What’s New in SOLIDWORKS CAM 2020

This is the fourth blog post in a series of What’s New in SOLIDWORKS® 2020. As you may know, SOLIDWORKS CAM is powered by CAMWorks®, but you should also know that SOLIDWORKS has its own development team focused on improving the solution.

SOLIDWORKS CAM 2020 is an important component of our design-to-manufacturing solution. We are excited to positively impact your efficiency and productivity in manufacturing—thanks to all our users for their constructive feedback!

SOLIDWORKS CAM 2020 is a complete 2.5 axis CAM solution. Let’s take a quick look at some of the key features in this release.

Probing Routines

Probing plays a big part in productivity. Lots of machines today—from Tormach to Matsuura—have probing capabilities to make machining faster, easier, and more repeatable.  The new Probe functionality helps you speed up the setup and manufacturing process.

Let’s say you need to machine ten parts from a rectangular block of rough stock. Initially, you need to determine your zero or program origin. By leveraging Probe’s features, you can automatically find zero every time you run the program.

Adding Probe functionality means that as you change out parts to move to the next one, you can automatically run that routine—a repeatable process. Also, you don’t have to worry about varying operator skill levels when changing from first shift to second shift; the machine automatically locates that same zero point every time.

To make Probe even easier and more flexible, SOLIDWORKS CAM added common feature types such as Single Point, Pocket, Boss, 3-Point Boss, and 3-Point Hole.

Probe functionality is now available in SOLIDWORKS CAM Professional—think of it as a productivity pack that will take you to the next level of speed and efficiency.

Tab Cutting

Tab Cutting is a pretty important enhancement on multiple levels. Whether you’re creating aerospace parts or cutting parts on the plasma table, the big trend these days is to machine as much as possible without the part falling out (milling) or tipping upward (2D cutting). Doing this helps you avoid ruining the part, breaking the tool, or damaging the machine – all of which have cost implications as well as slow down your progress.

In the past, tabs had to be drawn manually. Now the Tab Cutting option automatically inserts micro joints or tabs based on part profile and parametrically updates according to geometry changes, eliminating lots of extra steps.

Customize for Personal Preferences

Tweaking settings to make electronics easy to use and uniquely ours is pretty much standard these days. For example, we customize smartphone ringtones, email and text notifications, screen savers, and automated alarms—whatever fits our needs from day to day. Similarly, in SOLIDWORKS CAM, you can now create a customized Technology Database that is personalized to your work preferences.

A customized format can be saved and reused, or you can develop additional formats based on how you edit your unique machines. This new functionality enables you to create a format that makes sense to you as you generate rules in a database that is optimized for how you actually work.

Finally, I want to let you know one thing to not forget regarding customization. Make sure SOLIDWORKS CAD is not running when you save or restore format settings.

Tapered Multi-point Thread Tool

SOLIDWORKS users are using multi-point thread tools more often as they are faster and more efficient than using only straight threading tools in either single or multi-point configurations. The new multi-point tapered threading tool, now available in the library, lets the thread angle align with tapered holes. You have the flexibility to choose from single-point, user-defined, or automatic tapered threads.

Universal Post Generator

The Universal Post Generator (UPG) now allows for more routines. If you want to create or edit your post processors, the new version of the UPG enables the latest capabilities of SOLIDWORKS CAM. Download your free version here.

As always, we need your feedback to keep making the product better and better. Your enhancement requests are critical to the development of the software. Let us know what you think in the comment section below.

Michael Buchli
Michael Buchli has 20 years of design and manufacturing experience throughout the Midwest ranging from Aerospace to recycling systems. A number of those years were spent learning and understanding workflows and processes to improve efficiency and productivity. From running CNC equipment to welding and painting Michael has been hands-on in all aspects of bringing products to market. Michael is also certified in many areas of mfg and a CSWP. He has also written the CAMWorks Handbook.