It seems that the Inventor HSM Express 2015 plugin for Inventor 2014 does not carry across multiple Windows 7 user accounts. How do I fix this so it shows up for any user account that logs in the computer?
While I can’t answer your question directly, I will say that FRC teams are eligible for a full version of HSMworks for Solidworks, so the same is probably true for Inventor. I contacted them a couple months ago and they gave me a license code. It works fine on my computer, and they seemed to indicate the license could be used to install the software on our lab computers as well.
We have used Visual Mill for the past three years, but I was considering switching over to HSMworks because their toolpaths make more sense for our CNC mill. After testing our both programs, I’m still undecided. There are things that Visual Mill does better, and there are things that HSMworks does better. What is your impression of HSMexpress?
I like HSMexpress, with only one caveat: It doesn’t do tabs.
I have a CNC router, and when cutting out a shape, you need to leave small tabs of material so the shape doesn’t lift off the table (would result in bad things). HSMexpress doesn’t do that. My only complaint.
You could not ask for better integration with both Inventor and Solidworks.
I know that on our school computers we’ve had trouble with inventor add ins. It seems that the folder that contains some of the add in configuration data is sometimes stored with the user, instead of with the software install. Make sure that HSM express is installing to Inventor 2014/Bin, and that the add in manager (under settings) has “load automatically” checked.
I like HSM express, but the lack of automatic tabs makes it slower for me than MasterCAM X4. HSM express lacks a lot of features that make parts with multiple depths more complicated. In MasterCAM, I can make multiple cplanes, and the tool path automatically knows how deep to go, and where the material starts.
Overall, it’s very user friendly, and it can save a ton of time if you have to make a little change to your design and will automatically adjust the toolpath. The greatest feature is that you can set the climb/conventional mill setting for one operation, and all the pockets/chains will update. MasterCAM must be told for each chain if it is CW/CCW, and has no option to set all chains in one direction. The default tool library is pretty nice too.
If you’re doing only “2.5D” operations, then HSM express works really well, but for more complicated parts or 4 axis machining, you’ll be much better of with a full CAM package, like visual mill.