What is SOLIDWORKS CAM?
SOLIDWORKS CAM is a Computer Aided Manufacturing add-in for SOLIDWORKS that allows us to create G/M code for CNC machining our parts.
What is special about SOLIDWORKS CAM is that it uses Knowledge Based Machining with Automatic Feature Recognition (AFR). Our part features can be automatically recognized from our model. By using a technology database, we can create conditions that apply machining strategies to our part features. This dramatically reduces the time and tedium of having to program part operations manually or interactively (IFR). Having this power directly in SOLIDWORKS gives designers and machinists unparalleled versatility, consistency and speed within an integrated production environment.
The SOLIDWORKS CAM Process
The chart below illustrates how the functions in SOLIDWORKS CAM are utilized to generate NC code.
The SOLIDWORKS CAM Interface
The SOLIDWORKS CAM user interface closely follows the above process. These commands will be discussed in greater detail in future articles.
- Set-up options
- Program generation commands
- Options to add operations interactively
- Technology Database Options
- Options for defining features to be extracted when using (AFR)
- CAM Feature Tree – Shows extracted features
- CAM Operations Tree – Edit or add operations interactively
- CAM Tool Tree – Editing current Tool Crib
SOLIDWORKS CAM Standard vs Professional
SOLIDWORKS CAM Standard licenses are available to all SOLIDWORKS Subscription Service customers using SOLIDWORKS 2018 or higher.
|AFR – Automatic Feature Recognition – Holes|
|AFR – Automatic Feature Recognition – Pockets, Boss|
|AFR – Automatic Feature Recognition – Turn|
|KBM – Knowledge Based Machining|
|Automatic Recognition of Multiple Setups|
|Indexing of the 4th & 5th axes including tombstone|
|Sorting of the Operations|
|Step Through Simulation|
|Tolerance Based Machining – C# macro|
|Stock and Work in Process Models|
|Setup Sheets – XML, XMLT, MDB|
|Universal Post Generator (UPG)|
Ancillary applications installed separately
|CAMWorks Library Features (supports only 2.5x features)|
|Import / Export of CAM data|
|Contain and Avoid areas and features|
|MES Feed Speed Library|
|2.5 Axis Milling Features|
|Interactive Feature Creation|
|Finish (Contour) Milling|
|3 Axis Milling Features|
|Multi-surface feature creation|
|Contain and avoid areas and features|
|Center Drill – on center|
|Drill – on center|
|Tap – on center|