from all users.
    IMO, for starters, delete every pair which are separate softwares. Also, it appears you have some different "classes" of software...mid tier, upper tier, etc-.

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    You should not overlook Solid Edge Cam Pro. For the equivalent price, you can get Solid Edge with the 3-axis milling package. You can add-on as much as you want and have associative models to the CAM process, fully integrated, not just imported files into your CAM program.

    If you do get geometry from a customer, you can import it and modify it easily. Or, as mentioned, you can model the drawings you get pretty quickly with the synchronous modeling that is truly different than any others as far as speed.

    You change the model, the CAM program will recognize the changes and prompt you to update the tool paths. This is where you'll start seeing more improvements on the time required to update your code. Also, you can get into full 5-axis machining with advanced tool paths, should you need that.

    There are multiple ways to get into the software:
    -Subscription like many of the others mentioned. (you stop paying, you no longer have access to models, especially if stored online. But, a slightly less money.)
    -Purchase out right floating license or node locked. (a little more expensive, but allows you to use it as long as you want, even if you stop paying)

    BTW, I do work for a Siemens reseller, but have used almost all other mid-range and high-end software out there for comparison. Solid Edge is my favorite for the value you get and ease of modeling.

    Complete Product Development l Solid Edge l Siemens PLM Software

    Machining & Milling l CAM Pro Software l Solid Edge

    Kevin

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    Quote Originally Posted by msayani2 View Post
    Hi.. our company has around 30 odd cnc machines (mid size cnc machine shop). We are looking for a new CAD/CAM Package that would be good for modeling and 3D programming.

    The usage is as follows:

    1. 90% modelling and 10% surfacing
    2. 40% 2D programming, 25% 2.5D programming, 25% 3D / 4axis continuous programming, 10% five axis positional programming - 5 axis continuous would be great but we rarely do those type of products.
    3. We have two 5 axis machines - 1 positional (FANUC) and one continuous (SIEMENS)
    4. 2 Turn mill lathes (YMC)
    5. Overall an even split of lathe and milling CNCs with 50% SIEMENS / FANUC controls

    We currently use Mastercam x7 and have updte to x9 but its been a while since we have had training on it. We may be getting fleeced on our annual costs but Im checking that.

    The target is to comedown to 1 platform for the team as one guy uses NX another 3 mastercam, 1 delcam sometimes, 1 powermill sometimes and 1 guy uses pro e sometimes.

    I would like to switch to one platform for all, get them formal training and move on that path.

    Options are:

    1. Solidworks + camworks
    2. Autodesk Fusion 360
    3. Inventor + HSMworks + etc (Mfg. Package)
    4. Solidworks + HSMworks
    5. Solid Edge + Solid Cam
    6. Solid Edge + HSMWorks
    7. NX CAD + CAM
    8. OnShape + OneCNC

    Others are also there.

    Appreciate the input from all users.
    Do you do any work with castings?

    Avoid HSMWorks and CAMWorks if I were you, the functionality isnt the best, for example HSMWorks cant output canned cycles for rough turning - editing long hand code on the machine is a ball ache!

    Have you considered Solidworks + Edgecam?


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