Free CAM:Delcam for SolidWorks Xpress

I guess it is alright being late to the party if you are the only one who knows there is one.
Delcam for SolidWork Xpress (DelcamXpress as I choose to call it) has been out since May 2013 but hasn’t gotten nearly the same attention as when HSMWorks released their free version back in 2011. With HSMWorks being bought by Autodesk one could question how long this product will be supported on the SolidWorks platform, and therefore a look at this 2.5 Axis Free CAM might be in its place.

1st thing to point out is that DelcamXpress does all its work in a SolidWorks Assembly mode. This gives you the option to also include fixture, vises, tables etc.
I also like to point out that the software easily takes you through the steps of selection your stock (Solid Body, Bounding Box, Bounding Cylinder, Selected Edges and Centered Block) and gives you really good options to select and control your pickup point(Work Coordinate, G54 etc).

Your selection for toolpaths is pretty basic. “Hole” and “Face” should be easy enough to understand.
“Side” is side milling, but also here you can select SolidWorks sketches as such you can borrow with “Convert Entities” and of course create your own.
“Feature” toolpath can be used to quickly select your cuts if the SolidWorks model has been created with machine intent. Such as a cut in SolidWorks is also directly a mill pocket.
Last one is “Setup” this option will let you create more than one setup (Have not tested to see if this could be used for an indexing move).

Creating toolpaths and navigating through the menus has a nice flow to it. The biggest thing is you are picking the same faces to machine as was created doing the design, by selecting those SolidWorks faces. No Import/Export into another software, conversion of data etc.

For my short dry-run all the normal parameters (or Attributes as Delcam calls it) for adjustments was found easy at hand, and the tool manager has a good starting point of tools with options to add your own.

DelcamXpress has similarities to the SolidWorks FeatureManager Tree. Easy to oversee and you can drag and drop operations.
Also worth to note that the stock removal simulation is pleasant to the eye.

DelcamXpress even has gouge protection as I might experienced once or twice :-)

Free learning tools are right at hand via the SolidWorks taskpane and Delcam’s yourtube channel. With a list of very useful videos getting you up quickly.
Conclusion…
I believe you get what you pay for most of the time, but it has been proven that plenty of people can get by with free CAM. I think that is awesome! So if you are tinkering around with things where this would be a fit, only a little learning time will be needed to be machining steel.
Another thought could be you are a standalone kinda CAM guy who would like to see what all of this integrated CAM is about.
All I can say is go download it. It is free http://www.delcamforsolidworks.com/xpress/

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • Mark Gadsden

    Hello Lars. Really interesting reading your blog and thank you for the feedback. I am concerned by your frustrations with the tutorial videos but am not exactly sure what you’re referring to. Could you please email me at mcg@delcam.com to explain further so we can address the issue as required?

    Thanks!
    Mark Gadsden
    Product Marketing Manager – Delcam Advanced Manufacturing Solution (AMS)

  • CADGuy

    Lars, Can we look forward to a review of Autodesk HSMXpress for SoildWorks?

  • http://cadcamstuff.com/ Lars Christensen

    Hi Mark,
    Some of the tutorial videos through the SolidWorks task manager seems not to exist on youtube. It should be easy to trouble shoot by clicking through each video link in the task pane.

  • http://cadcamstuff.com/ Lars Christensen

    Hi CADGuy,

    Thank you for taking the time to write.

    I have posted some HSMWorks in the past. I am guessing that not much have changed with functions, interface and options since then.

    http://cadcamstuff.com/1736/hsmworks-turns-solidworks-into-fabolius-cam/

    http://cadcamstuff.com/1898/solidworks-knitting-toolpaths-with-hsmworks/

    http://cadcamstuff.com/2069/hsmworks-verifies-an-ipad-inside-solidworks/

    http://cadcamstuff.com/2113/hsmworks-for-solidworks-is-like-a-smoothie-for-your-code/

    http://cadcamstuff.com/3111/hsmxpress-now-available-free-cam-for-solidworks/

    However if someone can tell me that it is worth digging back into I would be happy to do so.

  • Mark Gadsden

    Hi Lars,
    OK thanks for clarifying. I will go through the video links in the task pane today and see what needs correcting. YouTube has caused us some issues with a couple of videos so it may have had a knock-on effect. Thank you for the feedback!

  • http://cadcamstuff.com/ Lars Christensen

    Hi Mark,
    Fantastic. The video tutorials are done very well. Please feel free to comment back here when all the videos are working so we are not leaving this small trouble open ended and I will edit my original blog post.
    Thank you for offering free CAM!! :-)

  • Mark Gadsden

    Hi Lars,
    I just had a look through the DFS XPRESS tutorial videos in the task pane now and all of them open up and play without any problems. I am using the latest version (V20.1.0.24) which is now available to download from the website. Perhaps you are using an older version?
    Thanks – Mark

  • http://cadcamstuff.com/ Lars Christensen

    Hi Mark,
    Could have been. Great that the videos are all up and working.