What CAM options for ST7

Currently designing and will be building a 3 Axis milling/router.  What CAM software works and OK with ST7.  Budget is limited so the CAM Express option is an expensive option.

Something more basic would be OK to start with I think, straight forward to use and talk to MACH3 that will drive the machine. 


Re: What CAM options for ST7

I'm sure everyone at Siemens cringes when they hear the name, but you will want to check out Dave Ault's blog. He's very friendly if you want to reach out to him directly.
Using SE since V12, 2002

Re: What CAM options for ST7

Thanks for the link...... very interesting.... Perhaps should have just gone for Autodesk then !!!

Re: What CAM options for ST7

Thanks Larry,

  Much to my surprise as I stop in here today for MP4 there is this post. I don't have any knowledge about routing but milling yes. A good resource for research would be Precision Machinst and CNC Zone forums. They are quite active and have people doing what you want to do and they will tell you as customers what they think and why. Sometimes there are fanbois who just say their choice is the best when it is not but you can weed out the frivolous and find solid input pretty easy. You know what I think and my choice if you went to my blog.

  I have a few rules now. I do not listen to VAR's, salesmen or the companies that author programs marketing departments anymore as they will deceive you to get your money. I do choose after careful research to believe certain individuals within these companies over time when they demonstrate honesty that has been proven in action and to make statements that have proven true over time. This was the tremendous benefit we had with Karsten Newbury and Don Cooper and they never told me anything that did not happen. I do have this with Autodesk but at this time not with any other company and it took three years of time before I found a few I could trust. They were from HSM by the way. I have tremendous respect for the crew in Huntsville but don't communicate with anyone there anymore as I guess I don't care what happens any more with them. Great program crummy overlords.


  As Larry says I will talk about my choices and why I made them if you care to communicate with me.

Re: What CAM options for ST7

I have a hobby-router for wood and aluminum at home, and use Vectric Vcarve pro for a CAM system with it. Very happy with Vectric. Vcarve is a 2.5 axis CAM; They also have Aspire which is full 3 axis plus a 4th I beleive. Pricing is reasonable for a hobbyist and is available online. It does not run inside Edge however, so you have to export and import step or iges files. 


Dave sorry to hear of your experience, hopefully SE gets its act together and finds a good CAM partner, even if its Autodesk. They really need it.


Re: What CAM options for ST7

Thanks for the suggestion, sounds exactly where I'm at as well... So will check it out...


Little confused the Blog is talking about Camworks for SE? a partner adn imbed into SE... My reseller for SE and the button I see in SE7 next to Analysis is "CAM Express".... Is that the samething or another software suite?.... (Which is expensive, more than SE was !!!) 

Re: What CAM options for ST7

Hi Keye,

  I don't look for any other CAM partners for SE to appear. HSM was the one I wanted originally but for a number of reasons CAMWorks was picked. As it turns out there was discussion between HSM and SE and had Autodesk not bought them out another six months could have seen a different story with SE HSM.  SE by the way has it's act together it is Siemens and UGS that are the holdup. For that reason I think the only shot ever for integrated CAM was CW4SE and it is something that I would not recommend under any circumstance unless they make huge strides in quality control and the way it wants to force you to work.


 It's not just me either, talk to anyone who has bought and see what they have to say.

Re: What CAM options for ST7

[ Edited ]

Hi 9,

  You are seeing another software suite. The CAM program you saw there is integrated for NX which is called Cam Express. It is NOT the same thing as CAMWorks for SE or CW4SE. For CE to work your file is exported into NX CAD and translated where it can then be used by CE. CE does not and will never work inside the SE program like CW4SE does which is truly integrated and works directly with .asm and .par files and you never leave SE to do so.


  Both CW4SE and CE are expensive and the yearly fees are based on cost and north of 20% for maintenence for both of them each year after.  Neither are particularly easy to learn either. To get 3axis milling, two axis lathe and Volumill you are looking at twice the cost of SE Classic to begin with and more than double each year after. Bring your fat wallet with you and welcome to the world of CAM.

Re: What CAM options for ST7

Sorry to ask again,   "Cam Express" is what I have a quote and broucher from Siemens agent, as it looks embedded into SE. Direct access button on the ribbon bar.

I assume this has nothing to do with the trouble some CW4SE ?


Anyone tried it or know of any users?


Re: What CAM options for ST7

[ Edited ]

CAM Express is basically a stripped down seat of NX for CAM that is partially integrated into SE, though the degree of integration can be debated. The button on the Solid Edge ribbon bar simply 'launches' CAM Express and imports the part. 


CAMWorks for Solid Edge is an integrated CAM package with Solid Edge developed by Geometric, who for years has sold their package CAMWorks for Solidworks, and ported it over to Solid Edge. I have a thread detailing my experiences with this package here:



Neither of these packages are a very cheap package. CAM Express is hard to learn, but is a do-anything software (provided you bought the options for it). CAMWorks I can't really recommend to anyone right now. It's not simple, the 'automatic update' schtick rings hollow with the current amount of bugs, and it is incredibly frustrating as a user to try and get simple things addressed...a year and a half after launch.


Hope this helps.

-Dylan Gondyke