The CAM Ecosystem at SOLIDWORKS World 2015

The SOLIDWORKS Expo floor features multiple CAM solutions, several of them fully integrated into SOLIDWORKS CAD. Fully integrated CAM completely removes the wall between SOLIDWORKS CAD and CAM, i.e., CAM solutions that run directly in SOLIDWORKS.

By providing CAM products to run inside SOLIDWORKS, these Certified Gold and CAM Partners allow users to design and machine in the same system: SOLIDWORKS. This direct integration allows users to:

  • Choose any of several SOLIDWORKS integrated CAM applications
  • Save significant time and instantly boost your productivity by eliminating the need to export/import/repair models
  • Maintain data accuracy at all times – no translation required means no errors in translation
  • Leverage associativity to automatically update tool paths with design changes
  • Always work on the most current design model
  • Take advantage SOLIDWORKS functionality such as configurations
  • Design models to improve manufacturability
  • Easier to train and maintain – run SOLIDWORKS and your CAM system on the same hardware

Here are the Certified Gold and CAM partners on the expo floor at SOLIDWORKS World 2015.


BobCAM for SOLIDWORKS provides special machining wizards that guide you through the creation of toolpaths, a feature that streamlines the manufacturing process for both simple and complex part programming. Here’s a look at one customer who was able to significantly increase productivity through CAD/CAM integration with BobCAM and SOLIDWORKS:

Texas1From its headquarters in Tyler, Texas, Texas Chassis Works, produces high-end drag-racing cars and associated parts. Prior to implementing an integrated CAD/CAM solution, Texas Chassis Works had to convert designs to IGES files, and then import them. This approach resulted in multiple time consuming operations.

With the integrated combination of SOLIDWORKS and BobCAM for SOLIDWORKS, Ken Herring, owner of Texas Chassis Works, says he can apply CAM operations directly into SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD models and use advanced tool-path operations to decrease cycle time by 50%. This productivity improvement enabled Texas Chassis Works to transform a piecework business in steering arm parts into a full retail parts line.

CAMWorks: Geometric Americas, Inc.

CAMWorks, which was the first fully integrated CAM solution for SOLIDWORKS, uses the SOLIDWORKS CAD model geometry to generate manufacturing toolpaths. This, along with toolpath simulation, ensures your tool’s machining plan matches your design model –reducing rework and increasing machining productivity.

CAMWork’s customer, CP-Carillo in Anaheim, CA, is a leading piston and rod producer for the motor-sports racing industries. camworksThrough the use of SOLIDWORKS and CAMWorks CP-Carillo has fully automated their product design and parts programming, allowing them to go from custom orders to finished machine parts in minutes.

When an order is received, CP-Carillo sales personnel enter the specifications into an interface created using the software API’s provided with SOLIDWORKS and CAMWorks. Once the order data is entered, the software then automatically generates the design model and toolpaths for the part, which are then checked and machined.

This integrated and automated CAD/CAM approach has reduced their overall lead time by 85%, including a 95% reduction in design time, a 75% drop in CNC programming time, and a 20% decrease in scrap and rework.


CG CAM-TOOL for SOLIDWORKS is a high-precision CAM system for mold and die manufacturing that runs directly inside SOLIDWORKS. Its toolpath development engine is taken from CAM-TOOL, the most commonly used high end CAD/CAM system in Japan. Here’s how one customer was able to leverage integration to create its molds faster and with less polishing:

cgcamWhen Jeff Ewert and Scott Bradley of FSI, in Bemidji, Minnesota, set out to find a CAM software that they could quickly and easily learn to use, and could still meet the needs of mold machining, they ended up purchasing CG CAM-TOOL for SOLIDWORKS.  They found CG CAM-Tool for SOLIDWORKS to be software that they could trust to be accurate, safe enough to run machines unmanned and still give them a high-quality surface finish to minimize or eliminate hand polishing.

Prior to FSI’s investment in new CNC machines and CG CAM-TOOL for SOLIDWORKS, Jeff Ewert noted, “the length of time to build 1 prototype tool was around one week, now we can see it cut that to about three days.” Before this upgrade, Jeff added, “We built about two prototype molds per week. Now we see that being closer to 3 – 4 per week.”  Additionally, when asked why they became interested in CG CAM-TOOL for SOLIDWORKS, Jeff responded that “We became interested once we notice the difference in machine finish versus the CAM-TOOL competitors. In order to make better use of our time, we couldn’t afford to sit at a bench and polish.”

hyperMILL for SolidWorks: OPEN MIND Technologies AG

hyperMILL® for SOLIDWORKS CAM lets users turn CAD designs into NC (numerical control) code for machining without having to leave their familiar program environment. The sophisticated features that support manufacturing and machining strategies speed this process greatly, thereby cutting production costs and shortening time to market. Here’s how a customer, 5th Axis, Inc, accelerated growth through CAD/CAM integration:hyper

5th Axis, Inc., is an engineering, prototyping, and automated production company that services the aerospace, semiconductor, electronics, and medical device industries. The company’s specialty is producing hard parts of high complexity. Using the integrated CAD/CAM solution of SOLIDWORKS and hyperMILL for SOLIDWORKS, the company realized a host of productivity benefits that has allowed it to increase its shop space, number of employees, and profitability.

One example of how 5th Axis, Inc. leverages this CAD/CAM integration is the use of SOLIDWORKS sketches to drive tool paths. By making a simple sketch in SOLIDWORKS and programming a toolpath to it, it’s easier to remove burrs from previously machined parts.

Mastercam for SOLIDWORKS: CNC Software, Inc.

Mastercam® for SOLIDWORKS provides users with powerful Mastercam toolpaths available directly within the SOLIDWORKS CAD interface. Advantages include feature-based machining for automatic programming of pockets, contours and drilled holes, and dynamic milling for creating active toolpaths and delivering smooth tool motion.

Mastercam’s customer, Summit Tooling, benefits from Mastercam by being able to move much faster than ever before. When they’ve had late-stage design changes, even while a mold is being built, they’ve been able to respond on the fly. Their time savings are tremendous as a result, relayed in the words of Dan Martin, President, “a 50% bump in productivity is real. Since 2008, our profitability has sky-rocketed beyond belief.” This spike is due large in part thanks to paperless mold design and manufacturing capabilities.


Because its manufacturing personnel can access the actual SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD model directly, interrogate dimensions, and begin machining almost immediately, Summit Tooling, Inc. has eliminated paper drawings from its mold design and manufacturing processes. That’s one of the many traditional steps that the company has eliminated using the integrated SOLIDWORKS CAD and Mastercam for SOLIDWORKS CAM solution. With an integrated solution, Summit Tooling has realized a 50% boost in productivity over traditional machining methods. The new approach accelerates the handling of design changes, shortens lead times for customer delivery, and gives mold designers/moldmakers a greater degree of control over the final product.

OPTICAM for SolidWorks: Camtek GmbH

OPTICAM is a fully integrated solution for the programming of wire EDM machines inside SOLIDWORKS.


OPTICAM directly references the designed or imported 3D model for the creation of wire cut paths. OPTICAM makes use of Automatic Feature Recognition and automated machining technology and strategies resulting in a very high level of automation and a significant reduction in programming time. After only a short training period, a beginner can create an NC program with a few clicks, while an experienced user still has the complete flexibility to intervene in every detail.

OPTICAM contains all machining strategies which are required for the efficient and safe operation of Wire EDM machines. All cuts are shown in the cuts dialog and can be changed afterwards. For the secure checking of the toolpaths, a 3D simulation with material removal was inserted. Besides the offsetting, the clamps and machine heads are also simulated.

OPTICAM has been developed in co-operation with leading CNC-machine tool companies and is being continuously improved with new machine functionality. High-quality postprocessors and technology databases are available for all CNC-controls and CNC-machines.

SolidCAM for SOLIDWORKS: SolidCAM, Inc.

SolidCAM is designed to make creating fast toolpaths easy and efficient. Supporting lathes, 2.5D milling machines to 5-zxis, solidcamand complex millturns, full CNC programming functions are all done directly inside SOLIDWORKS. With the same look and feel throughout, engineers never have to leave the SOLIDWORKS environment to experience seamless, single-window integration and full associativity with the design model.

One customer, Manufacturing Services Inc. in Lancaster, South Carolina uses the integration to perform production part runs, injection molds, and more. Once they switched to integrated CAD/CAM over their prior non-integrated approach, the company realized dramatic time savings – from 15% to 60% depending on part complexity. Now Manufacturing Services Inc., can easily import SOLIDWORKS design files from their customers with no need for file translations.

Making changes a snap – Since implementing the integrated SOLIDWORKS CAD and SolidCAM CAM solution, Manufacturing Services Inc., has realized substantial productivity improvements, particularly when the company needs to make design changes to a part. Design changes, like changing a fillet to accommodate existing tooling or adding draft to a part, are much easier and faster to handle because Manufacturing Services Inc. can use SOLIDWORKS CAD software to tweak the model and then update the tool paths automatically because of the associative link between the CAD and CAM generated toolpaths.

VisualMILL for SOLIDWORKS: MecSoft Corporation

VisualMILL for SOLIDWORKS helps engineers make parts fast, from simple 2-1/2 axis to full 5-axis indexed milling. The intuitive, combined CAD/CAM interface offers multiple fatures to fit machining needs and save countless hours of time.

visualDeveloping a replacement part for a vintage car – McKim Design & Fabrication of Freindswood, Texas leverages the integrated SOLIDWORKS CAD and VisualMILL for SOLIDWORKS CAM solution to achieve 25% to 40% time savings and take on unique projects. For example, the owner of a 1949 Ford convertible could not find replacements for the fold-down top’s two broken hinges. So, he turned to McKim Design & Fabrication to make one. Using SOLIDWORKS CAD capabilities, the Houston-based company created a solid model and rapid prototype of the broken hinge, and then designed the flat-plate fixture needed to water cut the part. Because McKim uses an integrated CAD/CAM solution, modeling the part, producing a rapid prototype, developing the fixture, and machining the part was quick and painless.

These partners are a few of the more than 100 exhibitors presenting solutions in the SOLIDWORKS World 2015 Partner Pavilion. Whether you’re looking for state-of-the art design, analysis, or manufacturing products, SOLIDWORKS partners are available in the Partner Pavilion to help you solve your engineering challenges.

Shyam Venugopal

Shyam Venugopal

Shyam is a Product Portfolio Manager at SOLIDWORKS. He has a Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas and an MBA from Boston University. He has worked as an applications engineer for the microelectronics/semiconductor industry and has been with SOLIDWORKS since 2012.
Shyam Venugopal