Solidworks and HSM Works and why not HSM Edge

I am quite frankly in the middle of a dilemma here. With the ordering of a new mill scheduled for next week the idea of integrated CAM is taking center stage in my planing for the future. Along with the new equipment I am also going to get new software for the purposes of setting up a better way of doing things until I retire. I do not want bandaids here on any aspect of my operation by the end of this year. I consider lack of integrated CAM to be a big bandaid problem.

Solidworks has been very successfull in integrations and I would appreciate some feedback from you guys who specifically use HSM Works and Solid works. My purpose here is not to consider SW for my purchase but rather to hopefully demonstrate to SE the value of integration. I believe it when I am told SE is planning integration for on down the road but the pace of the effort is just entirely to slow for me and so I want to hurry it along if at all possible.

A friend of mine nearby with a machine shop recieves primarily SW files from his customers. He was using One CNC. I know when he first got it I went to have a look and it just cut way to much air for me. Over time Jeff had gouging problems which One CNC finally admited they had not solved. So his quest for CAM began again. HSM Works appeared to be a logical candidate.

Now that he has some time under his belt here he is in love with this combination. Now he is not a CAD guy and is pretty oblivious to CAD problems as all he does is work with imported SW files and does not really create much of anything. He thinks that this was the best thing he ever did for himself with software and can’t say enough about how well this works for him.

So actual SW/HSM users, is this your conclusion to?  Any other integrated CAM with SW programs are of interest to so please comment on these to if you are actually using them. What are the benefits to you and how much grief a year does it save you and the upsides and downsides to your particular situation. What types of parts are you cutting etc. You know what another user needs to know to make a choice here so fill me in.

Also considering the nature of the potential problems coming down the road for you SW users and V6 how important would it be for your replacement CAD program to have in place integrated manufacturing solutions along with the design solutions?

Just as an aside here. I am getting very weary of dealing with sales reps who will lie and cajole you at the drop of a hat to make a sale so I am turning to you fellow users for a bit of honesty. I know you appreciate the time and money that goes into these choices far better than the companies that write software seem to.

It really saddens me to say this about my favorite CAD program which is SE but the idea that manufacturing parts happens too and costs a whole lot more money to do than design seems not to be of vital importance.  It is acknowledged as a problem to be solved and I believe they are working on it. But where the rubber hits the road we are still waiting with nary a peep about anything other than stated intent to encourage us.

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