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View Full Version : Tell me more about MadCAM...



phil m
12-17-2009, 02:59 AM
Hi guys,

I'm looking into buying one of the cheaper CAM software. I'm already running Rhino 3D. I seem to see a lot of fans of MadCAM on CNCZone. I had a look at the few video tutorials on the MadCAM website. Is it me or MadCAM seems to be more of a simple CAM software? It seems that there's less features than most (more expensive) software, am I right to say so?

I'd be curious to check out the instruction manual but didn't find any PDF's on their site.

So I'm pretty much curious to hear more about it, I'd like to know why you like it and/or use it instead of other ones.

Dan B
12-17-2009, 06:33 AM
Hi Phil,

I thought the same thing when I first saw madCAM. Then again, I thought the same thing the first time I saw Rhino. In both cases, there was much more there than I first thought.

Are there less features than the high end software? Of course. You can't really expect a $2K plug-in to match a program like WorkNC or PowerMill feature for feature. That's unrealistic. But there are enough features in madCAM to handle most scenarios you can throw at it. For example, we use it everyday to program 3+2 milling for our expensive Hermle 5-axis machines.

Our main CAM software is WorkNC, but with the volume of work we do, our 4 seats can't keep up. It is cost effective to use madCAM to cover the excess. And as a bonus, it sure is nice being able to make paths right in Rhino. Once you get used to how it works, you can produce paths very, very quickly.

Try the demo, and if you have questions (and you will) ask them here. I have no doubt that between myself and the other madCAM users, we will be able to help you see what a great program madCAM is. And in the process, if you have suggestions for improvement, post those too.

I hope this helps,

Dan

svenakela
12-17-2009, 08:15 AM
Most of the big/expensive apps out there have a lot of functionality that Rhino delivers, MadCAM concentrates on the milling part only.
I must add that simpleness is not the same as lack of power, I make really advanced tool paths with the plugin straight out of the box.

phil m
12-17-2009, 02:36 PM
Thanks for the reply guys, I guess I'll try the demo and see if I like it.

Dan B
12-17-2009, 02:49 PM
Hi Phil,

There are a few YouTube videos that would be good to watch first. They will give you a really good idea of how to get started, and also give you a feel for what madCAM can do.

Dan

phil m
12-17-2009, 02:59 PM
I'll check to see if there's different ones, I already watched the ones that were on the MadCAM site linked from Youtube..

I already have a couple of questions about the software :)

- can you create your own tools? (I'm after radius bits here)
-when cutting through layers, can you set different depths of cut at different layers?

Dan B
12-17-2009, 03:22 PM
Hi Phil,

Yes you can create your own tools and tool library.

As for cutting in levels, I would use the clipping plane option for that. I would set the planes for the one layer and run the path. Then set the upper and lower limit for the next layer, then run the path with the different depth of cut. When you're done, post them together and they will run like a single path.

Dan

Dan B
01-13-2010, 01:33 PM
Hi Phil,

How is the madCAM demo working out? Any more questions?

Dan