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SolidWorks Vs MasterCam Question.

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My program director is convinced that MasterCam is a one stop CAD/CAM package. That MasterCam X7 can deliver quality engineering blueprints(drawings) with multi views and assembly modes, in addition to providing NC code for toolpaths and such. My students need to learn about blueprint reading and I was going to use Solidworks for them to create blueprints from the solid models I will have them make, instead of having them read a blueprint reading course. Am I not finding the support information for creating multi-view, section views, detail views, etc. Can MasterCam produce those views or is Solidworks stil the best choice for blueprints?

 

Stephen Hadwin

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My program director is convinced that MasterCam is a one stop CAD/CAM package. That MasterCam X7 can deliver quality engineering blueprints(drawings) with multi views and assembly modes, in addition to providing NC code for toolpaths and such. My students need to learn about blueprint reading and I was going to use Solidworks for them to create blueprints from the solid models I will have them make, instead of having them read a blueprint reading course. Am I not finding the support information for creating multi-view, section views, detail views, etc. Can MasterCam produce those views or is Solidworks stil the best choice for blueprints?

 

Stephen Hadwin

 

Yes it can, but you will need to create your own documentation for it. I have used these tools for a long time and all those years I have never personally seen any documentation for Solid Layout. Not saying it does not exist, but I have yet to see any. Best bet is to figure it out make it to suite your needs and go from there. Do a search on Solid Layout I should a few postings about it that might be of help.

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I have to butt in here and ask a question (or two) to that large community of shops that use both MC and SW.

What is it about the integrated Mastercam for SolidWorks product that keeps users from accepting it as a viable way to combine the two?

In general it was designed to let both sides of "the wall" work in the environment they're most comfortable in.

I know that there are differences in some areas (selection, most notably, as well as limited Lathe and no Wire support), but the associativity, or change recognition, is instant.

I would really like to hear people's thoughts on this (and blast away if need be, I can take it).

Thanks in advance.

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I have to butt in here and ask a question (or two) to that large community of shops that use both MC and SW.

What is it about the integrated Mastercam for SolidWorks product that keeps users from accepting it as a viable way to combine the two?

In general it was designed to let both sides of "the wall" work in the environment they're most comfortable in.

I know that there are differences in some areas (selection, most notably, as well as limited Lathe and no Wire support), but the associativity, or change recognition, is instant.

I would really like to hear people's thoughts on this (and blast away if need be, I can take it).

Thanks in advance.

 

Pete how seamlessly does the Mastercam for Solidworks work? We drawing and design everything in Solidworks and then open the Solidworks file in Mastercam to do toolpaths. We've thrown around the idea of getting the Mastercam for Solidworks add in but not really sure how well it works. I'm guessing as far as revisions go the changes would be a lot easier with the add in.

 

Do you still have all the functionality of Mastercam with the add in for Solidworks as you would with stand alone Mastercam?

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You use your regular Mastercam posts and all Mastercam tool paths are available, depending on what license you buy.

I use it extensively for tool and fixture design, but still do complex CAM with Mastercam.

Complex chaining can be a chore in MCfSW and I have run into chaining problems I could not solve in MCfSW.

It sounds like you are a good candidate for MCfSW.

You should request a temp license from your dealer.

If you are a skilled SW user and a skilled MC user, the learning curve is very short.

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What happens when revisions or changes need to be made to the part you are programming in MasterCam for SolidWorks? Does it work easily or is it a pain?

We have 5 guys here including myself that are skilled in design and programming using SolidWorks and MasterCam so i don't believe the learning curve would be very steep.

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Its dependent on what the rev changes are..

If you change associative geometry the tool paths using that geometry will go dirty.

Sometimes it's just a matter of regening, sometimes rechaining is in order.

Some fore thought into how you are going to make your edits can make the up-rev process smoother too,

 

Not knowing your work or processes, I can't offer much more than generic advice.

Ask your dealer for a temp license, It won't take you more that a couple of days to decide whether it is a good fit

for your shop. I'm serious when I say you already know 95% of what you need to use it.

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I use both Mastercam and Solidworks for designing. If I just need 2d-sketch for machining, I dont bother lauching Solidworks because Mastercam is faster for me in sketching. Bigger assemblies and solids, I do in solidworks.

There are also things like offsetting a complex surface where Mastercam is less "picky" on small surface defects and gets the job done where as Solidworks just gives me an error and a headache.

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We are a contract metal manufacturer. Our rev changes can be as simple as holes being added, removed, moving or changing sizes to possibly more complex design changes for internal tool and fixture design. It just varies with the customer at times.

We use SolidWorks extensively for all our design work and use MasterCam strictly for toolpaths. We all feel as though we are quicker making changes in SolidWorks as opposed to MasterCam.

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We use SolidWorks extensively for all our design work and use MasterCam strictly for toolpaths. We all feel as though we are quicker making changes in SolidWorks as opposed to MasterCam.

 

Even if you are that comfortable with Mastercam then yes I would agree with that statement. Like Gcode said get a temp license and try it out. I have messed around with it and it does a great job, and yes pretty much everything you are use to doing in either is pretty much there in one if you go to the Solidworks with Mastercam added on.

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I can tell you in no uncertain terms, CoonsSurf is STILL one of the best surface building tools on the planet with regard to control over how a tool will relate to a surface that needs to be machined. Nothing beats it. They did a good job with the Net Surface, but it's still not as good as Coons.

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Solidworks for CAD...hands down.

But have a look at Missler TopSolid....very interesting package.

 

Interesting indeed. The support they have for complex machines is off the charts.

 

Here is a shot of full 5X Simulation, with the tool driven being a Right Angle head.

 

Seeing that RA Head doing swarf cutting was pretty impressive. I started investigating TopSolid after seeing the video Watcher posted of that WFL multi-tasking machine cutting that Landing Gear in one setup.

post-14313-0-67182000-1402430679_thumb.jpg

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