What cad/cam/cnc software should I get?

I am new to cad/cam/cnc software. What is the the most affordable or cheapest software I should get or buy to learn? I want to get into small metal parts manufacturing.
thanks for any help you can give.
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You should not touch BobCRAP V22 even if it's given to you for free. Consider yourself warned!
You should do an extensive evaluation of this product and post your findings, good, bad or indifferent. Make sure you try the graphical toolpath editing.
http://www.shopcam.com/index.php
Jon Banquer San Diego, CA http://jonbanquer.baywords.com/
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Try here:
www.cnczone.com in the forums link.
There are discussion groups there for many CAD and CAM programs. Pick a few, download their demos and give each a whirl. Affordable can have widely different meanings - what does it mean to you? Free, $100, $1,000, $10,000, or $50,000?
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wrote:

And, then you might qualify for the ed. discount. Might even have one directly thru the votech. Altho some programs may have a semester credit minimum to qualify.
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Mr. P.V.'d (formerly Droll Troll), Yonkers, NY
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The Jon Banquer blog is the only blog dedicated to cutting through the bullshit that unfortunately fills the CADCAM industry. You you can count on the FACT that I tell it like it is. The typical forum, newsgroup or blog "Fanboy" mentality simply doesn't exist on the Jon Banquer blog.
Jon Banquer San Diego, CA http://jonbanquer.baywords.com /
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The Jon Banquer blog is the only blog dedicated to cutting through the bullshit that unfortunately fills the CADCAM industry. You you can count on the FACT that I tell it like it is. The typical forum, newsgroup or blog "Fanboy" mentality simply doesn't exist on the Jon Banquer blog.
Jon Banquer San Diego, CA http://jonbanquer.baywords.com /
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The majority of machining content has left Usenet for the web. This includes the rec.crafts.metalwork Usenet group which I only occasionally cross post to, so it's not like brain dead parrots like what Bottlebob has become can blame me for destroying that Usenet group even though I'm sure he would like to try.
The majority of pc help content seems to be on the web and has left Usenet. (I now know why my drives are slow and what I need to do about it.)
The majority of SolidWorks content is on the web.
Neither you nor Steve Mackay post the kind of content here that you use to. Same for many, many others.
To get and keep real sustained content you need some moderation and you need a forum run by someone with a clue. You also need to attract new users. No one here seems interested in doing anything about it.
I don't think blogs are a passing fancy. I think there are here to stay and will morph into something even more powerful. For sure the blogging software could be a lot better.
The subjects that are being mentioned and discussed on my blog could not be done in this group as those posting to my blog have no interest in this group... for damn good reason.
Jon Banquer San Diego, CA http://jonbanquer.baywords.com /
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asscam.
Im serious. people think this is a joke, but it's not.
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People have spoken favorably of Rhino here. There's a bunch of stuff in the $1 K range that's been talked about here. There have been numerous older threads on this.
I, of course, don't have clue. Whatever you do, do it quick, and do it with authority, or else you might wind up like me--cadcam-less, AND in a perpetual fetal position. I am, however, perty good with trig. :)
One thing I did do was look at ng's devoted to a product, to see what products had the most discussion about them, which sort of implies the depth of user base. I think Rhino had a good group, but it's been a while. This is not a guaranteed litmus test, however, as the forums on a product's website can be pretty extensive as well. Check those out too.
The biggest problem in my mind is: How will you *actually know* what is a good usable product?, as very few people giving opinions have fluency in *several* products, esp. low-end products. The answer is, and this is not a great answer, is to download a trial version, "learn it", download another, learn it, etc. This is an effing *full time job*, yo! But, if you are really going to be cadcam-intense, probably a very worthwhile education. But time-consuming. However, by the 4th or 5th program, you would proly get the knack. I wouldn't get the knack, but most other people would.
If you have any educational affiliation, you can get fully functional student seats of more expensive stuff for very cheap. Mastercam has an extensive educational division.
Also, don't listen to anything Jon Banquer has to say. He has about a thousand package wrappers and press releases on cadcam scattered on his milk-crate supported plywood bed, and each morning, when he plays Captain Ahab with the floating Cheerios in his cereal bowl with his Spiderman Spoon, he'll read a cadcam wrapper along with back of the cereal box, whilst he fumbles for the Free Prize inside sed box.
Then he will jabber, here, in ccs, and on his blob about that product and about his fantasized relations with the CEO of that company, for the rest of the day.
If you piss him off, he will curse your mother, and invent stories about her chasing you around your room with a strap-on. Etc. And etc. And etc. Has to do with tertiary Banqueritis, from the B. coli bacterium. Think Al Capone.
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Mr. P.V.'d (formerly Droll Troll), Yonkers, NY
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Be very careful listening to those who have no clues about CADCAM. This group is filled with CADCAM idiots such as Tom Brewer, Bottlebob, Kris Hogg who posts as Mr. PV ( Kriss Hogg doesn't even own a CADCAM program), Joe788, John Carroll, etc.
Rhino is a CAD program. It isn't a CAM program!
RhinoCAM is a separate program made by Mecsoft that you can buy for Rhino. I no longer recommend this approach because Rhino is very weak at drafting and because the owner of Rhino isn't interested in making Rhino good at mechanical modeling. Rhino is a surfacing program. Rhino is not and will never be good at mechanical modeling because McNeel (who owns Rhino) feels other companies are much better and doesn't with to compete with them.
Jon Banquer San Diego, CA http://jonbanquer.baywords.com/
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Here is a recent quote from the owner of Rhino about why they won't devote the necessary resources for Rhino to be good at mechanical CAD.
?Our clients have been asking for an affordable intuitive mechanical design tool to create the details and components that they integrate into their products designs. Since we are not experts in MCAD, we are hesitant to try developing mechanical design tools. When SpaceClaim introduced LTX we were thrilled that they included 3DM support,? stated Bob McNeel, CEO of Robert McNeel & Associates. ?It is exciting to see the most innovative minds in the MCAD community focusing their resources on building a new generation of MCAD tools for the Rhino users.?
At one time Rhino could have been the ideal solution and platform for budget CAM. I believe McNeel has made a huge mistake. So be it. The direction of CADCAM changes very quickly and very few people in this newsgroup can understand or follow where the market is going. If you wish to understand where the CADCAM market is going and who the leaders are as well as how to make the best choices you need to read the Jon Banquer blog.
Jon Banquer San Diego, CA http://jonbanquer.baywords.com/
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Here is a recent quote from the owner of Rhino about why they won't devote the necessary resources for Rhino to be good at mechanical CAD.
Our clients have been asking for an affordable intuitive mechanical design tool to create the details and components that they integrate into their products designs. Since we are not experts in MCAD, we are hesitant to try developing mechanical design tools. When SpaceClaim introduced LTX we were thrilled that they included 3DM support, stated Bob McNeel, CEO of Robert McNeel & Associates. It is exciting to see the most innovative minds in the MCAD community focusing their resources on building a new generation of MCAD tools for the Rhino users.
At one time Rhino could have been the ideal solution and platform for budget CAM. I believe McNeel has made a huge mistake. So be it. The direction of CADCAM changes very quickly and very few people in this newsgroup can understand or follow where the market is going. If you wish to understand where the CADCAM market is going and who the leaders are as well as how to make the best choices you need to read the Jon Banquer blog.
===================================From someone who can't manually contour, can't use a spreadsheet, and who has NEVER, in the history of amc/ccs, answered a specific question on ANYTHING.
He *is*, however, fairly expert on hand creams, but opts for vaseline cuz it's cheap, and in jb's case, re-usable.
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Mr. P.V.'d (formerly Droll Troll), Yonkers, NY
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Heed the advice above......nuf said.
Barn
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