What is SOLIDWORKS CAM Machinist?

   By Ray Morrogh on January 12, 2023

If you’ve been looking at SOLIDWORKS CAM packages, you may have noticed some additional products within the offerings available, specifically SOLIDWORKS CAM Machinist Standard and Professional. I want to bring some clarity into the distinctions between these offerings, since on the surface they should be the same, and what value they bring to your organization.

What distinguishes SOLIDWORKS CAM Machinist from SOLIDWORKS CAM?

To start, the CAM Machinist standard and professional contain all the CAM functionality in their non-machinist counterparts. In machinist standard, you can define rules to capture and implement tolerance-based machining, and in Machinist professional, you’ll be able to do turning, 3+2 programming, HSM, and configuration programming.

The primary difference between a normal CAM license and a CAM Machinist license is actually in the CAD functionality. CAM Machinist licenses limit the CAD capabilities of the user compared to regular SOLIDWORKS. CAM Machinist standard allows for only part modeling and importing. CAM Machinist professional allows for part and assembly modeling and importing, and neither option supports the drawing functionality of a SOLIDWORKS CAD license. If full part modeling, assembly modeling, 2D Drawings, and other modules are important to your workflow, definitely consider a full SOLIDWORKS CAD license, which includes CAM standard while on active subscription.

Who is a good fit for SOLIDWORKS CAM Machinist and why?

Given the lack of capabilities on the drafting side, and some limitations compared to a SOLIDWORKS CAD desktop seat, SOLIDWORKS CAM Machinists should definitely be considered by those who are primarily on the CNC programming and manufacturing side of product development. Because it is SOLIDWORKS, you can do your CAD and CAM design all in one single environment which can work with all the associated content, such as configurations, rather than a neutral file format. If you’re a machinist that needs the CAM functionality of SOLIDWORKS, and just enough of the CAD capabilities, this package is a great fit.

It’s also worth mentioning that if your designers are using SOLIDWORKS and inputting 2D drawings and tolerancing information together already, SOLIDWORKS Machinist can translate that data so that you no longer spend tedious time interpreting it. Also, since you have some design capabilities, you no longer need to spend a bunch of time going back and forth with the designer to manipulate the file for one small change. You can even keep up with the design process concurrently to ensure that the design is manufacturable from day one.

Is there training available for this?

There’s a broad set of training options available for CAM for Machinists. We have over 55 classes that we offer, and our CAM for Machinists course covers material from both our SOLIDWORKS Essentials classes, as well as our CAM classes. We also offer our full SOLIDWORKS Essentials class and CAM classes for deeper dives into either topic.

Related Products
SOLIDWORKS Software

Browse the TriMech web store for SOLIDWORKS software to design, analyze and manufacture your products on your desktop.

Ray Morrogh

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