Autodesk Inventor is now a CAD/CAM Solution

Autodesk taking the cloud by storm with CAM

In October 2012, Autodesk acquired HSMWorks, a Solidworks CAM add-on. A year later it announced HSMXpress is available for download and integrated into Autodesk Inventor.

So there’s two versions, HSMXpress and HSMProfessional. Xpress is a free 2 1/2 D Axis CAM, which is CAM on the X/Y plane and Professional will be 3D, so on the X/Y/Z and available on the cloud.


It is Autodesks first CAM offering and demonstrates their continual push to make Product Design Suite better. HSM is built on 64-bit multi-core architecture, is associative between CAD & CAM, generates milling, drilling, counterboring and tapping toolpath strategies,  adaptive clearing (aka roughing), simulates the toolpath, does post processing and has a CNC editor.

Adaptive Clearing Glyph

Adaptive Clearing Glyph

Toolpath Simulation Glyph

Toolpath Simulation

It will be interesting to see how CAM in the Cloud will work. Obvious advantages are post processing and simulation being faster with cloud computing and being able to access the program and your data anywhere there’s a net connection, but what else can it offer?

HSMWorks was a Solidworks Gold Partner before the acquisition was announced, and Dassault Systemes has pulled this certification since then. Autodesk is and will continue to support Solidworks users and has released HSMWorks 2014 for Solidworks.

In an open letter to HSMWorks customers, Tim Mortensen, said a couple of interesting things:

1. The future of SolidWorks

Ever since news of V6 was first announced and speculation began to grow about the future of SolidWorks within Dassault Systèmes, we went through all available channels to get the best information we could regarding the direction of SolidWorks, V6, the SolidWorks Partner Program, and the SolidWorks OEM Program.

We reached out to people as recent as last month in an effort to get any information that might shed some light on the future direction of SolidWorks, the SolidWorks Partner program, or the SolidWorks OEM program. No one could tell us anything.

No company can or should be expected to base their future on such uncertainty.”

2. The future of CAM

When Autodesk reached out to us they made it very clear that they were serious about CAM. They showed us their vision of the future and matched ours. The difference being, Autodesk has the resources to turn that vision into a reality.

It was clear to us that the future of CAM will come out of Autodesk.

We knew the decision would be difficult for some people to understand. Nonetheless, we couldn’t let that keep us from making the right decision. Time will be the final judge.

Autodesk HSMWorks remains the CAM solution for SolidWorks.”

Let’s wait and see what the future of Solidworks will be with V6. If a long standing Gold Partner can’t get any answers, what hope do customers have?

I can’t wait to see what the future of Autodesk CAM will be…