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Fusion 360 vs. Mastercam

Message 1 of 17
11055 Views, 16 Replies

Fusion 360 vs. Mastercam

Currently we are using Mastercam for our shop and are using it for 2-2.5 axis milling. Is switching to Fusin 360 realistic in keeping the abilities we need? Also do you have an idea of any key features from Mastercam that we would lose by switching to Fusion 360?

Thank you for your time.

Message 2 of 17

If you are only doing 2-2.5 axis work, you are going to have many improvements with using Fusion.

It's been a few years since I've used MasterCam. What version are you guys on?

Off the top of my head, the one thing you will lose is single stroke engraving. I don't know if that is a concern for you. Fusion has yet to implement that feature.

For drawing/modeling, there is no comparison. Apples and oranges (and Fusion wins in that department)


CAM Post modifications are very easy to obtain, often within the same day of asking for help. User forum is also quite active, and generally helpful/positive


Seth Madore
Owner, Liberty Machine, Inc.
Good. Fast. Cheap. Pick two.
Message 3 of 17

Thank you so much! off the top of my head I'm not sure what version we are using. It is good to know that we won't be losing any key features and I hope Fusion will impliment single stroke engraving soon. Thanks agian for your help!

Message 4 of 17

One thing to keep in mind: Switching to Fusion does involve a change in mindset. While you can program parts off of sketches, it is (often) more practical to just make the solid model and go with that.

Last time I was using MCAM, I was in the habit of one file for operation one, another for operation 2, so on and so forth. This is not the case with Fusion. Everything gets saved under one file. I really like this feature, to be honest.

The other thing is this, and it may or may not be a huge deal for you: The files are stored on the cloud. This is not optional. There are no EASY methods of backing up to your computer. You also cannot add shortcuts to your computer filing system, as last I tried, Fusion did not support links. Like I said, this may or may not be an issue. 

I resisted that last but for quite a while. Now I'm like "eh, whatever". The software is much to beneficial for me to give up over that.

Seth Madore
Owner, Liberty Machine, Inc.
Good. Fast. Cheap. Pick two.
Message 5 of 17

Oh, and if I recall, MasterCam wanted you to buy a module for 2.5 axis, another for 3 axis and another for 4 axis. On top of that, then they offered the MasterCam LATHE plugin. It gets quite expensive quite fast.

As I understand, the base PAID version of Fusion costs $300 and gets you 3 axis tool paths as well as 2 axis lathe. Can't beat that with a stick

The Ultimate package costs $1000 a year, but gets 3+2 and mill/turn ability.

Seth Madore
Owner, Liberty Machine, Inc.
Good. Fast. Cheap. Pick two.
Message 6 of 17
in reply to: LibertyMachine

One of the best things I like about Fusion 360 is the fact that you can copy/paste setups and toolpaths from file to file. It is very convenient, specially when you are machining similar parts. I work in a company that use MasterCam X8 , but I use Fusion at home. I like both, but I prefer Fusion 360

Message 7 of 17
in reply to: Anonymous


if you had a tool library that you had built in Mastercam and you were using X7 and newer; you can send the .tooldb files to me and i can convert them into Fusion tool libraries.

Matthew Nichols
Adoption Specialist - MFG
Message 8 of 17

You will lose a little bit on control for things like drill cycles and window select features, but have found mostly upside. Mastercam does also deal with large .dxf files better I have found. But 6000 plus holes in a part are not everday use for most people. I have found Fusions tool paths are better, but dont give the level of customization that MC, but overall ease of use and the fact that you can share work on the shop floor, free post, the cost, and the fusion community blows it away.

Love U.S. Mfg.
Thomas Koelndorfer
Message 9 of 17
in reply to: LibertyMachine

Were do I go to get Cam modifications done. We are trying to make the move from FeatureCam to Fusion 360 on our Okuma mill. The post is very close but needs some slight tweaking.  

Message 10 of 17
in reply to: Anonymous


Well, for starters, we try not to dig up the oldest thread we can find and tack onto it with somewhat unrelated questions 😉


Start a new thread detailing the changes you would like to see made. If they are relatively simple (placement of M codes, slight re arrangement of code) we can address those here. If they are rather involved, we will have to pull in the assistance of the post writers.


Provide a sample Fusion file that you are trying to post, the Post Processor you are working with, produced code and edited code that reflects the changes desired. Dump those all into a .zip folder and attach them to the thread when you create it 🙂

Seth Madore
Customer Advocacy Manager - Manufacturing
Message 11 of 17

Hi. Do you have a tool library you could send me. I'm new to fusion and don't have access to a mastercam tool library...

Metric tool list if possible.. I would be most grateful - creating my own is frustrating and time consuming.

Message 12 of 17

There are tool libraries built in. They are pretty good. Do you need
something special.
Love U.S. Mfg.
Thomas Koelndorfer
Message 13 of 17

Just a standard tool metric tool library with max spindle speed 12k that gives me ball park feed and speeds.. is this something you could forward on to me? Thanks 

Message 14 of 17

I  think that's asking a bit much of your fellow machinists/programmers. People put a lot of time into creating libraries to fit their needs, and what works for them is not guaranteed to work for you. I suggest you start with the generic library that's supplied with Fusion and build on it from there. You can copy the generic tools into your own library and adjust the cutting data to suit your machine and materials.

Seth Madore
Customer Advocacy Manager - Manufacturing
Message 15 of 17

Hi. Yes I know how much time goes in to creating a tool library. 'If you don't ask you don't get' isnt that the saying 😄

Message 16 of 17
in reply to: Matthew_Curran

MasterCAM is popular crap forced in Switzerland. Complicated with too many unnecessary settings, and questionable results.


Industry standards:


HyperMill (King of the turbine blades, form industry)

SolidWorks/SolidCAM (King of 3D machinning generally)


There are various clones of above by mentioned CAM solutions. If you design yourself, you most likely have already SolidWorks/Catia. Easiest solution would be SolidCAM with just 2D modules. It gets expensive if you buy all modules HSM, iMachining3D. Of course, I haven't seen latest version of SolidCAM (last version we used was 2015). As everything, it may suffer from common success disease, and become expensive rubbish.


Almost every SW offers demo version. Just ask dealer. If you work in MasterCAM, you will most ikely have some transformation/learning issues. AutoCAD, SolidWorks, Catia is intuitive, easily to learn. I have learnt SolidCAM in 3 weeks without every working on CAM SW before.


MasterCAM makes no sense to me. It was programmed by people that never saw machine in their lives. PICK YOUR POISON. I have seen SolidCAM clone HSMworks. It may be good nowadays, it was allegedly created by same guy who programmed legendary iMachining in SolidCAM.

For 2D anything do. I would say InventorCAM/Fusion Manufacture is very simple for simple parts. We usually struggle with more complex parts including 3D surfaces. I miss many SolidWorks/SolidCAM features, but it is inexpensive solution.


(little moderation by Community manager😉)

Message 17 of 17
in reply to: infoXNDBJ

You realize that you are answering a question asked in 2016... I'm sure he's made his choice by now 😜

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