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  1. #41
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    I use PowerStation from Microcimm. About $1200 or so. Fast learning curve and you can make your own posts.
    Very happy with it, been using it since '86. Upgrades every year or so and never an issue.

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    @DouglasJRizzo - never heard of that before, one of those "good to know about" things... (Even though I already have solidcam...)

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    Quote Originally Posted by DouglasJRizzo View Post
    I use PowerStation from Microcimm. About $1200 or so. Fast learning curve and you can make your own posts.
    Very happy with it, been using it since '86. Upgrades every year or so and never an issue.

    looks alot like EZCAM Express

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    Quote Originally Posted by CAMasochism View Post
    Yup, unless you are talking millions of dollars Siemens doesn't want a thing to do with you.
    In recent years Siemens started pushing support to their VARS and I have to say that the support experience isn't quite as good as when I used to deal directly with Siemens. We have been handed off to a few different VAR's and currently my VAR is Saratech. Actually, I have to say Saratech has been fairly good, support wise, with the occasional issue when they need to call Siemens. A couple times they simply had me talk directly with Siemens which was nice and speedy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JBethell View Post
    I really like Esprit. I've only used Esprit and Mastercam, but I just can't get excited about Mastercam. I can make it do what I want, but I always feel like I'm compromising, and creating work-arounds. It could also be that our re-seller is really pretty terrible. Everything I've learned about Mastercam has been from the eMastercam forum.

    To me, it also feels like an unfinished software, and geared more towards the very computer savvy, whereas Esprit seemed more designed for the machinist.
    Mostly disagree with your opinion of MCAM, but that said, I have been using since the X version when they switched to the newer windows based style interface. I find the layout a bit clunky in 2021, *BUT* you can damn near customize all your toolbars, and right mouse button to your hearts desire. Also, if you use a space mouse, can set a couple buttons there too....


    Mostly disagree with your opinion of MCAM, but that said, I have been using since the X version when they switched to the newer windows based style interface. I find the layout a bit clunky in 2021, *BUT* you can damn near customize all your toolbars, and right mouse button to your hearts desire. Also, if you use a space mouse, can set a couple buttons there too....
    I have used NX it was Unigraphics version 9 and we have a mix of NX and Mastercam. I can't say how much I love NX cad and cam. It is ONE product, not what companies claim when they have an "integrated" product which in reality is two totally separate software that "talk" with each other. Yeah, NOPE. NX 3-5 axis milling is awesome. Wire EDM is decent but not what I'd call up to the reputation of Esprit. I haven't used turning but from training and tip videos it seems powerful. Do you want to program a complicated part to run in a Mazak Integrex? No prob. How about drill 5-axis holes on a crazy contoured surface with varying thickness. No prob. Just pick points on the surface and NX figures everything out for you. Feature and Knowledge based machining is really nice, especially for holes and prismatic parts. Not to be overlooked...2D, 2.5D and 3 axis milling is crazy powerful as well. Roughing has a lot of path types and options to suit your needs and the rest roughing blows my mind with its reposition moves that look like they come from adaptive peel milling. I have heard NX turning isn't quite as intuitive as their milling but it's still powerful. As others have discussed in previous discussions, customization is key to utilizing NX's potential but that's true for most cad cam.

    After working with MC users side by side for years, I have to agree with JBethell. Our MC guys can get the job done but they seem to struggle with many things and take longer to program complicated 3D parts. Also I don't think MC code calculates very efficiently, it seems like it crunches really hard for long periods and using stock models with huge 3D parts really takes a workstation to its knees. Many times I have seen them select only small areas of huge model to machine so it calculates faster but then they end up making many more operations that are connected with excessive, tall retracts. MC drilling really blows btw, yikes. I've wathed them program holes on a large 3D model and I almost had an anxiety attack; it's sooooo unintuitive and not model aware.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bryan_machine View Post
    @DouglasJRizzo - never heard of that before, one of those "good to know about" things... (Even though I already have solidcam...)
    It works great. Both lathe and mill. Super engraving feature. Supports custom M codes and macros too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by len_1962 View Post
    looks alot like EZCAM Express
    Similar but way more robust and faster. Plus you write your own posts.

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    PC Aided Manufacturing (CAM) is the utilization of programming and PC controlled hardware to robotize an assembling cycle. In light of that definition, you need three parts for a CAM framework to work: Software that advises a machine how to make an item by creating toolpaths.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Qwan View Post
    I have used NX it was Unigraphics version 9 and we have a mix of NX and Mastercam. I can't say how much I love NX cad and cam. It is ONE product, not what companies claim when they have an "integrated" product which in reality is two totally separate software that "talk" with each other. Yeah, NOPE. NX 3-5 axis milling is awesome. Wire EDM is decent but not what I'd call up to the reputation of Esprit. I haven't used turning but from training and tip videos it seems powerful. Do you want to program a complicated part to run in a Mazak Integrex? No prob. How about drill 5-axis holes on a crazy contoured surface with varying thickness. No prob. Just pick points on the surface and NX figures everything out for you. Feature and Knowledge based machining is really nice, especially for holes and prismatic parts. Not to be overlooked...2D, 2.5D and 3 axis milling is crazy powerful as well. Roughing has a lot of path types and options to suit your needs and the rest roughing blows my mind with its reposition moves that look like they come from adaptive peel milling. I have heard NX turning isn't quite as intuitive as their milling but it's still powerful. As others have discussed in previous discussions, customization is key to utilizing NX's potential but that's true for most cad cam.

    After working with MC users side by side for years, I have to agree with JBethell. Our MC guys can get the job done but they seem to struggle with many things and take longer to program complicated 3D parts. Also I don't think MC code calculates very efficiently, it seems like it crunches really hard for long periods and using stock models with huge 3D parts really takes a workstation to its knees. Many times I have seen them select only small areas of huge model to machine so it calculates faster but then they end up making many more operations that are connected with excessive, tall retracts. MC drilling really blows btw, yikes. I've wathed them program holes on a large 3D model and I almost had an anxiety attack; it's sooooo unintuitive and not model aware.
    i don't know what you mean by "model aware"?

    capture.jpg
    you can pick solid features in 2021

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post
    i don't know what you mean by "model aware"?

    capture.jpg
    you can pick solid features in 2021
    Our MC guys seem to have occasional collision issues when drilling through parts with faces below the hole they're drilling. Also drilling angled surfaces with varying part thickness seems to throw off MC in regards to clearances and parameters for how far to drill past the hole edge with the drill diameter.

    I'm not a MC expert by any means. I'm passing along info from our programming meetings so perhaps it's a programming issue and not MC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Qwan View Post
    Our MC guys seem to have occasional collision issues when drilling through parts with faces below the hole they're drilling. Also drilling angled surfaces with varying part thickness seems to throw off MC in regards to clearances and parameters for how far to drill past the hole edge with the drill diameter.

    I'm not a MC expert by any means. I'm passing along info from our programming meetings so perhaps it's a programming issue and not MC.
    Probably a user issue bc Mastercam drill cycles are pretty easy. The new "Advanced Drill" tool path works very well which negates the need to do custom cycles for some more complex drilling operations. Such as gun drilling or deep hole drilling where you need to rapid move to a plane that is say... -2.0 inches and then do a pecking cycle

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    Been a WorkNC user for 27 years. It's got a lot of good points, but some not so good. But overall, it's worked well for us for a long time. A few years ago I had a demo of HyperMill as a possible replacement for WorkNC, but I didn't find that it was an improvement. Same story with PowerMill. WorkNC is kind of the underdog in the CAM world.

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    BobCAM for SOLIDWORKS V9 was recently released with a bug push on Multiaxis Features - If you are running in SOLDIWORKS 2015+ , it could be a good choice for you.

    You can purchase this package on a 36-month "maintenance program" that includes software, support, and training.

    Here is a link to the press release - BobCAD-CAM Releases BobCAM for SOLIDWORKS V9 | BobCAD-CAM

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan B View Post
    Been a WorkNC user for 27 years. It's got a lot of good points, but some not so good. But overall, it's worked well for us for a long time. A few years ago I had a demo of HyperMill as a possible replacement for WorkNC, but I didn't find that it was an improvement. Same story with PowerMill. WorkNC is kind of the underdog in the CAM world.
    I got to demo WorkNC several years ago, and really liked it. If starting from scratch, I would 100% put them in the running in any five axis milling environment.

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    I just got my quote for Hypermill. If I was an industrial customer, the price is insane. Six figures. This is of course the most blinged out version of the softrware including the multi-blade and port packages. I was expecting a lot, but hot damn that was A LOT a lot. Educational price is much more down to earth haha

    Now moving on to see what NX has for me

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    Quote Originally Posted by metalmadness View Post
    I just got my quote for Hypermill. If I was an industrial customer, the price is insane. Six figures. This is of course the most blinged out version of the softrware including the multi-blade and port packages. I was expecting a lot, but hot damn that was A LOT a lot. Educational price is much more down to earth haha

    Now moving on to see what NX has for me
    who did you talk to? we werent even CLOSE to 6 figures. we have the blade and port packages as well as other 5 axis stuff. we were under 50k all in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by empwoer View Post
    who did you talk to? we werent even CLOSE to 6 figures. we have the blade and port packages as well as other 5 axis stuff. we were under 50k all in.
    There could be more to the quote than just the licenses. If you add the Virtual Machine Optimization, that's another 17k right there. Posts can vary in price per machine type. Did you opt in for probing? or EDM?

    The user above probably talked to them directly as they don't have resellers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BluishInventor View Post
    There could be more to the quote than just the licenses. If you add the Virtual Machine Optimization, that's another 17k right there. Posts can vary in price per machine type. Did you opt in for probing? or EDM?

    The user above probably talked to them directly as they don't have resellers.
    No i did talk with a reseller. The quote included everything - hyperCAD, vericut interface, MillTurn, 5ax cavity bundle, multiblade bundle, Maxx machining, full simulation and virtual machine building, maintenance, 2 custom posts, hypermill expert, probing, etc etc etc. Plus they threw in the kitchen sink for free

    The purpose of the quote was to show how much we as education users would save off the "list price" of a bells and whistles included Industrial seat. Which is a pretty penny in savings for sure.

    The multiblade add in is almost 30K alone

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    Quote Originally Posted by metalmadness View Post
    No i did talk with a reseller. The quote included everything - hyperCAD, vericut interface, MillTurn, 5ax cavity bundle, multiblade bundle, Maxx machining, full simulation and virtual machine building, maintenance, 2 custom posts, hypermill expert, probing, etc etc etc. Plus they threw in the kitchen sink for free

    The purpose of the quote was to show how much we as education users would save off the "list price" of a bells and whistles included Industrial seat. Which is a pretty penny in savings for sure.

    The multiblade add in is almost 30K alone
    Interesting. I'd say your reseller is giving you a bloated quote. Which that is also weird as the Hypermill Account manager I've been working with recently had mentioned that they work directly with customers rather than having resellers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BluishInventor View Post
    Interesting. I'd say your reseller is giving you a bloated quote. Which that is also weird as the Hypermill Account manager I've been working with recently had mentioned that they work directly with customers rather than having resellers.
    agreed, we were nowhere close to 30k for the blade package.


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