SolidCAM (In Danger Of Being Removed)

SolidCAM runs inside of Solidworks as well as Autodesk Inventor where it's called InventorCAM. SolidCAM has had a rough start with SolidCAM 2011. It's been buggy and it was delayed numerous times. "S" happens when you're offering up massive improvements and trying to be a technology leader. SolidCAM has continued to work hard to improve stability and they haven't made phony claims or run away from their problems. Unfortunately its delayed the release of the open forum I want SolidCAM to host and it also seems to have slowed down the work being done video wise on You Tube from one of their AE's who was trying to document best practices in SolidCAM. Three parts of the series were completed and it's some of the best work I've seen done to document best practices in SolidCAM. I hope this series is continued. I'd like to see a new video every done every week.

I have faith in their owner, their management and in their AE's and I expect to start discussing iMachining and SolidCAM 2011 SP2 shortly.

I don't give up on those who are headed in the right direction and SolidCAM has been headed in the right direction since starting to totally redo their product with the 2009 release.

Update 8-24-2011

SolidCAM released SolidCAM 2011 SP2 today.

Update 10-11-2011 

Status of SolidCAM as a CADCAM technology leader put on hold due to my personal experience with SolidCAM's  head of US operations, Shaun Mymudes, as well as many complaints from others over how SolidCAM US has treated them. My investigation found what has been posted in comments here as well as in e-mails I received to be true.

I've contacted the owner of SolidCAM and documented what I know and what others who have e-mailed me or commented here know about this very serious problem. If this problem is not resolved I will be removing SolidCAM as a CADCAM technology leader.

I hope this shows readers that I listen, that I investigate and that I take what you comment on or e-mail me very seriously. If what readers write and comment on turns out to be true, I act. Not taking advertising money has its advantages and those commenting here don't have to fear the kind of censorship and banning that runs rampant on advertising driven machinist web boards like CNC Advertising Zone or Practically Worthless Machinist.

Update 3-13-2012:

I've been doing a lot of surfacing toolpath in Mastercam lately. This video got me wondering if SolidCAM is really much better at surfacing toolpath than Mastercam and others are. SolidCAM claims no boundaries are needed with their HSS module. Not sure why this particular video hasn't been posted to You Tube and only seems to be available on the SolidCAM website. With what seems like a significant advantage, why would SolidCAM not do a better job of marketing this?




Update 4-5-2012:

Problems continue to get worse marketing wise for SolidCAM in the US because Shaun Mymudes is heading up US operations where I'm told by an ex SolidCAM employee that he's a puppet and has no power. My source tells me all decisions are made out of Israel. While this style of management may work for other countries it doesn't work for the US market.

Before Shaun Mymudes went to work for SolidCAM he worked for VX where he was fired. The reason Shaun Mymudes was fired was the he was incompetent and a bullshiter and this turned off many VX customers. It turns off many potential and existing SolidCAM customers as well.

12 comments:

  1. "'S' happens when you're offering up massive improvements and trying to be a technology leader. SolidCAM has continued to work hard to improve stability and they haven't made phony claims or run away from their problems."

    I think alike. I have no problems with who is trying. My fear lies on those whose are static.

    "There is no failure except in no longer trying."

    Elbert Hubbard

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  2. SolidCAM still can't Threadmill NPT threads properly and the lathe product is a joke.

    Support in the US is essentially non-existent.

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  3. Keyser,

    Most people, myself included, think support and responsiveness from SolidCAM USA AE's is excellent. For example, any time I've wanted to speak with Anthony Calderone about iMachining, I've never had a problem getting a fast response. I've read others who also say that they are very happy with SolidCAM USA AE support. What specifically are you unhappy with support wise with SolidCAM's USA AE's?

    In regards to your lathe comments, I believe you are still using SolidCAM 2010 because of stability problems, is this correct? Does SolidCAM 2011 address your lathe needs with the enhancements made to it if it becomes stable enough for you to use? Reading the What's New For SolidCAM 2011 it's obvious to me that they put a ton of work into lathe.

    Thanks for your comments. Hope to read more and hope I can help you to get the support you feel you need.

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  4. SolidCAM is run by a bunch of sales men. They have no consideration for existing users. Did they send out a email informing everyone SCAM 2011 is available? No...have they hyped 2011 for 9 months? yup... I received 1 SP this maintenance period now they want me to pay for another year...for what? 1 service pack.

    The software is very buggy, slow and constraining.
    Integration to SW is horrible.
    Have you seen the way they handle there files? Its a frikin joke.

    At first our programmers hate it but once they realize they are only working half the time but getting paid for the full day, since its so slow and buggy(constantly restarting and crashing), they love it.

    You say its getting better but it seems that every release, from 2005 on, ruins our tool table, Machine processes and post processor (5axis).

    So what are they a technology leader in? Imachining? what else? maybe price...but trust me you'll lose money and customers running this software

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  5. "Integration to SW is horrible".

    Need specifics. The integration looks very good to me.

    "Have you seen the way they handle there files? Its a frikin joke"

    I agree that it could be better and I have suggested that they create their own PDM system.

    "So what are they a technology leader in?"

    Drill Feature Recognition.

    External simulation.

    Documentation.

    Use of video for training and showing what their product can do.

    Visual Tool Check.

    Browse For Geometries.

    iMachining.

    Use of SolidWorks Configurations.

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  6. I know you're seeing SolidCAM for what they are now. But I will still respond to your comments above.

    "Integration to SW is horrible".
    Need specifics. The integration looks very good to me.

    -I say this because I've used both HSMworks and Hypermill for solidworks and they run faster with alot less SW crashes. SCAM seems to pass all processes to SW so Solidworks seems like it's the problem.-

    "Have you seen the way they handle there files? Its a frikin joke"
    I agree that it could be better and I have suggested that they create their own PDM system.

    -PDM system...we already have a PDM system just hate dealing with 50-100 files instead of just 1!-

    "So what are they a technology leader in?"
    Drill Feature Recognition.
    -never use this-
    External simulation.
    -wouldn't say that this feature makes them a Technology leader. I've used it once but can see a need for huge 3d-5x pgms but then I wouldn't use Solidcam.-
    Documentation.
    -documetation actually is horrible too. Imachining docs are like a sales presentation made by a freshman in college. Gpp docs are from 2006. No Docs on Sp fixes or new release function changes. They do say whats new but I need to know what changes were made that will effect upgrading. There all kinds of secret docs that you have to talk to the right people to get.-
    Use of video for training and showing what their product can do.
    -videos are good.-
    Visual Tool Check.
    -good but not technology leader-
    Browse For Geometries.
    -good but not technology leader-
    iMachining.
    -Having finally used this, iMachining is a joke can't believe I had to wait 4 years for this. I have to choose a chain?!?! I should be able to use this for HSS, HSM, 3d roughing operations.-
    Use of SolidWorks Configurations.
    -every integrated CAM product can do this, that I know of.-

    Do you actually use SolidCAM or did you just demo it. Because if you just demoed it you'll think it's the best. If you use it day in and day out you'll hate it.

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  7. Shaun Mymudes, head of US marketing for SolidCAM, has made zero effort to replace Kevin Cunningham, the independent SolidCAM rep they lost years ago, that use to cover the San Diego, CA market. Unfortunately Shaun Mymudes is focused on hobby users and the very low end of the market and has no clue how to work with or treat high end users.

    I've have used SolidCAM in the past for doing prototype parts and I liked many aspects of it. I have always enjoyed speaking with the US technical people who work for SolidCAM who have been helpful to me and gone out of their way to answer my questions.

    It's really a shame that the owner of SolidCAM has not acted to replace Shaun Mymudes who isn't getting the job done and who continues to make bad decision after bad decision because he's so incompetent.

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  8. Dieter, do you have any comments on SolidCAM HSS? SolidCAM claims you do not have to use boundaries when using HSS. For sure this seems much more advanced than Mastercam is at surfacing toolpath:

    http://www.solidcam.com/solidcam-professor/hss-high-speed-surface-machining/the-hss-advantages/

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  9. I have used SolidCam for 4 years now. I have never encountered any company with better support.

    I use iMaching everyday and find it to be awesome especially for materials like Ti. The tool paths from iMaching are faster than anything else I have used and tool life has been greatly extended. This is the first release of iMaching there are many improvements that can and should be made but I think it's amazing.

    I personally don't find the complaints about chaining to be a problem I think chains offer more control for complex parts. That said I wish they had a few more quick keys for chaining that could speed up routine tasks.

    File handling could be better the .prz helps but there still are problems. I would love it if the cam data could be stored in the Solidworks part or assembly.

    I'm using sr7 and I have few problems with crashing.

    I don't understand the complaints about "focused on hobby users and the very low end of the market" I do not see this as a problem. I'm a small business I'm proud of that. Solidcam has always treated me like I matter both when I researched/bought the product and now when I call for support.

    Every Cam product I have encountered has had it's share of pluses and minuses. The types of object's we use them to make vary greatly and no one system can be expected to be the best in every situation. I have found Solidcam to have the best mix of attributes for my business. You can see what we make here: www.exovault.com

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  10. To give you an idea of a few of the many ex SolidCAM employees there are for such a small company in the US:

    Daniel Harris

    Matt Soucy

    Dave Johnson

    Former reseller in my area Kevin Cunningham

    Everyone I have spoken with says that the company is run out of Israel and the current head of US operations is a figure head. Others have gone as far as to describe him as a B.S.er. There supposed head of US operations was fired from his last job working for VX for incompetence. It's been years and there still isn't a reseller in the San Diego, CA market. The list of unresolved issues in the US goes on and on.

    I'm glad you have had good results and like the product. At this point until the problems get resolved and until I stop getting emails from unhappy SolidCAM customers I can't recommend the product.

    Since SolidCAM doesn't store its CAM info in the SolidWorks file and instead dumps a ton of files on your hard drive how do you manage this file nightmare?

    I checked out your website and was impressed with the quality of cases you make for the iphone and the stand you make for the ipad.

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  11. Solidcam's fix for the "file nightmare" issue is the following:

    Under Solidcam settings/compressed CAM-part

    check: Create new CAM-Parts in compressed mode
    check: Convert non-compressed CAM-Parts to compressed mode
    Set your temp folder and compression factor I use 0

    This will combine all the solidcam files to one file with a .prz extension. This is really just a zip file with another name.

    Solidcam now extracts the files into the temp folder when you open a part and re-compresses the files to the .prz when you close the part.

    The prz can be moved without a problem. This can be an advantage if work over a network as the temp folder can be local to your machine.

    One problem with this method is if you don't use Solidcam's exit command and close the solidworks part using the X on the right I have encountered a problems with the re-compression. This problem is rare but real, using Solidcam's exit command fixes the issue.

    I do think it would be better if the cam where just in the Solidworks files.

    Thanks for you comments our our products!

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  12. Interesting that they have a "HSS" module, I'm not sure if this is an add-on to "base" 3D or not, but if it is, that tells me that the "base" 3D isn't adequate. Having said that, this HSS module is just the ModuleWorks toolpath engine that they and everyone else is licensing. So there is nothing unique or special here.

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