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CAD CAM FOR SHOP USE

CAD CAM FOR SHOP USE

CAD CAM FOR SHOP USE

(OP)
Hello all,

Thanks for entering my thread.

We are looking for a low cost cad/cam software for shop use. The software features we need, drafting, 3D machining, translators for .stp. .igs, parasolid. If possible, the ability to work with native Unigraphics and Catia files. It will also have to be ITAR compliant.

Thanks for your help,
Randy

RE: CAD CAM FOR SHOP USE

You can go check out the discussion forums at Practical Machinist and also CNCZone websites. There they have all the rants, raves, praises, and slams for just about everything on the market.

TygerDawg
Blue Technik LLC
Virtuoso Robotics Engineering
www.bluetechnik.com

RE: CAD CAM FOR SHOP USE

The problem with looking for low-cost software to work with very expensive NX and Catia is that they don't exist! Define what you mean by low-cost, as there are some in the $3-5K range that should be able to what you want. Lower in cost than that and then the translators become optional and you pay more for them than the base software.
ITAR compliant is up to your installation.

"Wildfires are dangerous, hard to control, and economically catastrophic."

Ben Loosli

RE: CAD CAM FOR SHOP USE

Fusion 360 from ACAD is free for hobby/education and low cost for Businesses. Not sure about the integration with native Catia. My guess would be probably not. Probably can import as a dumb solid though.

RE: CAD CAM FOR SHOP USE

I would recommend either Solidworks or Creo for modeling, both start ~$2k USD. Solidworks is fairly easy to learn and highly recommended for folks new to solid modeling, Creo is much more powerful but has a steep learning curve and probably overkill if you're not getting into large assembly models. I would also caution that CAM is going to be a significant additional expense. There are standalone programs that integrate into both modelers but you can also run them independently. Creo has a really powerful CAM module add-on for extra money but outside of large plants I've only known a few shops that use it due to the learning curve.

Working between models can be a pain at times but is getting easier. Solidworks and Catia are the same native format, so that resolves some issues for you. Both Solidworks and Creo also will kinda-sorta open native NX among other native formats. My understanding is that when you hit the "open" button they convert those other formats to parasolids then convert parasolids to their own native formats so you end up with a model slightly better than a step or iges but still lacking constraints and most feature definition. Regardless, you're still going to occasionally be "fixing" others' models to some extent.

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