Sign in to follow this  
uncle_dolan

CATIA???

Recommended Posts

Hi evryone,

 

We are currently using solidworks as our primary design software and mastercam as our primary CAM software. We are looking to buy a seat of CATIA because we are doing a lot of development work with a company that uses CATIA to design, and we wish to maintain Solid histories/feature tree. I have aquired a sample version of CATIA and my initial thoughts are that it looks pretty complicated! I worked with Unigraphics NX for a couple of years and I guess it seems more like it than solidworks. Besides the pricing, can anyone give me accounts of there experiences and how CATIA compares as a CAD package, but also as a CAM package? We will definitely be keeping solidworks as our primary CAD software for now and will keep mastercam as our CAM software too. Any insight would be greatly appreciated!

 

Thanks Brendan

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its easy to sum up...only a few words...

 

Powerful

Complicated

HUGE learning curve

Expensive

 

Biggest issue is coming up with people who can drive it well....there are not many out there (compared to Mastercam) & they get top dollar....which adds to the overall cost

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^^^^^ +100000 ^^^^^

 

Catia is very expensive.

 

Its expensive to buy and expensive to maintain

Catia drivers do not come cheap.. and your first maintenace bill will make yours eye bug out.

We dropped maintenace on our seat on Catia design... it was more to maintain than

3 seats of Mastercam L3 with multiaxis

 

but.. in the hands of the right operator there is almost nothing it can't do.

You'd think its proce would come down some the way NX is snapping

at their heels, but I have seen no signs of that

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the responses! Have any of you had any experience with the CATIA training courses? I'm not sure of the specifics but I'm sure we will invest in at least the fundamental training courses. Do you think this will be a sufficient for someone with a CAD/CAM background to get a useable handle on how to work the software? Obviously they won't come off the training courses as an expert, but just as far as basic solid and surface manipulation, are the training courses good for learning these aspects? Keeping in mind that we will still have solidworks there as our primary package

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I come from an Autodesk Inventor background and took catia classes and had no problem drawing it in. Now I only designed in it and never actually did detail drawings. So the detail part of it I dont know but the actual 3d drawing was no problem after the training courses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started with Mastercam 6... used it until MCX2(mr2sp1) and still use it some. About 3 years ago I started the transition to CATIA as the shop I work for was going away from it and only to CATIA.

 

I will say this:

 

1. CATIA is more expensive by I would guess 30%

2. You will have to buy a post software of some type

3. The learning curve wasn't so bad for me, but there are college level CATIA classes available locally here. Mastercam is more of a VOTEC class AFAIK locally, I was OTJ trained in MC.

4. The CAD side of CATIA is awesome.

5. The CAM side: (consider I am using x2mr2sp1, I do not know if any upgrades change the following opinions)

-On basic toolpaths CATIA is somewhat cumbersome as you find yourself making a bunch of clicks for stuff that is irrelevant. Geometry selection is easier usually though.

-The way the toolpath catalogs are in CATIA I do not like as much as Mastercam toolpath defaults

-The approach/retract macros in CATIA blow anything that Mastercam offers out of the water

-Full multi-axis toolpaths in CATIA offer more power IMO than Mastercam, BUT when things go wrong when processing, it is easier to FORCE mastercam to do what you want it to.

-Cycle toolpaths sometimes are a pain in CATIA next to Mastercam.

-I always created more geometry in Mastercam to drive than I do in CATIA

 

All in all, they both have their strengths and weaknesses. I prefer CATIA now primarily due to the the things I mentioned, but either package is capable on the CAM side. If it were up to me the deciding factor would be the type of work I did. If it is aerospace where models are primarily in CATIA from creation, and it is large multi-axis parts then CATIA I would choose. If it were not aircraft and/or primarily 3 and 4 axis work on smaller-mid sized parts I would choose mastercam.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From my experience its not very user friendly. Maybe I just need proper training though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with most of what Merritt (MLS) said. Catia will do just about everything & is very expensive. We train it here and our instructors consistantly win a yearly competition for Catia drivers. I've taken four of the courses we offer and didn't have too much trouble learning it. I took the machining module in R11 and it was very cumbersome but I've heard there have been many changes for the better in the machining module now at R21. Since we train Catia we get it very cheap but we have never cut a chip with it because we get no break on post price. We have a Mazak Integrex in the engineering Dept. and I heard a post for that cost $25,000.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone for your thoughts on the matter. I should've mentioned that we are working aerospace and large assemblies/complex surfaces in some cases. I guess the picture that is getting painted for me is that CATIA is great at high end surfacing/machining, but for simpler work mastercam handles better. I really do like mastercam for the work that we are currently involved with. I will admit that I have not had proper trainng in multi-axis or 3D surfacing toolpaths in mastercam, but I was quite skilled with them in unigraphics and from what i have witnessed it is not mastercams strength. Thanks again. Brendan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest CNC Apps Guy 1

I'd completely agree with gcode's asessment. Complicated as hell on the Mfg. Side, but dayum it's powerful. You can enter and exit a part/cut 1,000 different ways (only slight exaggeration). ON the CAD side I'm a mid-range user. It's probably way overkill for what I do but I sure love it. When I need to design workholding, it makes assembly modeling a breeze.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd completely agree with gcode's asessment. Complicated as hell on the Mfg. Side, but dayum it's powerful. You can enter and exit a part/cut 1,000 different ways (only slight exaggeration). ON the CAD side I'm a mid-range user. It's probably way overkill for what I do but I sure love it. When I need to design workholding, it makes assembly modeling a breeze.

 

CNC App's guy...have you had any experience with NX? It is a fairly comprehensive piece of software too as far as toolpaths are concerned. How would you compare them?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest CNC Apps Guy 1

Don't have hands on with NX, but a customer of mine sat down with me and did a few side by side things with CATIA and NX. They BOTH have their quirks and how they do things.

 

If I were going to make a recommendation, I'd have to look at what exactly you want to do. From a design standpoint, they are both very powerful. CATIA is a little stronger on the surface modeling side than NX, and NX is a little stronger on the solid modeling side. If you're going to do a fair amount of work with organic shapes, I'd lean towards CATIA. If I were leaning more towards the prismatic shaped things then NX cets the nod. If you need PLM... NX edges out CATIA. If you want simulation, NX edges out CATIA, if you need FEA, CATIA edged out NX slightly IMHO. CATIA... Dassault is VERY proud of their software (as they should be) and NX is too, but they are more aggressive at pricing. If they know they are up against CATIA for a sale, they will discount. NX... they like to hear from their customers. CATIA not so much, their motto os "STFU and pay up byotch!". CATIA has a VERY active user's forum. Not quite as active as eMastercam but it is definitely a great resource. I'm not sure about NX user forums. I'd imagine they have something.

 

HTH

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great thanks for your opinion! Like I said initially, the main purpose of getting CATIA for us is the ability to bring in native formats from a large customer and make alterations etc whilst maintaining the feature tree. Good to have an idea of what we will be getting ourselves into and how this compares with other familiar software. Initial cost and maintenace is not an issue for us. I look forward to learning another package and increasing my skillset some more. Thanks everyone for your input!

 

Brendan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ihave used both Catia V5 and NX for design. I think that Catia is smother and easier to use on a windows box as all of the menus are the same format and copy/paste in your friend.NX still has old and new menus which is a pain

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

.... and I heard a post for that cost $25,000.

cough..splutter..cough..ahem!!!

WOW - just WOW

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm not sure about NX user forums

FYI, NX forum is very active as well as very professional.

 

In my neck of the woods (Connecticut) we seem to do a lot of jet engine work and the software of choice for larger companies is NX. Pratt & Whitney, GE, Volvo, MTU, etc. all use NX and it is important that we stay linked to the customers' original models. I would say that majority of companies use mastercam, but I have been around long enough to see a lot of them switch over to a different software over the years. It's a shame in a way, because mastercam is where I started programming (using computers) and it will always have a special place, but the truth is the truth. It got lost a long time ago and it's going to take a lot more then a fancy toolpath to bring it back.

We also have the Volumill plug-in for NX in here and it works great in certain applications, but keep in mind that most of jet engine work is done on round parts and those kind of paths are useless.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rob,

 

Do you make or buy your posts with NX? How easy are they to update with each new release?

 

Do you use Vericut as well?

 

Thanks

 

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Do you make or buy your posts with NX? How easy are they to update with each new release?

 

Do you use Vericut as well?

 

Simple post edits I have no problems with, but I'm no post master... One of my co-workers wrote all our posts (multiaxis mill turns, twin turret lathes, etc.) using the post builder. Most of his help he got from the NX forum and not the post builder class which is only a great beginners class (so I am told).

 

And I do use Vericut on every single program.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Got to know Catia 4 pretty well several years ago. Would love LOVE to get in someplace where I can learn and drive Catia V5. My Pro/E project here is wrapping up end of March and all new jobs are in SolidWorks.

 

:)

 

Kathy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

Join us!

eMastercam - your online source for all things Mastercam.

Together, we are the strongest Mastercam community on the web with over 56,000 members, and our online store offers a wide selection of training materials for all applications and skill levels.

Follow us