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Dec 06, 2013



It's long past time for the CADCAM press to start looking into the real reasons why Autodesk wants to purchase Delcam. Unfortunately that's going to be really hard to do since most of the CADCAM press can't figure out what's so wrong/what's missing from Autodesk HSMWorks.

It seems to me that most of the CADCAM press doesn't care to learn the basics in regards to what kinds of software tools are needed by CADCAM programmers because I NEVER see most of the CADCAM press write about these tools.

The majority of machining job shops don't machine just one part or one Setup at a time and they need strong CADCAM tools to control how they prepare and machining multiple Setups/multiple parts. Those would be the kinds of tools that Autodesk/HSMWorks utterly lacks. For starters, you have to be able to support more the one machining coordinate system per Setup or what Autodesk HSMWorks calls a Job Folder. Autodesk/HSMWorks allows just one machining coordinate system per Job Folder and Autodesk/HSMWorks also doesn't give a CADCAM programer powerful control over tool sorting. That's just the tip of the iceberg on the needed tools Autodesk HSMWorks is missing. Another big problem is that Autodesk HSMWorks is a Process based CAM program rather than a Feature based CAM program. That means for many part programming jobs Autodesk HSMWorks is not efficient to use because you have to do everything manually which is very tedious, time consuming and error prone.

Delcam products like Featurcam, PowerMill and PowerSHAPE (CAD)blow the doors off using Autodesk HSMWorks, Autodesk Inventor and Autodesk Fusion 360 in many real world machining job shops. It will take years for Autodesk HSMWorks to add the needed tools, if ever. Delcam products already have almost all of the needed tools.

The question is what does Autodesk intend to do with Delcam's outstanding CADCAM products? It makes no sense to combine a product like Autodesk HSMWorks with Delcam Featurecam because Delcam Featurecam already does everything better than Autodesk HSMWorks does. When I say everything, I truly mean everything! For prismatic parts Delcam Featurecam is the fastest program I've ever used to get to quality G code. There is a reason Autodesk HSMXpress is given away for free... their 2 and 2 1/2 axis CAM tools are nothing special and they don't even remotely compare to the tools or the workflow that Delcam's Featurcam has.

Jon Banquer
CADCAM Technology Leaders group on LinkedIn


Cloud seriously curbs piracy, that's it.

Ralph Grabowski

I don't think there is anything like a "CADCAM press."

I write about CAD, not CAM. I have a vague understanding of how CAM works and about who the players are. I am sufficiently uninformed to the point that I recognize the name Delcam and know that they have some CAM software, and that's about it.

So, I cannot pontificate on Autodesk acquisition of them or HSM.


Delcam is a company that has some truly outstanding technology... both CAD and CAM. Delcam PowerSHAPE is an amazing CAD product that does things that SolidWorks and Inventor don't do very well.

Jon Banquer
CADCAM Technology Leaders group on LinkedIn

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