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IndustryArena Forum > CAM Software > Uncategorised CAM Discussion > Positive Thread for CAM Software
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    Positive Thread for CAM Software


    (I looked to find a way to post this at the CAM Software Forum level but couldn't find it. It seems another prefix would be good as well. Good News or something like that as a prefix.)

    There are 7 pages of threads for RhinoCAM with none that I found focused on the product or company’s good features. After reading some of the complaints and knowing MecSoft would have been delighted to help those folks find resolution it seemed good to share some positive experiences. This one is being started to share thoughts on WHY RhinoCAM - or other CAM products - should be considered and used for CAM programming. There are and will be folks with negative experiences. Those experiences are well posted on other threads.

    Reasons to use RhinoCAM and/or MecSoft

    1. The product is a plug-in for Rhino.
    • Rhino is a fantastic CAD program for the cost. It is basically THE S/W for jewelry designers and manufacturers. Having a plug-in enables a designer/builder to move from CAD to CAM without changing programs. I can redesign my part while in RhinoCAM and then reprogram it for machining. This is an incredible time saver and enables me to see both design solutions or programming solutions to a problem and fix it without moving files between programs.
    • RhinoCAM has a number of plug-ins for Rhino. RhinoCAM for Vertical Milling, RhinoTURN for lathe, RhinoART for moving 2D to 3D, and others I don’t know much about.

    2. CAD S/W is not simple……..
    • CAM S/W is difficult to code. It is as math intensive as the CAD. Unless you are willing to spend the money for something like NX – AND NX has an occasional issue – then we need to expect there will be some issues as we use S/W of this nature – especially at the price point MecSoft is targeting. NX is pretty much the best CAD/CAM S/W available. (yes there will be those who don't think so but there is no other Synchronous CAD package available)

    3. MecSoft is committed to customer success through customer support and code fixes
    • Having worked with a few companies that develop S/W, both at the MecSoft end of the spectrum AND at the Siemens NX end, it has been a delight to call in or email MecSoft and receive personal attention. They are dedicated to helping me succeed even when my issues are a result of being new to the details of CAM. Siemens requires a formal process to help solve your issues – which is inefficient but necessary for the incredible number of S/W products the company produces …. and the typical complexity of the issues. MecSoft has a person to talk to immediately that can help solve your problem. BTW – NX cost for one license lists at approx. $41K and the yearly Maintenance at approx. $15K. (no company spends that but it is the list price) You can get it through appropriate dealers for about $20K - $25K. That will not likely include all the plug-ins. MasterCAM runs more than $10K per license for 3-Axis. Their Lathe S/W is over $5K.
    • As I have worked through numerous issues with my machines and Posts, MecSoft has been there every time assisting me to get posts that work. They found issues with how the S/W was creating posts, and where I needed coaching they gave that as well. It is a good relationship.
    • Purchasing the SMA (Support Maintenance Agreement – I think that is what it is called) provided me with price blessings on new module purchases, ongoing upgrades, Webinars at no additional costs, and great support. I recovered my cost in less than a year.
    • Have I been frustrated at times……..absolutely. Some of those frustrations were pilot error and some were caused by MecSoft. Were the problems fixed……..absolutely. That is the bottom line. The pilot error issues were corrected….some with a lot of their help….and they correct any and all of their own issues.

    4. MecSoft has created a system that is, for the most part, self explanatory and they have some experience in CAM S/W.
    • Any S/W with a lot of options and variables can be challenging to learn and use. The more capability, the steeper the learning curve. The RhinoCAM process usually follows a pattern in the way the options are presented. They have repeated that process in all of their plug-ins for RhinoCAM. This is the one area I think they could improve… some of my challenges relate to where I am on the learning curve for CNC….but getting training documents out at the same time as the new product release would remove some of that issue and reduce their customer support requirement. They DO need Operator’s Manuals.
    • MecSoft produces VisualMILL (stand alone CAM S/W) as well as RhinoCAM, SolidCAM, and AlibreCAM. I think they have other plug-ins as well. They

    5. When you input the variables correctly – it works correctly.
    • A key here is that the Geometry of your design is king. The CAM S/W will not allow you to do something to over-ride the geometry. I have spent hours trying to get something to work when I didn’t realize the geometry was king. Understanding that, I can use it to my advantage.

    The idea of this thread is to give users a place to praise companies that do well to provide a good product to the market at a reasonable cost and support the customer through to success. A place to find good news is always fun.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    I personally know the owner and some of the employees at Mecsoft. They are great people. They put out a fantastic product at a price that is hard to beat. They would have gotten my business but there wasn't some very specific features I needed. I use both Rhino and SolidWorks for my business and they would even give me a crossover license for both for a couple hundred bucks more.

    If it weren't for my clients insisting on SolidWorks and their market domination in my industry I would have been using AlibreCAD (now Geomagic) with Mecsoft plug in. I could have had parameterized design work with Alibre and Mecsoft, and the surfacing organic work with Rhino. (Edited to add: I could have had the full surface and mechanical WITH 4 axis for the same price as one seat of Solidworks Standard).

    My current system is SolidWorks with SolidCAM. MUCHO dinero but it's the life blood of my business. The Imachining is pretty fantastic. I am still learning the SolidCAM (got it last month) and WOW. The interface and file management of SolidCAM is not intuitive but it is powerful.

    One to watch out for is HSMworks. That one is by far the most intuitive and SW user friends plugin out there. Good price too.

    I have no experience with GIBBS. MasterCAM has done nothing to impress me and is not at all innovative. MasterCAM nickel and dimes you to death and has been playing catch up since Version X. BobCAM gets a bad wrap. But for the price they have some fantastic capabilities. I maintain a full seat for the nesting and ART add-ons. I was a Unigraphix NX programmer for a long time. Nothing bad to say about them.

    Hope this helps someone.

    In the meantime I am evaluating

  3. #3

    Re: Positive Thread for CAM Software

    Mecsoft made contact with me today and is working with me trying to resolve the issues I am having. It seems we have had some incredible communication issues.

  4. #4
    Moderator Dan B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003

    Re: Positive Thread for CAM Software

    We have been a Mecsoft customer since 2016. I couldn't be more pleased with the product and the support. We run two CAM products here. WorkNC for our complex 3+2 and 5 axis work, and RhinoCAM for the 3-axis work. We produce anywhere from 80,000 to 100,000 unique CNC details per year. RhinoCAM has the ability to automate the programming, through feature based machining, knowledge bases and saved defaults. This has really helped reduce our programming time.

    There are some things I'd like to see improved, but I've documented those and sent them to Mecsoft. I have no doubt that I will see my suggestions added in time.

    As for WorkNC, it's a very good product. The current version could work for us for decades as it stands today. But we have to continue to pay huge maintenance fees as the ability to process on multiple cores is only available if you pay the maintenance. In other words, stop the maintenance, and the programming speed slows right down. I have my own opinions on that, which I'll keep to myself.
    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)

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