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DelCam Alternatives


#1

I read a recent article about cad design and followed it through to
a software manufacturer. I’ve been needing this software as health
concerns limits my fabrication process.

The price for DelCam was quite a shock! Anyone know a reliable and
user friendly software program that won’t make me sell my first born
child to buy it?


#2

Marsha, frankly I don’t know of a less expensive cad program, I did
check out DelCam, its a good product but the customer service seemed
a bit lacking, I ended up going with Matrix from Gem Vision, I also
purchased the mill. I am basically computer illiterate, but after 6
months of using Matrix , I’m starting to learn the program, in this
short amount of time I have been able to see a return of about 25%
of my initial investment. As far as potential for design well I just
don’t see a end, I’ve been earning a living as a goldsmith for 35
years and I have never seen anything as impactive on this industry,
as cad being made available to people like us.I am running this mill
for 10 to 15 hours a day, I can do a design that would have taken
days before,or been impossible, now it takes sometimes a hour or 2.
If it wasn’t for my wife I would sit all nite working playing with
this thing. The high price is really minimal if you have a market
for the product, this is clearly the future.

Paul Bensel, Yuma, AZ


#3

Delcam is expensive but I can not imagine working without it. It does
have a learning curve no doubt about it. If you aren’t comfortable
with computers, I suggest that you become so before you consider
buying any software for cad. I had never used a computer before
buying it and it was a double curve to follow. I really really like
ArtCam Pro. I have isuues with Artcam jewelsmith. If you don’t make
rings don’t bother trying to learn Jewelsmith, at least from my
perspective. Probably now when you get training they train you in
Jewlesmith. I don’t know. Artcam pro will do just about everything
that you can imagine. I use it everyday and really love it.
Jewelsmith I am sure is a good product, but I don’t like how they
set it up, it is totally different in its structure. I haven’t had
time totry and learn it, so I know that my criticism is harsh. BUT
Artcam pro is defiinately worth the money. I bought Artcam about 6 or
8 months before they released Jewlsmith 7. [when they changed
everything about how it works]. I feel that they should have given
everyone free training in how to learn the new setup. I hope that
this doesn’t discourage you too much. Like I said Delcam has made a
great product. But they need to readdress the issue of what they did
when they created Jewelsmith and how it affected all of the earlier
users of their product.

Good luck Dennis


#4
I read a recent article about cad design and followed it through to
a software manufacturer. I've been needing this software as health
concerns limits my fabrication process. The price for DelCam was
quite a shock! Anyone know a reliable and user friendly software
program that won't make me sell my first born child to buy it?

Marsha,

Why ArtCam? Is there some particular reason or special feature
within the software that you need or are interested in? In general,
what do you want/expect to do with this software?

What particular applications do you want it to perform? What do you
expect to be making with it?

Are you prepared to take the next step and do milling too? There is
a reason for asking this question too. Matrix/Rhino 3dm files are
easily milled or grown, Stl files generated in ArtCam are sometimes
a problem for growing machines (especially Solidscape machines) They
just do not grow well on some RP machines.

IF…what you want to do in CAD/CAM is make general type jewelry,
IE. rings, pendants, charms, etc, and money (entry fee into the game)
is your primary concern why don’t you take a look at Rhino and Tech
Gems?

A student copy of Rhino is only $295.00, a retail copy is under
$1000.00. Tech gems is around $5-600 ???

These two softwares are extremely powerful and will do most jewelry
applications. Once you master these, Matrix by Gemvision would be a
natural progression. It isn’t cheap either ($6500) but it is a rhino
based plugin and the money you spent on Rhino would not be wasted.

Sorry, but “user friendly” and CAD software are almost never found
within the same sentence. I do not care what cad software that you
purchase there is a steep learning curve involved within it. It
takes a while to become proficient at it.

One of the primary reasons that I suggest Rhino is the ease of
finding someone else who is using or understands it so that you can
get help or discuss it with. It is VERY VERY important to find a
support group to help you when you have a problem. There are
thousands and thousands of Rhino users. I have numerous Rhino and
Matrix users in my area and only one other ArtCAm user. Think of CAD
software in terms of a Mac computer and a Windows based computer.

You can get into lots of arguements as to which system is better,
but if you need help or want to mooch software you have a MUCH
better chance (and odds) getting help and finding another Windows
user than a Mac user.

I own:
Rhino
Matrix
Artcam
JewelCad
AND OTHERS

Primarily I use Matrix and Rhino 4.

I can answer questions and concerns you may have, but would be
better able to answer them if I know what you want it to do and what
you want to make with the softwares.

David


#5
The price for DelCam was quite a shock! Anyone know a reliable and
user friendly software program that won't make me sell my first
born child to buy it?

Marsha,

I am toying with an assortment of packages at the moment. I have
been using Rhino3D to produce STL and IGES files for a while now. I
send those files out to a service bureau for prototyping. If I want
to do them in house, slices need to be done and Gcode created. One
cheap alternative for 2 1/2 D work is MeshCAM. Check it out.


#6
I read a recent article about cad design and followed it through
to a software manufacturer. I've been needing this software as
health concerns limits my fabrication process. The price for DelCam
was quite a shock! Anyone know a reliable and user friendly
software program that won't make me sell my first born child to buy
it? 

The choice of software really depends on what you’re trying to do.
DelCAM makes ArtCAM and ArtCAM Jewelsmith, both of which are
highly-regarded high-end programs focusing mostly on building 3d
reliefs from 2d input. They also have a full suite of complementary
products like PowerShape, for designing 3d parts and molds, and
Powermill; a full-featured CAM program that can do 5-axis toolpaths.
(If you’re tempted, I hope you have more than just the one child…)
In fairness, I should mention they also make MillWizard, which is a
relatively inexpensive and simple program that can make 3-axis
toolpaths from STL files.

If the items you wish to make are fairly simple and geometric, then
there are numerous CAD programs that might work for you, ranging in
price from free to still quite reasonable. Some examples are
TurboCAD, IntelliCAD, Truespace, Blender, Amapi, and SoftCAD. If you
want to build parts that have accurate free-form compound-curved
surfaces as well as hard-edged geometric features, the choices narrow
somewhat. My favorite in this category is Rhino, which is simple
enough to get started with, but has enough extra features to keep you
learning about them for years. It’s also very reasonably priced,
considering what it can do.

If you want to do organic sorts of things, like figures, faces,
plants, and animals, then the best system I know of is made by
Sensable Technologies. They make a hardware/software system that
gives you the sensation of actually touching your virtual model as
you work on it. This makes it much more like working on real
materials with a tool; you also have much better control over subtle
shaping and blending than with orthodox CAD functions like
control-point manipulation. It has some powerful 2d to 3d functions,
which let you “emboss” images and patterns onto your 3d parts.
Another advantage is that you’re working in a 3d environment with a
3d tool (an articulated arm with 6 degrees of freedom, 3 with
force-feedback) instead of a mouse, which only works in 2d. They’ve
recently introduced a new version called Claytools for Rhino, which
gives you the benefit of both styles of working. It’s very easy to
learn, since it’s so intuitive, and it’s relatively inexpensive,
comparing favorably to many software-only solutions. I’ve been using
it for a while now, and it has definitely made the things I was
trying to do (mostly combining scanned-in models) work easier and
better for me.

Andrew Werby
www.computersculpture.com


#7

Why don’t you check also 3Design Jewel Software
(http://www.3designjewel.com)? It is a 3D Design Jewelry Software
already very popular in Europe and Asia that becomes more and more
active in the USA.

I am representing this software on the US West Coast and I just
opened a training center in Downtown Los Angeles.

Having worked in the software industry for more than 6 years, I
always recommend as much as possible to try different software before
actually buying one of them. For example, 3Design has a trial version
free of charge on their website.

Even better, you can even attend a training session before buying a
software package. This way, you are making a small investment (much
smaller than buying the software itself) and you will have a much
better idea on what the software you are really interested in is all
about.


#8

Continue from
https://orchid.ganoksin.com/t/delcam-alternatives

A while back, someone wrote about cad programs. I made a comment
about the greatness of Delcam art-cam Pro, and how I didn’t like
Jewelsmith. I have been trying for the past week to learn the
differences between Art-cam Pro and Jewelsmith. AT LONG LAST they are
beginning to merge for me. Jewelsmtih is pretty cool.

However, it is really pretty hard to wrap ones head around the filing
structure. Really, it seems that you have a lot open on your desk,
and it can get jumbled together. but maybe it is just me. I hope that
they will work on this part soon. But I now retract my earlier
statement about it. I can do some really complex things pretty
quickly with it now. It will save you time once you get a grasp of
the way it stores things. It does some things so much easier, and
other things it doesn’t. that’s life. Good luck, hope to meet some
of you at the Tucson dinner.

Dennis