3 Replies Latest reply on Dec 5, 2016 6:54 PM by Daen Hendrickson

    Anyone have any thoughts on mastercam software? good,bad...

    William Howard

      Any thoughts on master cam software? They are thinking of purchasing this at my work. I wanted to get an idea good, bad .. whatever

      We make worm gears,spur gears, pinions, also if you do use it who is doing your programming? machine shop personnel or the engineering group



      Bill Howard

        • Re: Anyone have any thoughts on mastercam software? good,bad...
          Chris Saller

          We use Mastercam inside SolidWorks.

          It's probably one of the most used in the industry.

          I used CAMWorks for a few years. It works great, but I think Mastercam is more versatile and user friendly.

          I suggest having someone show your company a demo.

          • Re: Anyone have any thoughts on mastercam software? good,bad...
            Rick Becker

            We use Mastercam throughout our shop. Vertical CNC, WireEDM, CNC Lathe and Swiss Style Machining. The Engineering group outputs either DXF, STP or they use our SIDPRT. There are programmers in each department. The programmers don't use SolidWorks and the Engineers don't use Mastercam.

            There is a lag between versions. Engineering upgrades to current version and there is a delay before Mastercam is able to read them (thus the need for STP files).

            In general, we love Mastercam. It does everything we need it to do. Always a challenge to get a good post specific to each different machine.

              • Re: Anyone have any thoughts on mastercam software? good,bad...
                Daen Hendrickson

                You might find a more detailed comparison at the Practical Machinist forum.


                There are a handful of top players in this area:







                to name a few.


                Most discussions I have read in the past parallel the "which is better, SolidWorks or insert competitor here?" People's opinions were usually slanted towards which product they were most familiar with instead of which was actually better. And better also is usually geared towards the specific features of the software you use most often. Beware the endorsement that reads "I've been using xxx since Columbus sailed and it's the best!" You are much better served by the reviewer that has extended experience with multiple vendors and can present a more objective opinion.


                My experience lies mostly with FeatureCAM. It worked. I thought it had a lot of room for improvement. A contract machinist I interacted with used and preferred Gibbs. It too had some very nice features. The bit of history I recall said MasterCAM was the first and best... in its day. But that many of the competitors had surpassed it in user interface, efficiency, ease of use, etc. Take that "with a grain of salt". I am not speaking from firsthand experience.


                The idea of SolidCAM or the others that run inside of SolidWorks is attractive IF your designers also do your CAM programming. The downside is that they run INSIDE of SolidWorks - so even your machinists need access to SolidWorks to gain access to the CAM software. The process of modifying your model in SW and then "SUCCESSFULLY" importing the changes into an existing CAM setup of the part usually introduces a big disconnect. This is where the "runs inside of SW" is nice. But even then it can be troublesome.


                And there is also the question of support after the sale...


                I would definitely take Chris Saller's advice and get a couple demos in your place. I am sure all of the above would jump at the chance to show you why their's is better.