A warm CNCCookbook welcome to Mecsoft’s Visual Mill (and RhinoCAM) and HSMWorks. Their owner’s have graciously extended evaluation copies so we can try them out, review them, and provide feedback.

VisualMILL 6.0 CAM Software

Visual Mill and its cousins were extremely popular on our recent CAM survey, and I frequently hear about it from our G-Wizard customers as well as in many other places. Mecsoft President Joe Anand has encouraged me to go over their package carefully and reconsider categorizing it as a Hobby product. He says that just because they have a range of products that span the Hobby price range doesn’t mean their higher end offerings aren’t highly capable professional packages. Just the brief look I’ve had at the package so far tells me he’s right. There are a lot of innovative capabilities there that I’ll be reporting on in more detail soon.

HSMWorks is one of those up and coming packages that has a lot of buzz at the higher end of the CAM world. I’ve been hearing about it from a variety of sources and one of our G-Wizard customers (thanks Gabe!) made the introduction so we could get to try it. This product hails from Denmark, and some of the same folks that worked on the excellent Cimco tools are apparently involved in its creation. It definitely has a very modern and fresh User Interface that speaks well of Danish Design.

The bad news is I have to learn two new CAM packages. There is a special part of my brain that always hurts as I try to learn either a new CAD or CAM package. These are power tools that are not meant to be picked up in 10 minutes, although I do plan to report on my experiences trying to jump in without cracking open a manual or tutorial video. I will also report on what happens after you do some proper training and what the new concepts are that the training introduces to facilitate use.

I have a trial project in mind that’s an Art Deco Shelf bracket I want to make. I’ll go through it with my tried and true OneCNC as well as these other products as part of my review process. It’s a simple project, very suitable for a beginner, but should also make a nifty project for the home. Expect several posts to CNCCookbook on each of these programs over the course of the next few months as I get more familiar with them.

Okay, I’ve got to get back to work on these new programs!



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