CAM software for mold making

Can good 3 axis CAM software be found for $1000? $2000?

I have a lot of computer experience in general, and have been using the 2D features of AutoCad for a few years. Now I'm considering my first purchase of CAM software for the purpose of mold making. Just thought I would quiz the group for recommendations.

I have been offered the use of a BobCad system, is it any good? Seems I keep hearing SurfCam, but have no idea how much it would cost.

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If your serious about full 3D CAD/CAM & willing to spend a few bucks, See post: Dump your CAM & get Cimatron. It is the best keep secret in Moldmaking. Why? poor sales & marketing in US. If you are just geting your feet wet & beginner / low buck mold making well Boobcad or Masterscam may be right. There just about free like AutoMcad?at least they should be IMO. Also check practical machinist forum.

FYI:Cimatron news letter:

April 2009 The Knowledge-Sharing Newsletter

in this issue

  • Changes in the Engineering Profession Over the Last 80 Years * Auto's Opportunity * MOLD MAKING FOCUS Measuring CAD Skills Gives Greater Efficiency * DIE MAKING FOCUS A Devotion to Innovation


Quality Tooling Quality Tooling

Production rate doubles after software gives true high-speed performance

As seen in Tooling & Production April E-News

Read the complete case study on the Cimatron website.


Tool Shop Optimization: Improving Delivery Times with Integrated Die Design and Manufacturing

View the recording.


View Cimatron's class schedule


View Cimatron's GibbsCAM product line for production

Join our mailing list!


The engineering field is truly one of the most important and influential professions in existence - affecting basically everything we touch. Machine Design magazine takes an interesting step back and looks at the evolution the engineering profession has gone through in the last 80 years.

The time for change is now for the automotive industry, as The Big Three face a major crossroads in the way their businesses are structured. Despite the economic challenges, they now have a new opportunity to be a player in the impending global transformation, as summarized by Managing Automation.

As many shops are trying to do more with less, it is critical to ensure that your staff is properly skilled and trained in all business areas - including CAD. Simple tools or tests can help gauge skill- level, and training is always available. Rather than viewing training as a nice-to-have add-on, companies should realize it is not less important than the actual software purchase. What good are even the best of tools if not used optimally and efficiently?

The businesses that will survive in this market are those that have a devotion to innovation and invest in technology. American Trim, LLC is one such company that is taking many strides in the right direction. See what they're doing and how it makes a difference.

Enjoy the issue,

Lisa Sterling Director of Marketing Cimatron Technologies, Inc.

Changes in the Engineering Profession Over the Last 80 Years engineering

Machine Design editors take stock, asking several experts what changes the engineering profession has gone through and what has stayed the same. What has changed?

Auto's Opportunity carworld

The domestic automobile industry's current crisis may be masking a fundamental market transformation that points the way to the future. See what's coming.

MOLD MAKING FOCUS Measuring CAD Skills Gives Greater Efficiency tools

How good are your people at using the CAD tools they are given? Read options for skill assessment.

DIE MAKING FOCUS A Devotion to Innovation technology

American Trim, LLC is a manufacturer staying up front with technology development and ahead of its customers to prepare for market challenges. How they do it.


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\|||/ (o o) ______.oOO-(_)-OOo.____________________ ~ Gil ~ the HOLDZEM=A9=AE king

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I have little to no experience with these, but I'd suggest you try and do some research on the following.


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Reply to
Steve Mackay

If your serious about full 3D CAD/CAM & willing to spend a few bucks, See post: Dump your CAM & get Cimatron. It is the best keep secret in Moldmaking. Why? poor sales & marketing in US.


How many bucks we taking about for Cimatron with the necessary options for mold making?

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Any idea about the approximate cost of those systems?

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"I like and use lowly BobCAD DOS on the shop floor when I need to find the points for a lathe toolpath." - jon banquer Jan 28 2003

"I know - you don't like BobCAD version 8 or whatever. Wake up, Ruimplestiltskin! I had fun with v17 and I rather like v18." - jon banquer Jan 26 2003

"BobCAD DOS UI obsolete ??? Hardly." - jon banquer Jan 20 2003

"I would be happy to just be able to run BobCAD" - jon banquer Jan 6

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How long ago, and what kind of problems?

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You can get the same software on the streets in China for a couple bux a disk.

And the BSA doesn't shut companies down. That would be totally counter productive to their true agenda, and that is extortion.

Reply to
Black Dragon

In the software game it's known as "PEBCAK"* errors.


*Problem Exists Between Chair and Keyboard !
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Wouldn't cover the cost of training*.

Better than nothing.


Seriously though, there is no way to make viable recommendations when the work hasn't been defined let alone listing "Needs" and "Wants" for features within the program and all on a $1,000-$2,000 budget.......


*assuming no prior experience
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True, but china is communist - the reds! Amelelicans stick out lick sore thumb Joe. Better off in Taiwan. Is still communist but anything go, Joe......

And that true agenda is?................. One for sure is: Find illegal software used in company's, impose fines / seat of software used? Hypithetical now: Ok here's a $50,000.00 fine for all the the cracked Cad/Cam & office software little BJ company is using. What? don't have 50K? Your out of business & In court? I guess that means your shut down? Damn who squealed on him? Must be a disgruntled ex employee? Hmmm ... Doesn't sound like extortion to me.

I still like Toms "PEBCAK" That sums up most Cad/Cam software issues. Especially when someone exports STEP files. What are you think'in? Geezze Louise. It may have been ok if your were using Cadkey back in the day or NX does ok with STEP. Sharp engineers that want to retain the exact mathematical representation of their design downstream to vendors use Parasolid or IGES. 2D Autocad guys use DXF. All the "little guys" downstream can handle those with out problems. Moral of story: STEP sucks

thanks BB: #74 The truth can hurt The truth can help When getting a feedback alert Just don't yelp

\|||/ (o o) ______.oOO-(_)-OOo.____________________ ~ Gil ~ the HOLDZEM=A9=AE king

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I know of a few manufacturing companies who were busted by the BSA. One of them, instead of going through the expense of auditing their computer systems to bring them up to date / get everything legitimate and documented, found it cost less with less down time too to destroy every single computer in the facility and restart from scratch.

Pay the fines or be threatened with litigation. AKA: Extortion.

What makes you think the BSA has any authority to shut down businesses?

What makes you think the BSA is interested in shutting down businesses anyway?

The BSA is comprised of companies which create and sell software. What does that tell you, if it tells you anything at all?

That is almost always the case.

Suggest listen more carefully then.

Reply to
Black Dragon

Hi My advise is to do a web search for software and get several demo copies and try to use each one. Good software should be intuitive and relativly easy for you to use. ALL CAD/CAM softare has limitations, it is a mater of being able to work around them. I used a version of bobcad (CAM 1000) for several years. It was easier than doing things by hand or using BASIC to generate some code. But not as easy as Surfcam. Good training and finding work arounds for limitations is what makes someone feel a piece of software is better than another. It is not the tool just the person using it. Well enough rambling. later


Reply to
Don Parker

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