Best CAM Software for Beginners


What is the Best CAM Software for Beginners? With a wide variety of CAM software on the market, how do you know which is best for you? 

What is a CNC Machine?

Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines (like mills, routers, lathes, and wire EDMs) offer a method for automating control of machine tools through the use of software embedded in a microcomputer attached to the tool. If you are new to CNC, it is important to understand the software that improves all CNC outputs. With the right CNC software, you can design and create your own custom projects with a wide range of complex tasks. CNC programming is easy to learn, provided you have a grasp of how machining works. Read on to learn how Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) software technology can ignite the immediate and long term success of your manufacturing business.

Why CAM Software is Necessary

CAM software is used to program toolpaths and to generate the G-code that controls CNC machines. An integrated CAD/CAM system is one that houses both computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing functionalities within one platform. CAD/CAM software, like Mastercam, is used to take parts from design through production within a single, user friendly interface. With Mastercam, users can create and cut parts using one of many supplied machine and control definitions, or they can use Mastercam’s tools to create their own customized definitions.

5 steps to Achieve Success With the Best CAM Software for Beginners

There are five simple steps manufacturing businesses can take to achieve productivity increases along with total cost and lead time reductions by using their CAM capabilities

Opening Moves

Start from where you are and assess your strengths and weaknesses as a business. Are your machinists manually programming at the machine or using very basic CAM software? If so, chances are this is limiting both your shop’s productivity and the type of work that is available to it. The solution is to install CAM software that will be powerful enough to take full advantage of the equipment that you have invested so heavily in. Enlist the support of your CAM reseller and other trusted advisors to guide you on how to marshal your equipment and man power resources for all they are worth.

Post & Go

Competitive manufacturing businesses understand that standardization of manufacturing processes is necessary if everyone in the shop is working as a team to find ways to improve productivity and reduce manufacturing costs. One of the most important of these standardizations is with post processors that enable the machine tool to run the manufacturing program generated in Mastercam exactly as it was written, without any additional modifications of the G-code at the machine. About 40-60% of the problems related to machines not doing exactly what the programmer has intended, can be traced to post-processor issues. Optimizing your posts reduces or gets rid of all of these issues.

Ingraining Technology

If you put advanced manufacturing technology in the hands of the younger generation of shop floor workers, they will quickly figure out how to use it, and find even better things to do with it. To take best advantage of this new workforce, we need to ingrain our manufacturing businesses in the best available technologies. This won’t happen by itself. You need to establish plans, set goals, and review results. You can also enlist your CAM reseller (and other trusted advisors) who have experiences that you can tap into to help decide your plans and review your results. Finally, there is one other important step to take: putting technology in your budget cycle.

Use Training as a Tool

Most CAM users are under-utilizing their software. That means that profits are left on the table due to lost opportunities for efficiency improvements and cost cuts. Training can correct this problem, but it has to be the right type of training, made for your manufacturing problems, opportunities, and workforce. Mastercam – the most widely used CAM software in the world – is reinforced by unlimited sources of already trained people, or sources for training. You can get formal training from as young as junior high school programs to the most advanced engineering schools; high schools, junior colleges, tech schools, etc. Multiple books, online resources such as You tube, other professional online courses etc are available. Not to mention, training classes offered through tech schools and local resellers. The wide user base, especially in local markets, enables you and your employees to learn from experts on how to improve your skills.

Take Advantage of What You Already Have

Learn more about the latest release of your CAM software that can have a significant impact on your manufacturing business results. The following topics are designed to add significant value to Mastercam’s user experience: unused productivity tools; lathe with live tooling; stock model comparison; more accurate simulation; Mastercam tool manager; automated in-process gaging; and advanced mill turn and multitasking machines. Are you using all these tools to the best of your advantage?

Next Steps In Your Journey for the Best CAM Software for Beginners

Are you ready to put together an action plan to ignite your manufacturing business? CAM vendors and manufacturing service experts are here to help. Advanced CNC equipment, cutting tool technology, innovative software, and support services are readily available. To ignite these resources and propel your business, all you need is a good plan.

Start from where you are and assess your business. Install CAM software that will be powerful enough to take full advantage of the equipment you have. Enlist the support of your local CAM reseller to guide you on how to marshal your equipment and resources.

Educate your workforce with the concept of Post and Go manufacturing. When anyone in the facility sees idle equipment, they also see an opportunity to improve spindle uptime. Once you fine-tune posts, all you have to do at the machine is setup and run the

Embrace new technology and the engineers, programmers, and machinists who are so good at it. The world is moving at a faster pace than it did even five years ago. The new workforce is able to adapt quickly to change and take advantage of what new technology has to offer. It is at their fingertips; empower them to use it intelligently.

In the world of CAM, training increases the value of all the technology your business has accumulated. There are many ways to keep your workforce well-trained. Some are expensive at first but provide a rapid payback. Others cost almost nothing and help deliver improvements year after year. Investigate what your training options are, and use some of them.

The hundreds of thousands of CAM license holders worldwide are funding massive R&D efforts that result in many powerful and incredibly useful product enhancements and new capabilities with every annual release. Companies that discover and use these features are most likely to make advances in efficiency and cost cuts.

Final Thoughts on Finding the Best CAM Software

Conditions impacting your manufacturing business are always changing. Don’t view this is a problem. It is simply the way manufacturing is, and will be, for the future. Evaluate your business, and come up with a plan that will keep you moving forward. 

You don’t have to do this alone. You can get most CAM software from local resellers. These are independent businesses that know and understand the local market and its needs. They delve into the intricacies of manufacturing businesses, from big auto and major aerospace manufacturers to small job shops. They partner with their customers to come up with solutions fit to their customers’ specific needs.



About QTE Manufacturing Solutions

At QTE Manufacturing Solutions, we serve CNC manufacturers in Missouri, Illinois, Tennessee, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. Before we make a software recommendation, our experts will get to know your current equipment and expectations. Based on our analysis, we will make recommendations that will eliminate problems and advance your business.

But that’s just the beginning. Our customers have access to our support team so they always know how to use the software. Our solutions offer CAM software licenses and all-inclusive training packages to help put users on a fast track to becoming more competitive. We also sponsor various local events where our customers can learn about aspects of Mastercam. We invite you to join our Online network and community, where you will have access to the Mastercam Forum, Reseller support, EMastercam, Titans of CNC, and more.

QTE is a leading Mastercam CAD/CAM solutions and Verisurf Metrology solutions software reseller focused on helping CNC manufacturers solve challenges and optimize machining operations. Our job is to help you master yours. This way you can produce more parts and open new growth opportunities, by reducing CAD/CAM programming, and inspection time. To learn more about how we can help optimize your CNC machines, call QTE today at 877-429-5708. Click here to set up a call to discuss a quote.

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  • October 4, 2022
  • Blog