our business is looking at introducing cad cam manufacture in the near future, as i am completely alien to this i need some advice on which software to look at, We are a subcontract machine shop machining fabs and large castings on both 5 axis horizontal borers and ram mill type machines which run with fanuc or heidenhain controls, any advice greatly appreciated as i need to get the choice spot on 1st time
This subject comes up weekly it seems. My take on it runs along the lines of you get what you pay for. I recommend you set a price point that seems right for your company, then shop for the software at or near that price point. My experience with CAD/CAM is that one software package compared to another is like comparing a Chevy truck to a Ford truck. They both will haul a load from point a to point b. The differences are things like where the buttons to operate the radio are located and does the seat feel comfortable to your butt to drive it. I have used PowerStation Xpert and Pro on the low end. And I have used MasterCAM and EdgeCAM on the higher end. All make usable G-code for machines. On the higher end, there are more options to automatically create tool paths. On the lower end, sometimes you get stuck manually drawing in a tool path to get it like you want it. On the higher end, I estimate there is about a 50% time savings for programming over the lower end software. If you only need to make one or two new programs per week, the difference is negligible. If you need to make one or two new programs per day, or more. Go toward the higher end for time savings.