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IndustryArena Forum > CAM Software > GRZ Software- MeshCAM > Beneficial To Upgrade to MeshCAM 6 (and/or MeshCAM 7)?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012

    Beneficial To Upgrade to MeshCAM 6 (and/or MeshCAM 7)?

    To All Current MeshCAM 6 and MeshCAM 7 users:

    I have been a relatively loyal user of MeshCAM for about five or six years, and during this time I have found the software to reasonably useful, even given the many limitations. At the present time, I am using MeshCAM 5, and I have been reluctant to upgrade to MeshCAM 6 (and obviously MeshCAM 7), because I have yet to decide if the upgrade will provide any real improvements. Reading back through the forum postings, it's unclear if there are any consistent advantages to upgrade, other than, perhaps faster processing of files.

    From the user perspective, is there a marked improvement when upgrading to MeshCAM 6 (from MeshCAM 5)? If so, what are the clear advantages and improvements?
    I understand that MeshCAM 7 is a "free" upgrade to MeshCAM 6 license holders. It appears that this version is still a bit clunky, and it also appears that many of the prior MeshCAM features are not yet implemented in MeshCAM 7. Does this seem to be the case? Has there been any indication that MeshCAM 7 will eventually be a solid, reliable package? I also noticed that there might be some limitations (machine size, etc.) that may have been added to this version. Any truth to these limits?

    I've tried to contact Robert at the "sales" and the "support" email addresses, but these requests have gone un-answered. I've seen comments from others with the same lack of response (on CNC Zone, etc.) I know that Robert is busy with the Carbide/Shapeoko projects. It appears that MeshCAM is now a much lower priority that it was years ago, and I am beginning to wonder if MeshCAM development may be slowing down. Since Robert is a one-man-show with MeshCAM, I would hate to think that he may soon abandon it . . . which might be another reason to be cautious about the upgrade path.

    I think MeshCAM is a program that has excellent potential. Even MeshCAM 5 is quite useful for a hobbyist, but I don't want to upgrade to version 6 (or 7) unless I am sure that I will realize some benefit and not slide backwards with a temperamental, or otherwise unfinished program that will result in frustration.
    Hopefully you can shed some light on your experiences relating to my concerns.

    Thanks in advance for your advice.

    Tom the SpindleJockey

  2. #2
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003

    Re: Beneficial To Upgrade to MeshCAM 6 (and/or MeshCAM 7)?

    MeshCAM development slowed considerably when Carbide 3D was formed.

    I haven't used it much in the last few years, so I don't know what features were added to 6 that 5 doesn't have. I wouldn't think there is much difference.

    Imo, 7 is not really usable. But there have been a few releases, so it is being developed, just slowly. I actually prefere the interface in 6 to 7, so unless 7 added features, or fixed bugs, I'll probably keep using 6 for now.

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    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2003

    Re: Beneficial To Upgrade to MeshCAM 6 (and/or MeshCAM 7)?

    Hey Tom-

    It's been a number of years since V5 so I could be wrong (I should know this anyway) but I believe V6 was a free upgrade to V5 so your license code might work as it. V6 upgraded a lot of internals and made it cross-platform to run on the Mac. There were not a lot of features added though.

    The V7 development has been "meandering" at best as I try to figure out how to move forward. After a couple of years of poking and R&D, I'd do it differently if I was starting today but it's beginning to settle down. I've been holed alone up in an Airbnb for a half a week trying to get V7 ready to go so I'd expect a number of uploads in the next few days. I think I have most of the problems fixed and I hope that V7 is solid and reliable as of yesterday. Bug reports might prove me wrong though.

    Regarding missing features, there are a few things that aren't enabled yet but most are minor. Most notably I haven't moved over the 4th axis mode because it was never what I'd call complete and it might make the UI less consistent if the same UI has to work for 3 and 4 axis. I'd look at adding 4th axis mode back in if I could make it much better than before.

    There are no size limitations for V7.

    Right now, the focus on V7 is to make better toolpaths with less user work. The version that got uploaded earlier today added a brand new 2D machining mode that is much faster to calculate and allows ramped entry.

    I'll probably try to extend some of this work to make a better 2.5D mode as well over time.

    Try V7, again, I think it'll work with your code, and it will install to a separate directory so it will not interfere with V5 or V6.

    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012

    Re: Beneficial To Upgrade to MeshCAM 6 (and/or MeshCAM 7)?


    Thanks for the feedback.

    It sounds like V7 is still a work-in-progress, but soon it should have more stability and more working/reliable features.

    I tend to use MeshCAM intensely for a while, and then I find that it's months until I use it again. One good thing about this MeshCAM is that I can quickly get "up-to-speed" after a long time away, and do productive work without much review/ referring to notes, etc. That's not always true with other programs (at least for me).

    In general, I think that it's a great program for hobbyists, with hobbyist budgets.

    Robert replied to this posting (just after you did) with some good information about V6 and upcoming plans for V7, too, so I'll have to give these both a try.

    Thanks again for your help and advice!

    Tom the SpindleJockey


    Thanks for the updates and clarifications.

    If the V6 upgrade was a free one, that would be great. Especially if there are some performance improvements (even if there were few features added). Performance/speed to calculate toolpaths is my major complaint when dealing with fairly intricate .stl files. The calculation time for some files using V5 seems excessively long.

    A few minutes ago I downloaded build 27 of MeshCAM 6 (Windows 64-bit version) and installed it on my PC. It loaded normally and I agreed to the license terms. When I clicked the MeshCAM6 desktop icon, the program loaded, but box appeared stating: "Registration code is from a previous version of MeshCAM 6. Most features will be disabled . . . " Is it possible that my license code is corrupt or ? How would I go about getting a registration code that does indeed work, since the one that I currently have for MeshCAM 6 throws this error?

    My hunch is that I will have the same problem if I download MeshCAM 7 and try to install.

    How can I proceed and get both MeshCAM 6 and MeshCAM 7 to work with my MeshCAM 5 license? It sounds like both of these will offer some marked improvements over MeshCAM 5 (that is, MeshCAM 6 immediately, and MeshCAM 7 after you release the next few revised beta versions).

    Thank you.

    Tom the SpindleJockey

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2003

    Re: Beneficial To Upgrade to MeshCAM 6 (and/or MeshCAM 7)?

    Shoot me an email at support.
    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2003

    Re: Beneficial To Upgrade to MeshCAM 6 (and/or MeshCAM 7)?

    I was deeply disappointed that the 4th axis feature was dropped in later versions of MeshCam. It was one of the only affordable software solutions for doing 3D carving, not just 2.5 D.

    Just my $.02
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