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IndustryArena Forum > CAM Software > Uncategorised CAM Discussion > Any options for cheap/free 4 axis simultaneous cam?
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  1. #21
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    Re: Any options for cheap/free 4 axis simultaneous cam?

    Hi,

    The Full price of a one-year subscription for Fusion 360 Machining is $2145 ($545+$1600).
    That is 100% correct, so the four and five axis functions add VERY considerably to the price of Fusion, and as you say it is an annual subscription.

    I compared at the time with others including VisualCAM and at that time it was $5000 perpetual for four and five axis plus an annual maintenance (optional)
    The listing on their website suggests a price range of $595 to $10,000 depending on the functionality required. I rather suspect if you want full five axis the cost
    is closer to $10,000. It may well be, as has been posted, that fourth axis functionality is rather less.

    I concluded, maybe wrongly, but I did study it that Fusion was fair value, and as there are other features of Fusion, especially the Electronics and PCB module that are essential
    to my business.

    I too was rather surprised at the cost of four and five axis functionality, most of the software that I looked at wanted $5000 or more for a perpetual license plus an annual maintenance fee.
    I think the bottom line is that four and five axis is expensive.....and they're all like that as far as I can tell.

    Craig

  2. #22
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    Re: Any options for cheap/free 4 axis simultaneous cam?

    Hi,
    just been doing some double checking and yes continuous fourth axis comes in Expert, $2500, continuous fourth and indexing fifth comes with Professional, $5000,
    and continuous forth and fifth axis come with Premium, $10,000.

    Craig

  3. #23
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    Re: Any options for cheap/free 4 axis simultaneous cam?

    Hi,
    a non-discounted yearly subscription to Fusion plus the Machining Extensions is $2145. The competing VisualCAM product is $10,000 but
    annoyingly they don't tell you how much the annual maintenance fee is. Neglecting the annual fee the perpetual license is
    about 4.6 years worth of the Fusion + Machining Extensions subscription.

    Question...'Would you pay $10,000 and NOT buy the annual maintenance plan?'. I don't think I could spend that sort of money only to see it slip out-of-date.
    Were it $1000....then yes I could see me foregoing the annual maintenance and buying anew in eight years or whatever, but $10,000??

    I come to the conclusion that a Fusion + Machining Extensions is pretty fair value, remembering this is continuous four and five axis. For continuous four axis only then
    VisualCAM Expert is probably the winner.

    Craig

  4. #24
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    Re: Any options for cheap/free 4 axis simultaneous cam?

    Hi Craig - Maintenace is usually about 10% of the initial price. I used to pay it every couple of years unless they did something that I really wanted. The arrangement goes out of date at about 5 years and you will have to pay full value if it lapses. Recently I had a computer failure and they wanted $150USD to reissue a license. Thats what tipped me into looking for alternatives and F360 won that round.

    The subscription biz model will become the norm... Peter

  5. #25
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    Re: Any options for cheap/free 4 axis simultaneous cam?

    Quote Originally Posted by Storen View Post
    Awesome! I assume you are an expert user of Visual CAM. Have you tried the latest Fusion 4-axis functions? I wonder how both products compare in terms of continuous 4-axis milling. What would be the main advantages of Visual CAM?
    I haven't tried Fusion 360, so I can't say much about its 4-axis functionality. Even if it worked as well as Mecsoft's program (I've heard various opinions), you have to pay for Fusion each year, and they keep changing the deal, so you never really know what you'll be getting. When you buy VisualCADCAM it's not going to expire at the end of your subscription period, and the features you've been using won't suddenly disappear.
    Andrew Werby
    Website

  6. #26
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    Re: Any options for cheap/free 4 axis simultaneous cam?

    Hi peteeng,
    to be honest I very much disliked the subscription model that Autodesk have adopted but have yet become accustomed to it and do not dislike it in the manner that I did.
    Amongst other things it turns out that if you are going to compare 'apples with apples' form other software manufacturers the subscription is very cost competitive.

    If there is something that bugs me is the Cloud based thing. If your local internet slows down you are screwed....and it does happen sometimes.

    To answer awerby's concerns over the few years of my subscription the range of features and functions has increased not decreased. There is only one exception that I can think of
    and that is Cloud based processing. I used to be able to FEA analysis on my own PC but have found I am in effect required to use a Cloud based service, at a cost. I don't much like
    the change but it's a small issue compared to the increasing functionality overall. So I disagree with awerby here, if you are a 'fare paying customer' of Autodesk's they do try to look
    after you. If you are a hobbyist using the 'free to hobbyist' version, then yes, you might expect that things change and such customers feel aggrieved, and have posted comments along those lines.
    I have yet to see any consistent line of complaint that 'fare paying' customers have reported.

    Naturally this is just my opinion and each persons appreciation may vary.

    Craig

  7. #27
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    Re: Any options for cheap/free 4 axis simultaneous cam?

    Quote Originally Posted by joeavaerage View Post
    For continuous four axis only then VisualCAM Expert is probably the winner.
    Yes, the situation with continuous 5-axis is quite different, and Visual CAM may not be the best option in this category. I wanted to stay focused on the subject - cheap/free 4-axis simultaneous cam. Frankly, I hoped someone would know a less expensive option than Visual CAM


    I am really interested in the 5-axis options as well. Maybe I should start a new thread for that.

  8. #28
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    Re: Any options for cheap/free 4 axis simultaneous cam?

    Hi,

    I hoped someone would know a less expensive option than Visual CAM
    Me too. I did a reasonable search before taking the plunge on Fusion Machining Extensions and really I have found no more than you have.
    I don't claim that my search was exhaustive by any means but I think I can reasonably claim that Fusion + Machining Extensions subscription
    is good value. It was always my intention to do five axis so really I had to look for a solution that had it at reasonable value. Additionally I use the
    Electronics and PCB module of Fusion and was always going to have at least the basic Fusion subscription anyway.

    The last piece of the puzzle, for me anyway, is that you become familiar with a piece of software. Changing to something else is always hard, even if the new
    software is technically better. Given my increasing fluency with basic Fusion t was always probable that I would continue with the Machining Extensions.
    Autodesk and all the rest of them know this also and it's why they compete so hard for new users.

    Fusion Machining Extensions can be bought on a weekly or a monthly basis. Naturally you pay quite a premium, but if you have just one or two jobs to do
    the you take the plunge, generate and perfect your GCode. Once the weekly or monthly hire ends you still have the tool path that you can use to your hearts content.
    On the basis of cost from my personal budget I may have to go this way in the future

    Craig.

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