SOLIDWORKS, CAM

How To Choose The Right CAM Software Package

By Paul Ludwick on May 22, 2020

TriMech carries many solutions to fit your Computer Aided Machining (CAM) and CNC needs. Our products include SOLIDWORKS CAM and CAMWorks. TriMech is happy to be a reseller for both, offering different CAM solutions to our clients. How do you know which packages and options are best for you? There are several things that can be helpful in determining what might be a good fit.

Machine Size

CAMWorks Premium

One of the easiest ways to narrow down a CAM solution is by looking at the machines you have or are looking to get. A 5-Axis machine may require CAMWorks Premium for simultaneous 4 and 5-Axis machining. If you are only using the 4th and 5th Axis for indexing, SOLIDWORKS CAM Professional may be enough, as it includes indexing with its 2.5 Axis milling. 

SOLIDWORKS CAM Turning

On the other hand, if you’re using a 3-Axis machine, CAMWorks Milling Professional might be your ideal fit, because it allows for the programming of a simultaneous 3rd axis on milling machines. We also offer CAMWorks Turning Professional that can support mill/turn machines with live tooling and multiple turrets. Since 2018, every seat of SOLIDWORKS has included SOLIDWORKS CAM Standard. This provides every SOLIDWORKS user with the ability to use our CAM Software. SOLIDWORKS CAM Standard provides 2.5 Axis Milling of parts only.

>> Read our blog, Understanding CAMWorks Options for SOLIDWORKS to learn more

Types of Manufactured Parts

The type of your machine is not the only factor when it comes to selecting the correct CAM solution. The types of parts manufactured can also play a role. If your typical part is a ¼” plate with holes, and you have a 3-Axis machine, SOLIDWORKS CAM Standard will drive your machine; you may not need to use all three axes simultaneously. If you cut multiple parts at the same time, using vises or clamps, SOLIDWORKS CAM Professional adds the ability to show the fixtures in simulations and use multiple work offsets.

SOLIDWORKS CAM Professional

SOLIDWORKS CAM Professional adds basic turning functionality to SOLIDWORKS CAM Standard. It also adds the ability to program in a SOLIDWORKS Assembly. When your turning machine has a sub-spindle CAMWorks Standard will allow you to add sub-spindle operations to your program.

A Better Workflow

The last area to discuss is your workflow. One of the common workflow questions we get asked about is sheet goods. Whether it is wood, plastic or metal, TriMech has solutions. NESTINGWorks is a CAMWorks product that can automatically nest your SOLIDWORKS assembly or a specific folder. If you designed your sheet metal parts in SOLIDWORKS, it will automatically flatten and nest all of them. NestingWorks offers TruShape Nesting and Part-in-Part Nesting. The nested sheets can be output into a SOLIDWORKS assembly for mill programming or a 2D DXF file to input to a Laser, Plasma or Water Jet use.

CAMWorks ShopFloorIn addition to offering the various CAM software, TriMech also offers the newly launched CAMWorks ShopFloor. Designed to provide state-of-the-art digital tools to help your machinists, ShopFloor allows machine operators without a CAM tool to view the model, toolpaths and G-Code. This is a great alternative to purchasing a full CAM seat if the user just needs to view this information.

>> Read our blog, Introducing CAMWorks ShopFloor, for more details

Whatever your CAM needs, TriMech can help out with a solution. You can check out our CAM page and reach out to your local TriMech representative to set up a more thorough discussion.

If you're considering to change your CAM package and are uncertain of which is the best one for you, download our CAM matrix below.

Donwload Matrix