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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    best cam for lathe? input being imported solidworks models

    Hello all,

    We designers are called "typists" at work (for good reason), and machining is always best left to the real machinists... but I have been having great success these last few weeks learning and milling my own parts using Surfcam. It is a beautifully simple process, straight from a solid model. I've only ruined a few tools, and generated only a small collection of scrap parts... over all, it has been a success.

    The trouble is with turning parts. From what lathe tutorials/documentation I can find (nonexistant in SurfCam "help"), the surfcam lathe process begins with a 2D cross section, not a solid, with a manually 2D sketched stock and clamp. This amount of manual labor is significantly higher than with the mill process.

    Which CAM lathe software can handle an imported solid as is? One that can automatically generate a cross section, give visual of the tool, stock and clamp, and just be friendly to a newbie like me? Are all CAM packages less automated for lathe work? Maybe there is a way in SurfCam that I just haven't found any documentation for?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009


    Check out Esprit at www.dptechnology.com . I used to be in sales and have sold both Surfcam and Esprit. Esprit is by far the winner when it comes to programming a lathe or EDM.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    Now to see the price...
    Thanks Americad

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009


    the price is based on how many axis you need. The price used to be about $3000 for 2 axis turning. where are you located?

  5. #5
    Monkeywrench Technician
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    Create a SW drawing.
    Insert a full section view of the part at 1:1 scale.
    Save as DWG or DXF.
    Open in CAM software.
    Pretty quick and easy.

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