Let's beat a dead horse! RhinoCAM vs. madCAM

I’ve been playing with Fusion 360 over the past couple of days. I like it for the fact that it has both CAD and CAM capabilities built in.

It does have some limitations as I’m finding out in terms of 2d drawings. The title block is not customizable, and you can only create a single page drawing for now. It’d be great if it had the ability to generate multiple page drawings and have customizable title blocks where users could upload company logos etc and set up the way they’d like. Right now, I think the only solution is to export as a dwg into AutoCAD or other program and re-draw the title block there. Kinda a deal-breaker.

I’ve used Rhinocam 2 for a while now. My big gripe was when I was having some problems with it Mecsoft and McNeel both pointed to the other guy. The problem did get sorted out and I still use Rhinocam . Mecsoft no longer supports the version I use and now charges annual fee for support/upgrades. I find it can be a bit buggy at times but understand that it is OLD. Eventually I’d like to purchase new cam software but am holding off to see what becomes available. I would probably opt for Visual mill due to being stand alone but I like the integrated Rhinocam. Mecsoft products are a lot of bang for the buck but I am looking at other flavors.

RhinoCAM is robust, for sure! Has tons of features, but I’m afraid it’s just not cost-effective for the limited bit of 3D milling that my company would be using it for. I can’t justify dropping $3000-5000 on a plug-in that we may or may not fully utilize…

Wouldn’t Rhinocam standard do what you need for $1500? Some stuff is beyond what I can do with standard and I resort to manual craftsmanship when that occurs. I’d like the 4th axis version.

If I was going to spend the $$$, I’d at least want the advanced 3-axis toolpaths (contour cuts, z-level cuts, remachining, etc…) available to me. Sales manager called me back after the RhinoCAM demo with pricing options, and she told me that they can make custom packages, i.e. standard package w/ advanced 3-axis toolpaths for $3800…

I found the RhinoCAM demos that I tried crashed a lot. But I can’t speak for any recent versions. The demos I did were a few years ago.

madCAM pricing seems more attractive:


You could probably get what you need for under $1900 US. That’s half the price of what you were quoted for RhinoCAM.

As for Fusion, you are aware that there is a more advanced version available, correct? It’s subscription based as well (as is all Autodesk products). You might find the features you are missing in Fusion in that more advanced version.


I run a small machine shop and we have 12 seats of Rhino with 8 seats of Rhinocam. We are happy with Rhinocam for the most part. It has been able to do everything we need when it comes to 2D and 3D milling paths. I think the price is reasonable when compared to Mastercam or any of the other big players.

I’ll chime in late here with an opinion. I can only comment on one item—that’s RhinoCam. I’ve been a user for many years. I’ve had many problems; however, in all that time, I have upgraded to the best package of the product along with the yearly maintenance fee, the 1800 page instruction manual-(which includes 160 videos??? I think ???)–. That’s a lot of money for me. The reason to stay with Rhino & RhinoCam is one simple word— “Support”. You have a question or problem—just pick up the phone—a couple of minutes later you are talking to someone to fix the problem or answer the question. If your software company won’t do that—then it isn’t worth $5.00. Developers pick who they are going to be—try getting that from the OTHER Guy. On any product Support is #1 in the shop. You don’t make any money “Trying to work through a problem, or, figure out how it works”. I personally haven’t found anyone that comes close to Rhino & RhinoCam. Period…My 2 cents…

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I’ll add my 2c here.
Been using a Shopbot with Vectric for 2.5 axis and V-carve work for years.
I quickly found the 3D capabilities of the Vectric software lacking so we swapped over to MadCam and I can’t fault it.
It runs as a plugin inside Rhino so all of your tools are familiar.
It’s been super reliable and support (on the rare occasions I’ve needed it) has been answered promptly.

Cheers, Steve

I have been using MadCAM for years and love it, it will also do the V-carving.

Rick, in all those years, how much have you paid in annual maintenance fees?

Rhetorical question, because the answer is 0. :wink:



Exactly- I’ve been using it since it began, no yearly fees. I had to upgrade it for use in Rhino 5 which cost me a bit, but well worth it and he gave me a good deal for being an old and loyal customer. I was toying with Aspire and V-Carve but opted to upgrade madCAM because I felt it may be more flexible. I use it to do 3D carvings, foil sections, and “2-1/2D” codes for cutting boat kits, see http://www.twistedoysterboats.com. It takes some getting used to but does a fantastic job and is very reliable! I’ve been using all of his strategies, ending with pencil tracing when doing 3D sign carvings like sailboats or horses, etc.

I do also use Vectric’s Photo-V-Carve, Vectric writes great software too. The preview stuff of theirs is really good.


For a small shop like mine there was no good reason to take on the annual maintenance pricing model of RhinoCAM, madCAM was the clear winner.

I’ve been happy with it so far, and the fact that it is scriptable is absolutely essential to my workflow.

It’s not necessary to pay maintenance on RhinoCAM, you just don’t get free upgrades if not. --Mitch

Thanks for all the input, fellas! I have been playing with Autodesk’s Fusion 360 since the beginning of this thread, doing the tutorials, watching the videos, and creating toolpaths and what-not.

I can honestly say, (and I might be missing something here), it is definitely not as user intuitive or robust as Rhino3D. In some aspects, it’s completely lacking. Fusion 360, is great for integrated CAD/CAM capabilities and rendering, and animation, and joints, and the list goes on…But in other regards, I just can’t get the hang of it. There’s been a few times where I’ve been frustrated beyond belief. Orienting a curve on a surface, for instance. Moving a sketch. Sigh…

After playing with Fusion 360 this past week, I really miss the familiarity and ease of use of Rhino. I think it’s time that I play with madCAM…

yeah, same here regarding fusion… i’d way rather (and do) model in Rhino… for me, i just need it for CAM.

that said, i have been using it for rendering and also messing around with t-splines since that’s another feature in the software… it’s pretty cool but i don’t really like the idea of needing to do a lot of 2D (sketches) and whatnot. i like rhino (and sketchup) since you can stay in 3D all the time if you choose or prefer to.

What machine are you running, jeff? I have a ShopBot 3-axis mill with a 6" indexer, albeit not set up. Just curious. I am about to do a postprocessor test to check if both Vectric and Fusion output the same code. Because in the grand scheme of things, that’s what matters most. “Garbage in. Garbage out.”

If you need any help with that post just let me know.


Thanks, Dan. Will do!

I know this is an old post, but I thought I would add something.

I commented earlier that I had tried RhinoCAM demos in the past and they crashed a lot. I saw a posting on TenLinks that mentioned RhinoCAM2017 was released, so I thought I’d take a look. It’s been a long time since I looked at it.

I am very impressed. I had no idea how far Mecsoft had taken this plug-in. This is some pretty serious CAM software. And rock solid. Not a single hiccup.

As far as being intrusive into the Rhino workspace, I’m running a 28" UHD monitor. It’s not a problem.

Nice job Mecsoft!!


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