Complete noob! How to get started?

HSM Xpress is fantastic, and if you’ve got access to it HSMWorks is too… very pricey though.

I Prefer designing in SW, but I much prefer how Fusion360 toolpathing works, so adding those options to SW turns it into a solid option.

Do you have access to the SW CAM option? It was fairly new in 2018, I’d imagine a lot of work has gone into it since then

@stutaylo, from what a noob like me can tell, HSMXpress is more than sufficient for my needs.

I do have SW CAM and I’ll be playing with it AFTER I get comfortable with MeshCAM. SW CAM actually looks pretty serious, especially in SW 2021.

Look, I talk the talk… but I don’t even have a CNC… my Nomad is still on backorder. This conversation has both opened my eyes AND had given me many options for the future to come.

What’s funny is that in the last 2 weeks—since I’ve ordered the Nomad—all my SW designs seemed to have magically shifted from being easy to manually machine to requiring a CNC for precise control. I am so freaking excited to have one for myself!! :slight_smile:

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@gregfridman yeah I think for the vast majority of jobs HSM Xpress is more than sufficient.There’s a lot of features there considering it’s free!

I originall bought my Shapeoko because I wanted to learn how to use Solidworks, watching videos and reading books wasn’t working for me.

Dassault did have a free ‘makers’ version of Solidworks in 2018, but it looks like it’s gone by the wayside. I can’t justify keeping the full price subscription going, so it’s 2018 for me!

You’re gonna have a ball with that Nomad!

@stutaylo, since I’m a legit company I pay full price… My SW license is … I can get a used HAAS with what I pay to them… Well, I have SW Flow Sim, too. In 3 words: it was expensive!!

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Yeah, it’s amazing to me the way that 3D modeling has become so easily accessible on such affordable equipment — I can remember reading about the specialized computers which were once required for 3D visualization and the incredible expense of them.

Still waiting to see what opensource program will next be as successful as Blender has been in becoming commercially acceptable to use.

There were some very promising statements made about FreeCAD recently, so will have to try it once again once I finish my current slate of projects.

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