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CAD/CAM for electrodes advice

oste94

Plastic
Joined
Feb 15, 2024
Location
Italy
Hi everyone, as the title says I'm looking for some advices! Currently I'm working as a CAD/CAM programmer at an injection moulding industry and I'm using a 3 axis mill for machining electrodes and another 3 axis mill for maching different type of pieces. I'm using Topsolid CAD for creating the electrodes and NCG CAM for machining them, my boss today told me Hexagon is giving us the opportunity of switching to WorkNC with a discount since we are old clients (most of my co-workers use Esprit which is produced by Hexagon too). He said he is thinking about it since it would cost less than keeping two different softwares, since he would get rid of Topsolid and NCG if we were to take WorkNC, but he has some doubts about the efficiency of WorkNC in creating electrodes (some are pretty hard to do, but I lack in experience honestly), and in the speed of the NCG.
I know that there are other great software that have both great CAD and CAM environments such as Hypermill and NX but I really don't know anyone who use them here in Italy so I'm asking for your knowledge and help.
Thanks for your attention and sorry for my english if I made any mistakes!
 
You will struggle to get any feedback on WorkNC. It's a great product (for the most part), but Hexagon's support is pretty minimal. I've been using it for 30 years, but we are not a mould shop so I've never used the electrode feature. I'm aware of it's existence, but that's about it.

But regarding WorkNC, I can give you some insights, outside of the electrode question, if you have specific questions.
 
I don't know any of those brands, most people I know in Mold Shops use either Cimatron (specific CAD/CAM for molding industry) or NX.
I don't do molding anymore but if I started back I would get Cimatron.
2 cents :cheers:
 
I know that there are other great software that have both great CAD and CAM environments such as Hypermill and NX but I really don't know anyone who use them here in Italy so I'm asking for your knowledge and help.

I've heard MafiaCAM works ok, users are 100% satisfied, or feeding the fishes.
 
Who ever provides the best support is probably your best bet.

I'd choose NX, only because I know it well.
 
Hi everyone, as the title says I'm looking for some advices! Currently I'm working as a CAD/CAM programmer at an injection moulding industry and I'm using a 3 axis mill for machining electrodes and another 3 axis mill for maching different type of pieces. I'm using Topsolid CAD for creating the electrodes and NCG CAM for machining them, my boss today told me Hexagon is giving us the opportunity of switching to WorkNC with a discount since we are old clients (most of my co-workers use Esprit which is produced by Hexagon too). He said he is thinking about it since it would cost less than keeping two different softwares, since he would get rid of Topsolid and NCG if we were to take WorkNC, but he has some doubts about the efficiency of WorkNC in creating electrodes (some are pretty hard to do, but I lack in experience honestly), and in the speed of the NCG.
I know that there are other great software that have both great CAD and CAM environments such as Hypermill and NX but I really don't know anyone who use them here in Italy so I'm asking for your knowledge and help.
Thanks for your attention and sorry for my english if I made any mistakes!

Another thought if you haven't considered it already: the 3D machining in TopSolid is quite good, and if you have those module(s) already, I guess I'd have a look and see if this might be a good solution. If you don't have those modules, I would contact your VAR or TS and see if you could get a temporary license to demo this w/o cost. I'd always rather do all of my work in 1 program if possible, and if you're already up to speed with the design side of TS I think you'd take to the CAM portion readily. What version of TS are you running? (We're on 7.17 here).

Full disclosure: we're not doing electrode design or machining here, just happy TS users for design and milling. Have you had a reasonable experience with your VAR or TS in Italy? As triumph406 has mentioned, support is definitely something to consider in addition to the merits of a particular s/w!

 
Thank you all for the replies! Yeah the support system definetely plays a big role and I don't know honestly how good the CNG one is since I've never asked for it, meanwhile the Topsolid guy over here in Italy has been really helpful so far! I've searched some infos about NX and Cimatron and they both look quite good but I'd have to see how much support we would get here and how good their electrode modules are...and obviously how much they cost. If I'll ever need some help with WorkNC I'll reach out to you Dan B ;) SD&amp I honestly don't really know why we aren't using their CAM system but I'll ask my boss, we're currently using the 7.17 too and it seems to have everything that I need for designing the electrodes so far besides some small issues with some surfaces which are probably due to my lack of experience.
 
Another aspect of TopSolid worth consideration is the consolidation of CAD and CAM into an integrated package. Never having to export and import another step file is a blessing. Plus, TopSolid looks like a very capable package.
 
NX is top tier for cam and cad. Depending on your needs you can buy just cam or if you need a mould design solution, NX can do advanced assemblies and drafting as well. If you work with a lot of dumb solids, NX Sychronous Modeling is a gift from the Gods. When I left my old company, we were using a custom electrode assembly template that worked great but I heard there were taking another look at the NX electrode module. In general NX is a very capable, truly integrated solution and to use it successfully it needs to be customized for your site and you need training. I strongly recommend not skimping on either of those, no matter what software you chose.
 








 
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