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Thread: Bobcad vs Feature Cam

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    Default Bobcad vs Feature Cam

    I am thinking about purchasing version 25 for my Haas lathe and mill. Could someone tell me how it compares to Feature Cam.

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    Company Representative aldepoalo's Avatar
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    Feature CAM:

    2.5 D Machining

    FeatureMILL2.5D enables you to machine holes, pockets, grooves, bosses and threads quickly and easily.

    Benefits:

    • Imports industry standard file types such as IGES, DWG and DXF, for easy communication with your customers
    • Creates reliable toolpaths quickly and easily with the help of step-by-step wizards, saving you time
    • Combines single part programs into multiple part programs, minimising programming times
    • Supports tombstone machining on both horizontal and vertical machines, letting you machine several parts in a single set-up
    • Includes proven post-processors for all major machine tools, reducing machine commissioning time

    Typical Applications:

    • General shop parts with simple slots, holes and side features
    • Tooling fixtures and fittings
    • Covers, plates and brackets

    3D

    FeatureMILL3D offers a wide range of strategies for both conventional and high-speed 3D milling.

    Benefits:

    • Maximises metal removal rates, helping you make parts faster
    • Maintains constant cutter load, increasing tool life
    • Minimises sudden changes in cutting direction, preventing tool breakage and part damage
    • Produces parts with excellent surface finish quality, eliminating hand finishing

    Typical Applications:

    • Simple moulds and die tooling
    • Final machining of castings


    BobCAD CAM

    CAD Features:

    BobCAD CAM V25 has an easy to use and understand CAD interface that will allow you to design your parts from beginning to end quickly. V25 will allow you to import DXF, IGES, STEP, SLDPRT and many other files from external CAD systems. You can verify geometry and edit your drawings on the fly by using a wide range of simple CAD features. Toolboxes have been added to make access to frequently used CAD functions easy and fast. Whether you import the CAD file or draw it in BobCAD, you have the ability to create inspection reports and part prints will full dimensions. Basic drawing tools include working with splines, creating arcs through points, drawing points, lines, arcs, bolt patters, gears, sprockets and roller cams to name a few. BobCAD offers a complete wire frame surface and solid model designing package. Viewing your parts, rotating 3D geometry and verifying all your part data has been made easy all the way down to bring able to choose the drawing colors or screen background of your choice.

    Additional Features included

    * Mirroring, Translate( move) and Rotating
    * Unlimited Undo/Redo, Cut, Copy & Past
    * Part Dimensioning
    * Multiple part viewing and rotation
    * Drawing with Points, Lines, Arc's, Splines, Fillets & More
    * Complete Surfacing Tools
    * Complete Solid Tools
    * Verify Geometry, Trim Geometry, Layers and User coordinate systems


    Milling:

    BobCAD CAM is being used in a wide variety of shops for a wide variety of applications. This is due to the versatility of the program, customizable post processors, multiple cutting options and it's ability to create fast accurate toolpaths and CNC code. Whether you're doing 2D work or creating complex 3D parts programs, BobCAD CAM allows you to generate accurate toolpath faster, smarter and easier for less money.

    CAM Features Included

    * Stock & CAM Wizard
    * CAM Job Tree
    * Multiple Machine Setups
    * Associative CAM
    * Tool Patterns & Machining Order Control
    * Tool Database, Cibbs, Arbors, Holders
    * Pre Defined Material Database
    * Speed & Feed Calculator
    * Save & Load Tool Path Setting


    CAM Tool Paths Included


    * 2.5 Axis Drilling
    * 2.5 Axis Profiling
    * 2.5 Axis Pocketing
    * 2.5 Axis Facing
    * 2.5 Axis Chamfer
    * 2.5 Axis Threading
    * 2.5 & 3 Axis Engraving
    * 2D & 3 Axis Plunge Roughing
    * 3D Slice Planer
    * 3D Slice Spiral
    * 3D Engraving
    * 3D Slice Radial
    * 3D Z-Level Roughing
    * 3D Z-Level Finishing


    Productivity Features:

    In addition to the many CAD and CAM features found in BobCAD CAM we have also added features that can only be found on systems costing thousands more. Our simulation software will simulate actual machine movements based on tool length, diameter, arbor & holder. Standard reporting tools for operations, run time, feed and rapid move length and stock left over. Giving you a complete view of how your part will be machined and if any tool path features need to be added or adjusted. Giving even the most novice of user the confidence to complete their programming and move on to the next project. In addition we included RS-232 communication for transferring you cnc files to the machine controller.


    Training & Support:

    With technical support services from BobCAD-CAM, you’re never on your own. We’re committed to your success long after your system purchase. Our technical support experts will help ensure smooth operation of your BobCAD-CAM applications day in and day out. 45 days of technical support is included for all new customers and is renewable thereafter for an annual fee. Assistance is provided by product and technical specialists trained to use and operate BobCAD-CAM products in a technical environment. Support for hardware or software systems on which BobCAD-CAM applications reside at the customer site is not included. Although troubleshooting an application in some cases requires us to ask questions regarding your operating environments. BobCAD-CAM support technicians are not responsible for network, operating system or computer maintenance.

    Al DePoalo
    Partner Product Manager BobCAD CAM, Inc. 866-408-3226 X147


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    Company Representative aldepoalo's Avatar
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    Feature CAM is a great package, as is BobCAD. What you find is you'll be able to cut the same types of parts in both packages.

    If you need Mill/Turn ei live tooling for the lathe C Y or B than the Features CAM would be a better solution as BobCAD CAM doesn't currently support this type of application.

    Beside that, they both offer CAD, they both offer file imports of popular CAD files. They offer "feature" based machining and both are easy to use. They Both have High speed type tool paths.

    Price point: Feature CAM will cost you thousands more in up front costs for training support and maintenance.

    What I would recommend you do is download a demo for both. Try them out and make a decision based on what you find.

    Al DePoalo
    Partner Product Manager BobCAD CAM, Inc. 866-408-3226 X147


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    Company Representative aldepoalo's Avatar
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    This video should give you a feel for the BobCAD CAM V25 Software.

    Al DePoalo
    Partner Product Manager BobCAD CAM, Inc. 866-408-3226 X147


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    Al DePoalo
    Partner Product Manager BobCAD CAM, Inc. 866-408-3226 X147


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    Company Representative aldepoalo's Avatar
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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTA_8V-lh_E]Simple 2D - FeatureCAM - YouTube

    Feature CAM sample 2D Part

    Al DePoalo
    Partner Product Manager BobCAD CAM, Inc. 866-408-3226 X147


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    Company Representative aldepoalo's Avatar
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    Default Feature CAM sample

    I want to create a video walking through this same part in BobCAD and the step you would need to follow. They are very similar in many ways. Till then here is the bbcd file to test in V25. See if you can program it with BobCAD CAM V25

    Attached Files Attached Files
    Al DePoalo
    Partner Product Manager BobCAD CAM, Inc. 866-408-3226 X147


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    Company Representative aldepoalo's Avatar
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    I am going to re watch the feature cam video to see if I missed anything, otherwise here is a link to a quick video of cutting this part in BobCAD CAM V25

    Feature CAM Sample Part in BobCAD - adepoalo's library

    Al DePoalo
    Partner Product Manager BobCAD CAM, Inc. 866-408-3226 X147


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    Feature CAM sample with the tool path on it.

    Attached Files Attached Files
    Al DePoalo
    Partner Product Manager BobCAD CAM, Inc. 866-408-3226 X147


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    Quote Originally Posted by machinejunkie View Post
    I am thinking about purchasing version 25 for my Haas lathe and mill. Could someone tell me how it compares to Feature Cam.
    Think there are a couple of questions you need to ask and answer yourself first:-

    1) If I only have HAAS machines do HAAS do an offline programming software that I can use in a PC and just load straight into my machines, no Post Processors, G code etc needed, would that fit my needs better ? ?

    2) Do I have the time to learn a new software ? ?

    3) Just what will my budget stretch to ? ?


    I have used both the BobCAD-CAM and Feature-CAM for a number of years, right back to 2004 at least for both brands.

    They are as Al rightly says quite similar in their approach to the job, ie "Feature driven", I am not going to "down" either of the softwares but I will say that for most everyday machining tasks BobCAD would suffice, it does have it`s little "idiosyncracies" (Not really bugs) in the way it does some features, lacks a fair bit of the refinement and maturity of Feature-CAM but I reckon these things will come with time in BobCAD-CAM, depends on what you need/want right now.

    Feature-CAM is by far the more expensive of the 2 softwares but it is for want of a better word the more "mature" and has lots and lots of things that make it way easier to get the job to the machine, has good strategies for cutting down machining times like for example a "minimum retract" that saves lots of machine time on Z moves, "pre-drill" facility where it is just check a box and type in a drill size, bi-directional toolpathing in profiling (Bit like using BobCAD Advanced adaptive roughing), auto chamfering that automatically moves the chamfer tool out/in/up/down without having to set it up for every chamfer and it is a single feature for all the chamfering, also can drill multiple holes at different Z start points in the same feature with the same drill of course and the chamfer will follow on as well, those are just a few of the more simple and very handy things available in Feature-CAM.

    You also have a lot more control over tool shape/size/type generation and a lot of options for setting up defaults for facing, stepovers, Z retracts and a very useful facility is the ability to set up cornering speeds for both internal and external cornering where a percentage difference can be set for going faster round an external arc and slower for an internal arc (Peripheral speeds).

    The Feature-CAM Lathe side again as Al has said is a big jump up from BobCAD-CAM but again is very, very expensive, I have used it extensively at another company that I help out at on Cad-CAM work and I have to say I love it, the current Lathe software even has a very neat finishing toolpath for the Lathe, normally when doing a finish cut if the profile that has been cut has both Z axis and X axis cuts on a turning cycle then there are actually both turn (Horizontal) and face (Vertical) in the shape, this usually means that on one direction either the face or turn the tool will be in effect "back cutting" and won`t produce the same finish as in the other direction, Feature-CAM has the option to run a toolpath that will switch between the Z to X and back again and do the finish cut in the correct direction for both, beautiful to watch

    It does take a lot longer to learn (I`m still learning it!!) simply because there are so many options that can be used it is sometimes a problem trying to choose which to use

    Is it for you ? ? Only you can answer that, as has already been pointed out you need to download the Demo/Trial softwares of both and spend a LOT of time evaluating the software against your needs/wants and budget

    Have fun, many hours of happy testing awaits you, just make sure you have a good supply of headache pills handy and no distractions ! !

    Summary:

    Feature-CAM :- Very, very expensive but very mature software that requires a lot of learing time but I can`t think of anything it won`t do very, very well in either Lathe or Mill Turn or Mill 3/4/5 axis

    BobCAD-CAM:- Exceptionally well priced particularly so for the not so well off "shop" and with a little ingenuity is a great software for most jobs, probably easier to learn as there is less to wade through and the simple "Wizards" should have even a "newbie" with code in the machine fairly quickly and still have some money in the Bank ! !

    Regards
    Rob


    .

    Last edited by The Engine Guy; 06-18-2012 at 04:30 AM. Reason: Spelling


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    Engine guy has made some very good points. I have been a Featurecam user for about 4 years. I came from a MasterCam background. Featurecam Is hands down, better than Mastercam. Even the latest MC doesnt hold up in terms of simplified programming. Feature recognition in FC is great for simple parts, and some more complex pieces. I use it on every part i make, even the more complex stuff, just because it will creat a lot of useful geometry. Stock Wizard is great as well. You can cut form a billet chunk, or import your on solid (ie forge models) Overlay it onto a machine model, and cut only what is needed. FC is very good at minimizing Air cutting time without extra program time needed, or editing the NC code afterward.
    Machine verification is spot on. Tool lists are detailed. tool libraries are easy to manage, and make programming even faster when fully utilized.

    BOBCAD seems to have filled alot of holes with the latest V25. Like stock wizard, better tool libraries, and the Like. Which moves it way beyond its price point in my opinion. I am starting my own shop soon, and BOBCAD will get serious consideration with the new versions features.
    Featurecam is about 5 times the price, and the yearly maintenance will run another $1500 annually. My old shop couldnt float that kind of money for a couple years and I was denied help a couple times. Its business. Service was slow to respond sometimes, and for a prototype shop, that means something.



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