have you tried Featurecam ?
San Diego, Ca
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(Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)
have you tried Featurecam ?
If mastercam wasn't $16k a copy, it just might be my favorite. All I can afford is BobCad. The new version looks just like MasterCAM 10 to me.
I recently bought a VMC (Feeler FV-800 built in Sept. 1996) with Mitsubishi Meldas 520AMR control. I also plan to fit a true 4th axis in the near future.
I will use this machine in my self-employed home-shop business and CAM-programs such as Mastercam are way too expensive for me.
So far I have been looking at:
1. OneCNC XR3 Mill Professional which cost around $ 7 800 in Sweden without the 4:th axis module, which I also find a little too steep.
No yearly costs. Good selection of imported file types.
2. Dolphin Partmaster Level 3, 3D CAM that cost $ 1 495 in the USA (does anyone know the price in Sweden or nearest agent?). Also can it run the 4:th axis with continius feed machining and not just "indexing" between 3D machining? Any yealy costs? Any imported file type limitations?
3. VisualMILL Professional (PRO) 6.0 with the 4th Axis Module (does anyone know the price in Sweden or nearest agent?). Do I need Visual CAM with this? Any yealy costs? Any imported file type limitations?
MecSoft also confuse me with (parallell?) products such as all the Rhino products. Which are the best? VM or Rhino?
4. Any other CAM recommendations in affordable price ranges? Preferable below $ 3-4 000
Just checked the price for the 4:th axis module for XR3 Mill Pro.:
The Swedish price is a whopping $ 4 900 on top of the $ 7 800 price for XR3 Mill Pro.
This clearly places OneCNC into the "High price range" to me.
Thats what the funny thing is. You say that Bobcad "looks like" mastercam. Only if looks meant more.
I just bought a copy of BOBCad/Cam and the flavour i get from this thread makes me worry... Up to now i learned on a slightly less than 100% legal copy of mastercam 9 and i just hope that BOBcad/cam V23 does not stink when compared to MasterCAM9. I would have liked to legalize on mastercam, but the $$$$$'s makes it impossible. Does anyone here know BOBcadcam for 2.5d mill work, 4th axismill and lathe work?
if you are Mastercam family user, then go with Mastercam. It's a great CAD/CAM, I like many other brand too, but I think you should stick with the one the feel most comfortable that can get a job done.
The best way to learn is trial error.
If you decide to go with mastercam you will eventually be very surprised at this companies customer service. Apparently if you have a lot of seats in this game you don't need repeat business from the small one off customers. And be aware you are stuck with the dealer you are given by location. The software is at best mediocre and not getting any better as the years pass. For your yearly maintenance you get the promise of the software being fixed or stable by the next release. In my opinion mastercam as a whole is a sunset program. And it's evening now. We have been using since version 8 lathe mill and wire. Upgraded every time to X2. Wish I could get all my money back. Especially for lathe and wire. Have never in all these years had a positive experience with our dealer. I can't say enough how much of a mistake I think you would be making to make any kind of investment in mastercam.
Also would have been nice to see more valid choices on this list.
Solidcam - Featurecam - Esprit
Haven't seen SprutCAM mentioned yet. According to a survey by Bob Warfield it is has the second highest level of "hobbyist" use:
The Results are in on the CAM Package Survey « CNCCookbook
SprutCAM offers 4 and 5 axis capability, "unlimited" form tool shapes, integrated backplot interface, and many other features in a package that costs less than $2000 (from Tormach). I see LOTS of things to like about it, and after trying the demo, I ordered the training videos. If those videos are complete/easy to follow, I will be buying a couple seats.
I am using BobCAD v23 now. It works great for 3 axis use, but they have eliminated the dongle option for V24, and it can't do many of the functions that SprutCAM can. I am looking to go to 4th and 5th axis capability, and I given the research I have done so far, I don't think there is a better price/performance value out there right now....