This is a playlist of four videos I just made. I evaluated BobCAD CAM with a tricky part my buddy made that will trip up CAM programs. BobCAD did pretty well. I do not like the simulator, the way it "reports" in text boxes rather than a color-coded representation showing excess and gouges. I also struggled with the pan and zoom and view mouse buttons being different, but that may be fixable, perhaps by getting SolidWorks to act like the simulator.

I did have to draw a sketch to get BobCAD CAM to deal with some breakout holes in a pocket, but I had to do that with SolidWorks CAM and VisualMill as well.

Unlike SolidWorks CAM by CAMWorks, and VisualMill, BobCAD CAM has been stable, with only an occasional crash. With SolidWorks CAM, when I close a dialog box on the main monitor, it goes "poof" and does not come back the next time. I have to use "Screen Resolution" to re-arrange the monitor locations until I find the dialog and drag it back. I have learned to close dialogs on a side monitor where they will re-appear. SolidWorks itself does not do this, just the CAM add-in. VisualMill was worse, with it changing values in the dialog box as I switched tabs, putting a "1" whenever I entered a stock allowance of "0". It also made a 3-foot toolpath through the part when I set the finishing/roughing slider to either extreme. Like all the programs, it also crashed SolidWorks a few times. VisualMill support told me that I should use Win10 instead of Win7. I also had an installation "failure" when VisualMill could not install a version of Microsoft Visual C++ since I had a newer version. It's a shame since I found VisualMill very intuitive and easy to learn.

Next up is MasterCAM, which I don't think I can afford, but I will try the demo program anyway. Finally I will check out SolidCAM. I contacted HyperMill about pricing, and when I said if it was over $10k, I would not be able to purchase it. They pretty much blew me off, and said to look into BobCAD CAM. OK, I did, and it works pretty good. The sales guy there is a lot nicer as well.

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