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I model all of my designs in Rhino because I find it to be a very intuitive CAD program. For this reason, RhinoCAM was a natural fit for us. We have the 3-5 Axis Premium configuration and find the interface to be very user friendly and the the learning curve to be very smooth.
Why do we use VisualMILL? Ease of Use is the primary reason! We don’t want our kids getting overwhelmed by the software. I’ve discussed this with instructors from a nearby school who use Mastercam and the kids there are really struggling just to use the CAM software. It takes so much time to learn new software that when you find something that both works and is easy to use, you stay with it!
I spent this past summer trying to use Fusion 360 from Autodesk and it was a miserable experience! It was so hard that I basically gave up. I’m sure that if I struggled with it more it would be easier but I didn’t want to spend the time.
When we find a design problem during the machining process, we don’t have to open two different programs – we just fix the design in Rhino, and then RhinoCAM immediately lets us know that we need to regenerate our toolpaths!
RhinoCAM is extremely fast and very efficient! Also, when I design something in Rhino, I know that RhinoCAM is reading my Rhino file directly, not a translated version of the file. I know from experience that in any file translation, you lose detail – Not so with RhinoCAM!
One of the concepts we teach students in the use of digital fabrication is the difference between the 3D model and the resulting part that comes off the CNC machine. During this hands-on process, the students learn both the limitations and the benefits of the technology.
RhinoCAM is exceptional in many ways. The cut material simulation is exceptionally helpful for students to see and understand tool motions. I also like that RhinoCAM comes with a standard tool library and knowledge base that I can customize with the tools and feeds/speeds we use most often here in the shop.
Being so “visual” in the way that RhinoCAM presents the job, is where I’ve found it very easy to learn myself. To be able to visually see your setup, stock material, and operations in relation to the part is very helpful. The ease of use and step by step approach to the user interface walks you through the process of generating toolpath.
Advanced Robotic Technology
We do everything in Rhino! What we love is that it provides us a seamless operation platform. Often when transitioning from one CAD system to another there is unnecessary data that gets carried over. This complicates the design process by introducing additional work. We can model designs in RhinoCAD, with the assurance of knowing that there will not be a problem in RhinoCAM. Everything is done right the first time!
CNC Lead / Paul Bernhard Exhibit Design and Consulting “Being so “visual” in the way that RhinoCAM presents the job, is where I’ve found it very easy to learn myself. To be able to visually see your setup, stock material, and operations in relation to the part is very helpful. The ease of use and step by step approach to the user interface walks you through the process of generating toolpath.” —- Greg White, Advanced Robotic Technology
…my impressions of VisualMill: 1) Clean, well-designed and well-organized menu structure. 2) Impressive graphics, especially in the simulation. 3) Above average calculation speed, both for toolpath, and for simulation. 4) Easily understandable icons. Well designed and implemented icons, not cryptic at all.
John Lombaerde, Canada
Something else I forgot …to tell you again what a wonderful program Visual Mill is. I can’t imagine doing what I am without it. The other programs I have used don’t even come close to the versatility, speed and functions.
We have been using VisualMill since a few years now and I can say that it’s way of integrating with Rhino is just perfect. There is an impressive amount of cutting strategies and the ability of importing curves from Rhino so to machine a limited area will save you twice the time: once because you will only machine a specific area, twice because you don’t need to generate again the area boundary manually. I also like how small details have been taken care of. As an example you can interact (rotate) the model in VisualMill just like you would do in Rhino with the right mouse botton…or pan it in the same way. It’s a productive tool and we are happy with it.