Turn the clock way back to 1990, when 3D CNC machining was not all that common, PCs were barely able to crunch the numbers, parametric surfaces were a brand new innovation, all the rage and everyone claimed or wanted to claim that they could do 3D, multi-axis part machining. Impostors were everywhere... and BS was just running rampant
At that time, I was programming complex AeroSpace parts using NCL from NCCS for 3, 4 and 5 axis work it is (or was) an extremely powerful system for 3, 4 and 5 axis machining but because it was language driven it was practically useless for 2 and 21/2 axis machining, it didn't even have a pocketing or continuous countouring routinej, everything was LOONGHAND.
The idea was to get something to run alongside NCL for doing the simpler programs, like 2 1/2 and even some 3 axis parts.
I looked at all of the programming systems and software on the market. Most were immediatley dismissed outright with a smile and a wink because of limited fucntionality. My quest left only 3 contenders, CAMAX (gone now), MasterCam and SurfCam.
The best software at that time IMO was CAMAX but at $30K+ it was expensive. MasterCam and SurfCam Tech people both claimed to have the ability to machine parametric surfaces with limited 4 and 5 axis capability.
Surfcam was actually able to demonstrate this to me. MasterCam said that they could do it but they just couldn't show it to me. What they did show me was a CNC file with moves 1mm long no matter how flat or complex the shape of the surface. "We've got this stuff called "C Hooks" and its awesome"... The 4 axis programming was just more smoke and mirrors. "Hey we just delete the 5th axis moves, and there you go a 4 axis CNC file" see it...
"Trust me buddy MasterCam can do it, I just can't show it to you on the computer's monitor", but it definitely can do it.
That's why I got SurfCam, it was the only affordable software that could do what I needed, and I am using right now, I have never regretted my decision and I can't tell you how many UG and MCrap programmers that I have put out of work...
On the Wish List..., Right now I seriously need a 64bit application that is a lot more stable than V5.2, TurMill is awesome but it still does way too much aircutting with lots of useless moves and questionable rapid drops. Working with extremely large databases I probably get 10 crashes in an average day.