Knowledge Based Machining Technology


SOLIDWORKS® CAM is a fully integrated, Knowledge Based Machining (KBM) technology that allows you to integrate 3D design and manufacturing processes under one system; to evaluate designs earlier in the process to avoid unexpected costs and delays in finishing products on time.

Streamline your CNC machine programming

SOLIDWORKS CAM leverages the rich content in the 3D CAD model to speed up product development and reduce error prone, time consuming, repetitive manual steps in the current development process, like programming CNC machines. Knowledge Based Machining (KBM) is the foundation for streamlining the programming process, learning as you program which frees up your time to focus on the critical areas of the components.

SOLIDWORKS CAM is an add-on to all versions of SOLIDWORKS Desktop CAD that lets you prepare your designs for manufacturability earlier in the development cycle. Manufacturing tasks that had to wait until a design was complete can now be performed concurrently with the design process.

Overview Demo

Tolerance Based Machining


Enhance your manufacturing process by capturing company standards, speed up quoting, and test manufacturability of a design earlier in the process.

Feature Recognition

Recognize certain types of geometry not only as CAD features, but to understand how much those features will be manufactured, and even how much it will cost to manufacture. SOLIDWORKS CAM can find 20+ types of machinable features on parts, such as holes, slots, and pockets.

Rules-based Machining

Automatically apply best manufacturing strategies that you like to use so that manufacturing processes can be not only faster, but also more standardized.

Tolerance Based Machining

Model Based Definition (MBD) is leveraged to ensure machining strategies are automatically adjusted based on tolerance specifications. Reading tolerances and surface finishes will help you to make decisions about how to manufacture your product.

Part & Assembly machining

2.5-axis milling solution which allows users to program in either part or assembly environments.

Automatic Quoting

Automate quoting and compare it to traditional methods to ensure all aspects of the part are accounted for ahead of time.

2.5 Axis Milling

Machine prismatic features with 2.5 axis milling capabilities. SOLIDWORKS CAM includes automatic roughing, finishing, thread milling, face milling and single point (drilling, boring, reaming, tapping) cycles.

3 Axis Milling

SOLIDWORKS CAM includes 3 axis milling routines to machine complex, contoured surfaces routinely encountered in mold/tool making and aerospace applications.


SOLIDWORKS CAM 2 and 4 axis turning software for programming CNC lathe machines includes automatic roughing, finishing, grooving, threading, cutoff and single point (drilling, boring, reaming and tapping) cycles.

Associative Machining

SOLIDWORKS CAM provides true associative machining - automatically accommodating changes to your part or assembly model. Any modifications made to the SOLIDWORKS design are automatically updated in SOLIDWORKS CAM, which eliminates time consuming CAM system rework due to design alterations.

"TriMech's quick response time, sales and technical support are all very good. We implemented SOLIDWORKS in 1998 and to date, remain a satisfied customer"

Brad Toole
Engineering Manager, Breaker Technology Ltd.


Powerful and intuitive programming and production tools

Feature Recognition

The use of knowledge-based machining and rules-based machining allows new users to adapt to a company’s machining process readily, and allows for:

  • Recognizing any updated geometry as the model changes through feature updates or newly imported parts.
  • Assigning machining strategies based on features that are recognized.
  • Updating machining strategies if a design’s tolerance changes.
  • Rules-based machining enables designers and engineers to:
    • Catch design errors and new part setups through Automatic Feature Recognition.
    • Quote components quickly using company standards captured as rules.
3 Axis Milling

SOLIDWORKS CAM includes 3 axis milling routines to machine complex, contoured surfaces routinely encountered in mold/tool making and aerospace applications.

  • Adaptive roughing strategy provides the ability to cut using the full depth of the tool and safely run your machine at optimum speed. This can reduce machining time up to 40% over conventional roughing with less wear.
  • 3 Axis finishing operations include parallel slice cut, constant stepover, Z-level, curve project, and others
  • Z Level/Constant stopover combination operation can be used for machining steep and shallower slope areas in one toolpath.
  • All 3 Axis milling operations support rest or leftover machining. Rest machining is used to reduce air cutting by restricting toolpaths to areas within the feature that have not been machined previously.


SOLIDWORKS CAM will support single turret turning inside the SOLIDWORKS part environment. Similar to part milling, users can take advantage of Automatic Feature Recognition, Knowledge-Based Machining, and configurations.

A predefined library of tools and machining strategies are loaded into the Technology Database. These can be customized at any time to enhance the programming process. Users have the ability to create custom tools and holders for specific machining operations. Simultaneous mill/turn or live tooling functionality is not available with SOLIDWORKS CAM.

High-Speed Machining

With the advancements in machine tools and tooling it is necessary to optimize machining toolpaths to get the most out of your equipment investment.

SOLIDWORKS CAM Professional utilizes VoluMill 2.5-axis milling routines from Celeritive™ Technologies. The advantages of using these machining strategies are:

  • Up to 75% savings on cutting tool costs.
  • 50% to 80% reductions in machining cycle times.
  • Easy-to-learn machining strategies
  • No special machine tools are required
  • Reduced wear and tear on your equipment due to smoother transitions in toolpaths


Four manufacturing packages to choose from


SOLIDWORKS CAM Standard lets you quickly program individual milled parts and configurations without leaving the SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD environment. You have full access to defining rules within SOLIDWORKS CAM to create and build to your company standards, as well as Tolerance-Based Machining (TBM).


SOLIDWORKS CAM Professional builds on the capabilities of SOLIDWORKS CAM Standard with increased programming capabilities. The additional features include High-Speed Machining (HSM), configurations, assembly machining, turning, and 3+2 programming to drive four- and five-axis machines.

SOLIDWORKS CAM Machinist Standard

SOLIDWORKS Machinist Standard provides all the functionality found in SOLIDWORKS CAM Standard plus a Part only modeling environment allowing you to work seamlessly with SOLIDWORKS Part files and import several neutral file formats.  This connectivity makes easy to work with customers and vendors to collaborate on the manufacturing process.

SOLIDWORKS CAM Machinist Professional

SOLIDWORKS Machinist Professional provides SOLIDWORKS CAM Professional capabilities with SOLIDWORKS Parts and Assemblies to allow the user the ability to import and design fixtures and other manufacturing components used in the machining process.  By using Assembly mode in SOLIDWORKS CAM Professional, automatic toolpath clipping can be used to ensure your programs do not collide with custom fixtures or vises.


Compare the different versions of SOLIDWORKS CAM software

Rules Based Machining
SOLIDWORKS CAM uses rules-based machining to enhance the programming process while leveraging tolerances that were assigned to components. Rules-based machining lets you focus on the critical areas of making a part rather than touching every feature that needs to be machined.
Tolerance-based Machining (TBM)
Tolerances and annotations in 3D models are used to automatically create machine programs. TBM automatically adjusts asymmetric tolerances to mean tolerances for cutting tool strategies.
Knowledge-Based Machining (KBM)
KBM is like have a machinist at your fingertips. Once features are identified by automatic or interactive feature recognition, KBM defines machining strategies and tools to best machine the geometry. Using these rules will automatically allow you to define repeatable machining processes based on your company standards.
Associativity with SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD
Any change made to a design in SOLIDWORKS CAD is automatically updated, applied, and reflected in SOLIDWORKS CAM.
Automatic Feature Recognition (AFR)
Recognize certain types of geometry (holes, pockets, bosses, and turn–Professional only) not only as CAD features. Automatic feature recognition allows prismatic parts to be identified at a feature level based on machinable shapes.
Automate Machine Times
Automate machine time calculation and compare it to traditional methods for ensuring all aspects of a part are accounted for ahead of time before committing to production.
3 + 2 Programming
SOLIDWORKS CAM Professional can employ a machining technique where a three-axis milling program is executed with the cutting tool locked in a tilted position using the five-axis machine's two rotational axes.
High-Speed Machining (HSM)
SOLIDWORKS CAM Professional HSM using VoluMill technology maintains constant tool pressure throughout the cutting process. The variable feed rate allows the tool to cut at full depth to shorten cycle times while extending machine and tool life. This best-in- class machining routine works with standard cutting tools to lower overhead cost when machining components.
Turning Capabilities
SOLIDWORKS CAM Professional has turning capabilities that include face rough and finish, rough and finish turn, groove rough and finish, rough and finish bore, cut-off, ID and OD threading, and drill, and tap on center.
Part Modeling/Import
Part modeling and import is the foundation of programming in a digital world. Creating and importing parts allows the user the ability to communicate with designers, read MBD data and make necessary manufacturing adjustments. Because it is SOLIDWORKS, it is easy to use and learn.
Assembly Modeling/Import
Assemblies take our components to the next level by allowing us to check fits and tolerances plus explain to manufacturers how we want to build our products. By using assemblies for manufacturing, we can import clamps and vises to make sure our parts are made the first time correctly and provide the necessary clearances to be able to remove the finished product when it completed.


Easy to use software which will adapt to your business process

Connected to SOLIDWORKS

Direct or “deep” integration allows SOLIDWORKS CAM to take advantage of information in your 3D CAD model so it’s easy for your team to make better, more-informed decisions.

Utilizes tolerance-based machining

Use SOLIDWORKS Model-Based Definition (MBD) to ensure machining strategies are automatically adjusted based on tolerance specifications.

Easily standardizes processes

While SOLIDWORKS CAM can be used like any other CAM software—setting up operations, picking tools, setting speeds and feeds—the real advantage is found running SOLIDWORKS CAM in the automated mode (also called “rules-based” machining).

SOLIDWORKS CAM Standard included with SOLIDWORKS Subscription

The SOLIDWORKS CAM Standard software is included with all desktop versions of SOLIDWORKS desktop software on active SOLIDWORKS Subscription Service

Looking for a Cloud Alternative?

3DEXPERIENCE Works provides a Safe, Social, Connected, Informed and Structured alternative to SOLIDWORKS CAM for team leaders, project managers and other professionals who want to manage data on the cloud and collaborate without constraints.

Safe: Customer controlled access. Transparent cloud backup. Encrypted communication protocols. Data always safe-no overwrite, no loss of data.

Social: Integrated structured and unstructured collaboration tools enabling social innovation. Collaborate on product design or engage with your stakeholders early in product development.

Connected: Every user always connected to a single, common database. Access data anywhere, anytime, on any device. Review and markup models.

Informed: Choose from the widget library, Create and share Dashboards. Get the latest information about your product development. Always have access to your latest data.

Structured: Zero overhead data management - store and manage data across collaborative spaces, share information in communities. Find indexed data faster by using tags, custom search, etc.