I can honestly say that for the price Alibre CAD/CAM is a great value. I have used Solidworks, Pro/E and Autodesk products and Alibre's support is right on par at a fraction of the cost. There isn't a CAD or CAM package out there that doesn't come with annoying quirks and faults but out of all of the 3D programs I've run Alibre crashes less and has the best support I've encountered. I don't know if you've tried to contact PTC for support on Pro/E but you can expect to never hear a word back from them and that is for 10x the maintenance cost of Alibre.
My experience with the AD product has been one of continual improvement of product. In the early days it ,to be honest,sucked.Lots of bugs. NOW,it is pretty darn good ,at least for me.
THe ACAM tho is an entirely different matter. I completely agree with others that ACAM was represented to me as having the capability ,right out of the box, to process a usable post for my Fadal 88HS. I was excited at the prospect of not having to learn any G/M code. Boy,was I ever WRONG . All the parameters of my Fadal were set to factory settings with nothing unusual in it. The post though was very,very wrong,somewhere. Since I knew nothing at all about programming,and still know very little, it was pretty frustrating to contact Alibre and just to be told that to "fix" the issues it would take a custom post that would be very expensive to do but they were willing to do so. I queried ,WHY would I need to have a custom post written for my bone stock Fadal? It's not like they're rare or anything. Long story made short,yes,all it takes is a few keystrokes and 30 seconds to make the necessary corrections. That's 30 seconds AFTER MANY HOURS/DAYS/WEEKS of figuring out BY MYSELF what was wrong. ACAM support is useless. I did contact mecsoft in frustration finally ,only to be told Alibre handles ACAM support. Ummmm,wellllll,not very well .
Mecsoft must really dislike Alibre. WHY else would they allow their product to be bundled with AD and not insure they have the resources to properly support it? On the other hand WHY will mecsoft not give tech support themselves since they know full well that Alibre is not doing a good job providing it? I understand that mecsoft is not getting paid for the service but it reflects badly on them anyway. Good PR would suggest they reconsider their position.
Well,enough rant for now.
No, just that there are a virtual thousand different setups and configs on different machines...WHY would I need to have a custom post written for my bone stock Fadal? It's not like they're rare or anything:
Since you know what would make it work (Go get some help from other users willing to help you customize the post) Why dont you get it done?
Anybody that knows what they are talking about, knows what I just stated is true, so the old "I'm here to warn other users or future customers of the perils of this company", kindof falls on deaf ears. Unless you are trying to hurt their business by reaching out to a new user that wouldnt understand this, just because you were unwilling to get yourself up and going........
I'm a hobby user of AD and VM. I keep trying ADCAM, hoping that the integration of CAD + CAM will allow me to update a CAD design and have the CAM auto update, but whenever I try it, I just keeps crashing.
As for Posts, I have to agree the VM effort is pretty poor. I originally used Mach3 and have switch to EMC2 (LinuxCNC). Neither of the posts work correctly (arcs, spirals and helixs were a pain to get working). I'm wondering why they bother making them available if they don't work. Maybe it's just marketing.
They DO work. Just not for YOUR setup.I'm wondering why they bother making them available if they don't work. Maybe it's just marketing.
I DID so. Do you not read ?
What you stated is not true. What you have stated ,in effect,is that the purchaser that buys ACAM should be able to take ACAM processor for a haas, for example, and modify it to work on a fadal or any other machine.
Well ,guess what,you're right then. All machines work off generic g/m code (duh) with minor variances so yes it can be done IF you know how. NO ONE at Alibre EVER said anything about having to tweak the processor when questioned BEFORE purchasing the ACAM. They said it would work. Period.
I asked Alibre if I could get a printout of the parameters as supplied for a Fadal format 1,which my machine is. Repeated times I asked for it and was repeatedly told they didn't have that info. DIDN'T have it?????? I asked them repeatedly to open up ACAM then,go to the post processor and guide me through the parameters. Nothing could have been simpler. They refused. Talk about falling on deaf ears.
Truly,my friend,I take it a bit offensively that you are insinuating that I or anyone else that has had this experience is in any way at fault here.
Last edited by masterfabr; 03-29-2012 at 10:18 PM.
I may be an idiot ,but I bet I'm their most loyal customer. I refuse to admit defeat,keep my maintainance paid for several years now ,wait patiently(seems like forever sometimes) for updates, am pleased with AD now,have NEVER given a second thought to trying any other cad/cam even with my total frustration with them at times. I KNOW the ACAM ,hopefully anyway, will continue to improve as AD has.
Finally,if you think I'm trying to disuade anyone from buying AD/ACAM you couldn't be more wrong. I recommend AD Expert . I would buy ACAM again since it is integrated into AD,the reason I bought it in the first place instead of others.ACAM should be though,more upfront ,accurate and honest in the details of ACAM to prospective customers and be capable of giving real tech support for it. I just wish to tell the truth about a product and not follow the lead of others that are not willing to do so. A lot of wasted time and scrap would not have occurred if that info was readily available.
I've deleted the previous 20 posts. Any subsequent posts with similar content will be deleted, so don't bother posting them. If you feel the need to waste my time by making posts that I need to delete, you'll be removed from the forum.
Mach3 2010 Screenset
(Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)
This is not a rant, it is a restatement of the obvious.
THE OBVIOUS: With any type of software, and in particular CNC-oriented software, really good support for very very specific applications is only going to come from a forum.
This being so, the best way to decide on buying software is to look at the software, read the marketing materials with a grain of salt, download and tinker with the trail version, and then spend a couple nights and a weekend visiting the various forums that deal with, even remotely, the particular software package one is anticipating buying.
The reality of support from the software company is that they only deal with lower level and generalized problems. And to be fair, what else can they do or afford. To try and anticipate ever application scenario is an exercise in futility.
With so many, lets say commercial CAD programs, and a deluge of open source CAD programs, some that are stunningly good, the profit margins on the commercial products are razor thin. It sure seems like the front line people in software support are the 21st Century's hamburger flippers.
And lets be fair to those kids [hey I am 63 and can say that!!], they are desperate for jobs and if they have any tech background, and as many of them have used some kind of software their whole lives, what else can they do? The colleges sold them a bill-of-goods, and then the economy tanked.
And so what if these kids providing tech support are not a good as some old guy who has designed parts and run machine tools his whole life, and expects everyone he interacts with to be as good as he is.
And think about his: How did that old guy get that good? Some other old guy took him under his wing and showed him the ropes. Instead of making the tech support kids lives miserable, draw them out concerning the processing sequence of the operations you are dealing with, rather than wanting EXACT answers immediately. And allow a bit of time. Learning anything is a complex process and it takes time for it all to sink in. And yes, this is the voice of experience.
Think of new software like this, its kinda like getting married. You MAYBE had an idea of what it was going to be, and it no doubt turned out different. To get it to work well, you have to put some energy into it, as well as do a lot of listening. And it takes a few years to get it to work right, and even then you have to constantly tinker with it to keep it working right.
PS. And yes in my real beginning in the CNC-world I ranted with the best of them, but though the kindness and steadiness of some fine gentlemen on CNC Zome and a few other good forums, I have become competent, not stellar, but pretty good. You will too.
When I complained about the EMC2 post not working with VM, I wasn't saying it wasn't the best GCode. It generated GCode that EMC2 would not load. It had syntax errors in it.
It generated arcs with I, J and K words in it. EMC2 will error if there are more than 2 of I, J or K.