I’m researching CAM software to program parts for our newly acquired DMS 5 axis moving table router for milling different density urethane foams for sand and investment casting (we’ll get into wood, plastic and possibly aluminum at some point as well). We create a range of cast metal and fabricated object types here, from intricately detailed and textured sculptures to large scale architectural metal.
There are so many options out there for software and I’d like to know what people are loving.
- I need a package that can handle large complex/irregular mesh files as well as typical surface models. Currently we are predominantly receiving mesh files from our customers. Is it true most if not all packages will need a NURBS driving surface in order to keep the tool normal to a mesh for milling 5axis?
- I don’t have to have a Rhino plug-in like interface. Standalone might actually be preferred. But I do love my Rhino so I’m not averse to the plugin route.
- We are not a machining house so tool path optimization for industrial type features is not a top concern right now.
- If possible something that can also handle CAM for our older Mach3 waterjet as well. I’m sick of Flow’s crap software. (but not a requirement)
- Something that offers a good number of effective strategies for complex simultaneous 5-axis milling.
- Excellent avoidance simulation (tool, tool holder and machine).
Mostly looking for ease of use, excellent well designed gui, great support and development, great posts that just plain work, and anything that helps us create the best finished patterns possible.
Our budget is flexible still at this point.
On my list so far:
Autodesk Powermill (I have sworn off Autodesk products for a while now, but Powermill looks great and I know others in this industry are using it…)
Thanks for any comments or recommendations. I know this is a bit like asking for workstation hardware recommendations, everyone is gonna have what they like. I know in the end it will come down to how I like the interface, price and how I get along with the tech/support team.