Mastercam For SolidWorks X6 was released this week. It's not very impressive. Most disturbing to me is how bad Verify and stock model graphics look in Mastercam For SolidWorks X6. No other CAM program that runs inside of SolidWorks has graphics that look so bad. It's very obvious to me that CNC Software owner Mark Summers won't hire the needed graphics developers and that this is badly effecting both Mastercam and Mastercam For SolidWorks.
I also seriously question who it is that is paying for and using Mastercam For SolidWorks. I never see those who post with their real names on the internet talking about it. It doesn't appear to me that it has had much market acceptance. I'm hard pressed to recall anyone discussing Mastercam For SolidWorks who uses it as their main CAM product on eMastercam.
The biggest problem with Mastercam For SolidWorks isn't that it doesn't have lathe, wire EDM or multi-axis toolpaths. These can be added. Rather, the big problem is that instead of starting with a blank sheet of paper and using this as a golden opportunity to start from scratch and create a modern, non-legacy code CAM program, CNC Software took everything that's wrong with stand-alone Mastercam and shoved it into Mastercam For SolidWorks. A specific example of what I mean is the very poorly designed and modal View Manager which was taken from stand alone Mastercam and shoved into Mastercam For SolidWorks.
There are some bright spots in Mastercam For SolidWorks but they have nothing to do with CNC Software being innovative:
- Mastercam For SoildWorks has quality solid chaining!
- Mastercam For SolidWorks has chaining you can actually see and it doesn't disappear when you rotate the model!
- Mastercam For SolidWorks doesn't require you to constantly extract wireframe from the solid!
- Mastercam For SolidWorks has quality geometry selection tools!
The reason this is the case for the aforementioned items is:
- Instead of using the obsolete, outdated, graphics engine that CNC Software owner Mark Summers refuses to upgrade in stand-alone Mastercam, Mastercam For SolidWorks is using SolidWorks graphics engine.
- Stand-alone Mastercam features a 25 year old wireframe modeler with the Parasolid kernel tossed on top. Mastercam Solids in stand-alone Mastercam has seen little or no significant improvement since it was initially released many years ago.