Introducing SOLIDWORKS CAM: a Smart Manufacturing Ecosystem

SOLIDWORKS CAM is a 2.5-axis milling and turning solution that is powered by CAMWorks, a SOLIDWORKS Gold-level solution partner in CAM since 1998. SOLIDWORKS CAM will allow users to program in either part or assembly environments. In addition, SOLIDWORKS CAM will also be able to work with configurations of components to expedite the programming process.

Over the last several years, SOLIDWORKS has been building a Smart Manufacturing ecosystem. Components of this ecosystem, such as Costing, Inspection, and Model-Based Definition (MBD), have been a priority to take the next logical step that will improve efficiency for our users. Having integrated CAM capabilities is becoming more important than ever; especially when efficiency is involved. For example, users want to be able to check their components for manufacturability earlier in design process.  Using an integrated CAM system makes it easier to learn and understand how your components will transition from bits to atoms. Integrated CAM also allows for automatic updating of toolpaths because the CAM system can read changes as you make updates to parts.

This push to boost efficiency is manifesting itself in practice as validated by surveys and research reports. One example is Business Advantage’s CAD Trends Survey, which found that 34 percent of CAD users increased their use of CAM last year.  Of those surveyed, 70 percent think it’s “important” (36 percent think it is “very important” and 34 percent “quite important”) to have machining instructions automatically generated from 3D CAD models.  Six in ten (61 percent) want to see “more” (half of them want to see “much more”) software development effort on CAD/CAM integration.

Based on these trends, and the previous work on Smart Manufacturing ecosystem updates, the foundation of SOLIDWORKS CAM, Knowledge-Based Machining (KBM), was created.  KBM will allow companies to define standard machining strategies that can be used by everyone within their organization from quoting to programming.  This standardization will ensure that everyone is on the same page, which will reduce errors during the design-to-manufacturing process.  The more consistent a company can leverage existing data and processes, the more efficiently they can produce their products.  Consistency in workflow has been shown to reduce cycle times, improve quality and boost employee satisfaction.

SOLIDWORKS CAM is available for Beta starting April 1, 2017.  Commercial release for SOLIDWORKS CAM will be available with the release of SOLIDWORKS 2018. To learn more about SOLIDWORKS CAM

Mike Buchli

Mike Buchli

Mike is a Senior SolidWorks Product & Portfolio Manager at Dassault Systèmes
  • Tayfun

    Looks great. I guess Solidworks had some inspiration from Autodesk’s Fusion360 🙂 How can I be involved into Beta releases?

    • Bradley Thomas

      SolidWorks has been partners with CAMWorks for years, a fully integrated CAM software. Best CAM software I’ve ever used.

  • Little-C

    Nice! Definitely looking promising, but let’s see if it will beat the ‘ease of use’ of Fusion 360. KBM looks pretty complicated, since you have to leverage DIMxpert to have it work properly. Im assuming we’ll have to have a license of SolidWorks to try it out? Can we get a trial of SWx with it?

    • Bradley Thomas

      CAMWorks has been integrated with SolidWorks for years, the feature based recognition works amazing recognizing features and using strategies. Worked at many shops that used other software and introduced CAMWorks / SolidWorks and not one company has stayed with their original software.

      • Little-C

        Have you tried HSMWorks? Can’t beat their FREE 2.5 Axis for SolidWorks. Im pretty impressed with their Adaptive Clearing Strategies.

        • Bradley Thomas

          I’ve played with it a little bit a while back. Planning on downloading it again and playing around with it. I tried Fusion 360 too. I just find CAM built into SolidWorks to be very powerful and user friendly for the ease of use on the CAD side.

  • G-man

    Will this be included in any Solidworks package?

  • mbuchli

    To register for beta please use the following link:

  • Daniel Pegas

    Hi, I have registered myself a few weeks ago, but did not received any beta login, as is was posted for April 1st. any delays?

    • Ryan Davidson

      Im also still waiting, signed up over a month ago

      • Daniel Pegas

        Hi, got info from Mike Buchli that beta will start April 10. All who registered, will get a feedback on that day.

        • Ryan Davidson

          Did you receive an email? I’m still waiting

          • Mykal1970

            Just signed up yesterday, but ANXIOUSLY waiting. PLEASE tell me my BELOVED Solidworks CAM will be able to compete with Fusion-360??? Having ran both Solidworks with SolidCam, all things considered, Autodesk’s Fusion-360 (unfortunately) DESTROYED the Solidworks/SolidCam combo…..wasn’t even a fair fight.
            PLEASE get this right PLEASE…..I want to come HOME!

          • Daniel Pegas

            Have not received any info yet. Still waiting

  • Ryan

    So where does this CAM data reside? Is it stored in the part file? Outside the file? If so, then how is EPMD going to manage this data?

    • John Milbey

      Hi Ryan, the Cam data resides within the part file.

  • lenny bucholz

    Hello Ryan! how have you been?

    My question will the CAM have all the disciplines, mill, lathe, 4th and 5th axis?

    will we be able to customize the posts to our liking?

    just think if SW would have bought HSMWorks we would have had this 4 years ago now I have to deal with Autodesk, cannot complain to hard as they donated 3000 seats of HSMWorks to ASU and any student can get any of their products for free for 3 years. time for SW to step it up….
    Rant over:

  • Horace

    I just signed up for the beta version at
    What should I do next?

  • Erik Shafer

    Anyone have any more info on this? I am jumping ship from what was HSMWorks, now is Autodesk junkware. I can take no more of it. Please tell me this is going to be what HSMWorks could have been!