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Jun 26, 2013


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Dave Ault

Hi Ralph,
It was nice to finally meet you. The integration of CAD and CAM was what sold me on VX to begin with and it was the most powerful thing they had for places that designed and produced milled parts. I missed the integration a lot when I migrated to Solid Edge for cad. But I am much happier today with this combination of SE and CAMWorks. Take the integration concept that VX had and then add great sheet metal and best in class direct editing + the other stuff and add CAMWorks and you get what you saw me smiling about this week. There was another VX refugee there and he also had big smiles on his face. Like me CAD is what first drew him on it's own merits to SE. Now we have icing on the cake too.

Jon Banquer

It's important to understand how fully integrated CADCAM is actually achieved. It starts with the CAM program being able to create its own Assembly file rather than having the CAM file ride on top of an existing Assembly file. VX, now ZW3D, crates its own CAM Assembly file. So do Siemens NX and TopSolid. All the CAM programs I've ever seen the run inside of SolidWorks aren't able to create their own CAM Assembly file and instead run on top of an existing SolidWorks Assembly file. I'm still trying to ascertain whether CAMWorks For Solid Edge can create its own CAM Assembly file. If it can it's got a serious advantage over any CAM that runs inside of SolidWorks. If it can't, it's not a very good sign and proper CADCAM integration in Solid Edge hasn't been achieved. I've now seen two videos and several worthless blog posts on CAMWorks For Solid Edge where this subject isn't dealt with. I've asked the question here and I'm told by someone at Siemens that their trying to get me an answer:


I've also started a discussion here on how badly Siemens continues to market Solid Edge:


I don't see any progress on the marketing of Solid Edge and I don't see any progress in converting SolidWorks users to Solid Edge. I also don't think it's a good sign that attendance at Solid Edge University appears to have stagnated at around 500 people compared to SolidWorks World approx 5,000 attendees.

Finally, I find it very disturbing that NX CAM is one of the most powerful CAM solutions available and Siemens refuses to port their own powerful NX CAM to Solid Edge and instead wants to use a good but much more limited CAM solution like CAMWorks. In no way can CAMWorks rival the tremendous power and scope of NX CAM.

It's beyond obvious to myself and many others that Siemens would rather sell NX over Solid Edge and they they protect NX at the expense of Solid Edge.

Jon Banquer
CADCAM Technology Leaders group on LinkedIn.

Jon Banquer

I've now confirmed that CAMWorks For Solid Edge only works in the Solid Edge ST Part environment.

I would not touch any "integrated CAM" that doesn't work in a CAD Assembly environment with a ten foot pole. That CAMWorks For Solid Edge doesn't work in the Solid Edge ST Assembly environment shows that it's not properly integrated with Solid Edge ST.

In think in this case it's best to quote the makers of both CAMWorks For SolidWorks (which works in the SolidWorks Assembly environment) and CAMWorks For Solid Edge (which only works in Part mode) on the massive benefits to being able to work in a CAD Assembly environment:


"Assembly support

CAMWorks® supports SW assembly mode. SW users can therefore generate tool paths for multiple parts and also multiple setups of the same part with utmost ease. Additionally, the assembly mode provides the power of being able to simulate the actual machining environment including table, clamps etc, thus almost completely eliminating any chances of error during actual machining.CAMWorks® includes industry standard feed/speed library values. Tool-path simulation reduces the need for dry and proof runs."

Jon Banquer
CADCAM Technology Leaders group on LinkedIn

Jon Banquer

Just to be clear, while CAMWorks For SolidWorks is far ahead of CAMWorks for Solid Edge with its integration into the SolidWorks Assembly environment it's still not true fully integrated CADCAM because CAMWorks For SolidWorks isn't able to create it's own CAM Assembly file. I believe this is because of serious limitations of the SolidWorks API. I'm not sure if Solid Edge ST will also have this limitation when Geometric tries to make CAMWorks For Solid Edge work in the Solid Edge Assembly environment. If and when Geometric makes CAMWorks For Solid Edge work in the Solid Edge Assembly environment and if CAMWorks For Solid Edge can create its own CAM Assembly file, then and only then will it be true fully integrated CADCAM like you get with Siemens NX, Creo NC, TopSolid, VX (now ZW3D), etc.

Jon Banquer
CADCAM Technology Leaders group on LinkedIn

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