Solidworks vs EZ Cam - what to buy
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  1. #1
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    Default Solidworks vs EZ Cam - what to buy

    I didn't want to hijack the other EZ Cam thread so started a new one.

    I was seriously considering springing for EZ Cam. My machine only supports my drag racing hobby and I bought the machine new 30 months ago. I am just learning - been stuck in 2D and time to step up to 3D modeling with a decent CAM. I know just about nothing about 3D modeling at this point, but learning with my research.

    I will probably buy something next week. I was going to go with Fusion 360 (just started to learn it) but I am totally done with AutoDesk after they shut off my work AutoCad 2010 Mechanical.

    The EZ Cam is about $2800 (includes a 35% December discount) including a year of support. Not bad. But then I found out that I can get a stripped down version of Solidworks (no assembly or part drawing - not great but not the end of the day) with the Solidworks Standard CAM and post processor for my machine for $2995 plus $750 for a year of support ($3745 total). My vendor called it Solidworks Machinist Standard. Of course these are individual seat licenses.

    What am I missing? Isn't it a no brainer for me to go with the Solidworks? I did not think I could get into a Solidwords CAD/CAM at this low price. I am just learning this stuff so I don't know what I don't know but............

    I should also add that the machine is an Atrump bed mill with Centroid control with a Renishaw OMP60 probe. It does look like EZ Cam handles the digitized files but Solidworks does not - would have to manipulate the files before Solidworks will import it.

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    Modeling in Ez-Cam is absolutely horrible on a good day while 2D Sketch is fantastic. I have used EZ-Cam since it was Bridgeport cam and it is definitely one of the most under rated CAM's on the market. Chaining 2D sketches is a breeze and the operation picking isn't cumbersome like many of the high end CAM's. The hole making feature is really nice. rather than clicking each hole for multiples you can drag a box over a group and it automatically enters them into the G8X cycles.

    EasyCam uses Xbuild for post building and it is the most powerful post builder I have ever ever used in over 30 years. If you don’t like building/modding your own post and they don't have a pre-made post you can usually import a Featurecam post into Xbuild and use it. Plenty of Fcam post all over the forums.

    As far as solid works goes, thats my go to modeling software. I cant speak for the integrated CAM modules you can get as Featurecam never had the interface. With all the Cad and Cam buy-ups now small shops are kinda screwed. Aside from Fusion there pretty much isn't an "All in one" CAD/CAM anymore. Most just have to bite the bullet and get two separate systems.

    As far as the EZ-Cam pricing and the 35% off, they will do better. Their pricing hasn't changed much since the early 90's and they need the business. Back when I bought mine I just told the guy I would push the EZ-Cam name every chance I got and they wound up giving me EZ-Mill pro, EZ-Turn, EX EDM, and Filter Max <<<(You want this) for $900. I think right now you could send them an offer of $2 grand for everything including Alibre Cad and they would take it.

    Alibre is actually not a bad modeling software for beginners. You just have to watch out how the file format save is. By default it reverts to the Alibre Native format and nothing except Alibre can open it. It gives you all the common formats to save, IGES, STEP, DXF, .PRT, and .STL but you have to make sure you pic the format extension.

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    I use sw cam, actually cam pro. I like it but it’s only 2.5 d really. It’s done what I need but I wish it had more 3d capability.

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    Really considering the EZ Cam myself. I honestly dont think I need all the functions of the higher end cad / cam for what I do.

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    I wouldnt look anywhere but solidworks. look around at different distributers as they are all competing and want your business. About a year ago I spent a couple months researching and trying cam systems. I tried fusion 360 it wasnt too bad but very cumbersome if you had to make a change to your model or add something. becuase you would have to go back to your cad and then redo everything, unless you made the changes to your solidworks model in fusion. No fun becususe you didnt have the feature tree.
    If you decide to get solidworks make sure the CAM system you get can be integrated withing solidworks as a "add in".
    there are a few that can do this. Solidcam, visual cam are a couple that I demoed. Solidcam was more expensive than solidworks but seemed to be nice. Visual cam was a cheaper option. I settled on the cheapest but the best option. I bought the yearly subscription to fusion 360 as they offer a free HSM works cam that is fully integrated within solidworks! It works flawlessly and was only about $500 a year. To get the same functionality from say solidcam I would have to spent almost 20k!

    Good luck at least there are a lot of options out there.

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    I'm a Solid Edge fan and try to talk anyone looking at SW to also look at SE because it's a direct competitor but better in a lot of ways. I received a December 50% discount offer last week for SE and NX cam, basic SE and 2.5D NX for $4K. This is from Innovated Solutions, who is not my SE VAR, so I don't know if all VARs will honor this. Here's the offer - https://static.ziftsolutions.com/fil...AR&spi=4067506

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    Solidworks - simple and widly used

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    Thanks for all the feedback!

    Well after a bunch of research, I decided that Solidworks CAD Professional with Solidworks CAM Standard with a custom post processor was right for me. I feel I got a good deal.

    Now I will figure out how to use it! LOL! Will take a while. I am looking forward to the challenge..........


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