I need to buy a CAM software package and I figured I'd like to get one that
might make it easier to get work if I learned how to use it. I like RhinoCam
since I use Rhino as my CAD package but I don't think a lot of shops use it.
I have been told solidworks and pro/e are the way to go.
What do you think? Remember, I want to get jobs as a machinist not an
Pro/E is an awesome, no compromise design tool with a powerful CAM
module. If you have it and can use it properly, you can design and
manufacture parts of high complexity and sophistication. It is not
cheap, and the entire system has a fairly steep learning curve. Some
companies (who will remain unnamed) use Pro/E as their design and
engineering software, but their manufacturing engineers use an easier
to master CAM software even though Pro/NC is available and just as
capable. Unless you plan to receive a lot of native Pro/E data I wonder
if something else wouldn't be easier.
[The jobs that are going to be easiest to land are the ones that require
familiarity with oddball programs that nobody knows about, but the shop has
made an investment in. The openings for people familiar with more
commonly-used programs, like MasterCAM, Gibbs, SurfCAM, SolidCAM, and ProE
will draw more qualified applicants. All these programs, as well as a steep
learning curve, have a steep affordability curve as well. The best way to
get familiar with them is to take a class at an institution that's using
As for RhinoCAM, it's releatively cheap and easy to use. You might be able
to afford it (especially the Basic version) and teach yourself how to use it
on your own while you're saving up for the market-leading programs. It's not
as common in job shops yet as the ones I mentioned above, but it's getting
to be more popular. It will certainly get you started in modeling and
programming toolpaths for parts, skills which can be transferred to other
software once you get the hang of it.]
Personally I really like MadCAM for use in Rhino. I have used demos of
others but went with it, have not looked back since. A free demo is
available. IHMO the capabilities surpass that of programs many times more
FWIW, Rhino is definitely my choice for objects, everytime.
Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.