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Think You Know Which CAM Packages Are Most Popular? Time to Find Out!

Dec 15, 2015   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Cool, Products, Software  //  12 Comments

We’ve just completed our 4th CAM Software Market Share Survey, and the results are fascinating.  We’ve done them in 2010, 2012, 2014, and now 2015.  We’ll be doing one every year from now on–the market is just changing too quickly to look only every other year.

We divide the market into 3 segments:

  • High-End:  More expensive packages with more functionality.
  • Tiered:  Modular packages available in a range of configurations that span from the Low-End to the High-End.
  • Low-End:  Thees are inexpensive packages most commonly used by Hobbyists, but as we’ll see, they’re starting to come up-market to the Professional World.

Let’s take a look by category.

High-End CAM

The High End was the largest part of our survey and accounted for 47% of adoptions.

For our 2014 Survey, we remarked that the High-End CAM Software Market was crowded, fragmented, and somewhat confusing.  There had been predictions of consolidation, but consolidation was not apparent in the data.  That has changed for our 2015 survey.  There are still a great many players, but the Top 5 account for 5% of the market while in 2014 the Top 5 were 51%.  The market is indeed gradually consolidating.


High-End CAM Market Share

Here are the highlights of 2015 relative to the 2014 results:

  • Mastercam remains the #1 player and even gained share—moving from 22% to 27%
  • NX fell from #2 to #6 and is no longer in the Top 5.
  • HSMWorks has made stunning gains—moving from #5 and 5% share to #2 and 17% share. Note that this is not the inexpensive Fusion 360 version.  These are the full-featured versions that integrate with Solidworks and Inventor.
  • OneCNC is hanging in at the same #3 position and even picked up some share, moving from 6% to 8%.
  • Powermill and Solidcam are tied for the #4 and #5 places, but Solidcam has lost a little overall share while Powermill is coming on pretty strongly. Apparently the merger with Autodesk has been a good idea for the product.
  • Below the Top 5, Edgecam, Alphacam, Esprit, TopSolid, and Hypermill all made good gains in market share. Notable share losers were GibbsCAM, SurfCAM, Catia, and Pro/E.

To understand the market share gains and losses better, you’ll want to drill down on some of the other survey analysis such as Share of Mind, Top Features, Top Frustrations, Conversions Rates and Product Strengths and Weaknesses.

Tier-Priced CAM

The Tier-Priced category consists of products that are sold in modular fashion so you can build a CAM package at virtually any price point depending on how much functionality you need.  As such they straddle multiple markets from low-end to high-end.


Tier-Price CAM Software Market Share

When we did our 2014 survey, the Tier-Priced category was the second most popular segment, after the High-End.  This year, its share places it in third place, and we think that is largely due to the incredible success of Fusion 360 at the Low End.  26% of our respondents were using Tier-Priced CAM packages.

There was quite a lot of upheaval in market shares among the Tier-Priced packages too:

  • BobCAD/CAM moved up from #3 (18% share) to #1 place with 27% share.
  • SprutCAM fell from #1 to #2 place going from 38% share to 27%.
  • Vectric moved from #4 (17% share) to #3 with 24% share.
  • Mecsoft’s family of products fell from #2 place (22%) to #4 place 20%. That’s not that big a share change for them.

In 2014 the Top 3 players in this segment had 78% of the segment.  For 2015, the Top 3 also have 78%.  The forces at work here are not consolidation but changing positions based on overall momentum.  Like the High-End, more insights are possible by looking at some of the other reports.

Low-Cost CAM

These are the packages that Hobbyists and “Prosumers” (low-end business + high-end hobbyist) thrive on because their price points are relatively low.  This was our second largest category having received 32% of the responses.


Low-End CAM Market Share

This is the market where Autodesk’s Cloud Strategy and Fusion 360 product have really taken over.  The Top 3 players in 2014 had 61% market share while Fusion 360 is closing in on that all by itself.  Every single player we tracked in this market lost some share to Fusion 360, it was only a matter of how much.  CAMBAM stayed pretty flat while MeshCAM went from 23% to 15% share.  The rest all did much worse.

The combination of nice parametric CAD, the very nice HSMWorks CAM, and all at a very affordable price is tough to beat.  The low-end market is basically being offered a lot of the power that had been reserved for the High End and Tiered Segments at a very affordable price.

Customer Satisfaction

Customer Satisfaction can be elusive to track down, but we all want the product whose customers love it the most.  For this report, we measured Customer Satisfaction as a score in two ways.  First, we asked respondents to rank their packages on a 1 to 3 scale where 1 = Not very good, 2 = OK, 3 = It rocks!  Second, we asked whether the customer was actively searching for a new package to adopt.  A mathematical formula related the percentage of each kind of answer to a Customer Satisfaction Score.

High-End Top 5

  1. Alphacam
  2. Edgecam
  3. Gibbscam
  4. Featurecam
  5. Solidcam

Tiered Top 5

  1. Vectric
  2. Bob CAD/CAM
  3. Sprutcam
  4. VisualMill
  5. MADCam

Low-End Top 5

  1. DolphinCAM
  2. HSMWorks (Fusion 360)
  3. MeshCam
  4. CamBam
  5. Desk Proto


Want to Learn More About CAM?

This year we asked a lot more questions in the survey than simply, “Which CAM packages are you using?”  We added questions relating to Customer Satisfaction, Favorite Features, Biggest Frustrations, and more.  We learned a lot, but it’s really too much for one article.

If you’d like to know more, no problem.  Just sign up for our weekly newsletter and we’ll give you a link that allows you to download our beefy and free PDF report on the survey.  A little later, we’ll publish more installments with even more information. Stay tuned for these follow-up articles, but for now, sign up for our weekly digest of new CNCCookbook blog articles and we’ll give you the PDF report for free.

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Think You Know Which CAM Packages Are Most Popular? Time to Find Out!
2.5 (50%) 2 votes


  • Interesting to see where Vectric came in customer satisfaction. I like it because of its intuitive qualities. I had paid good money for software that I ended up hating, in fairness to them I will not name them but I think they were on a higher professional plane than I was. I have just upgraded to VCP8 having followed through from Cut 2D VCP6 and 7. Combining that with my using Mach3 simplifies my life The KISS principle

    • Graham, I think you make an important point. CAM packages are all different in how they approach things. What’s important is to find the one that works the way you want to work.

  • […] 2015 CAM Survey Results […]

  • I cannot understand how you can say that high end CAM are this 5 systems:

    Where are the real high end like: Tebis, DelCAM, WorkNC, Hypernmill?

    I would apreciate if you could explain it to me.

    • Alejandro, the data are drawn from a survey. If a package is missing, it’s because there were insufficient responses from those products to draw conclusions.

  • I can tell you this about BobCad/Cam: buy this product if you like having high-pressure, car salesmen type salesmen CALLING you ALL THE TIME, trying to get you to buy more of their products. And these people must think that we’re idiots, the way they talk to us. They couldn’t sell pussy on a troop ship. They will call you even after you block their number. They will call you even after you scream at them, after you write to the company to complain, after you move to another country. Ok, I didn’t move to another country. But I might. I was warned that they would call me when I bought the software, but I was brand new to CADCAM, and they had an affordable package, and I had no idea how bad the calls would be. But believe me, they’re bad.

  • I would concur with James Irelan that BobCAD does tend to go overboard with the follow up sales calls. But I have found that when we’ve asked them to be put on their do not call list until we need help from them, they have. Getting mad and yelling won’t help. Just ask them to put you on the DNC.

    And although the sales calls might be more aggressive than most, at least they call you. I’ve found that every other CAD/CAM company we looked into never even responded for a long time. They are too busy chasing the behemouths like Lockheed Martin and GM, not working with the “normal people”. Imagine what getting technical assistance must be like if they can’t even call you when you are trying to buy something.

    Lastly, with BobCAD, you definitely get a HUGE bang for your buck. We actually saw the same tool paths as Mastercam and Gibbs in our Version 28 BobCAD program (go to and click on the box that says “moduleworks Company” and then “Partners” and you will see all the companies that buy toolpath technology from them). So although you may have to deal with some phone calls, you’ll be able to do any part you can in Mastercam, Gibbs, Surfcam, etc. but for a lot less, AND much faster. So many less dialogue boxes to set up a job then the other CAD/CAM programs we looked at. .

    Anyways, that is my two-cents worth.

  • […] 2015 CAM Survey Results […]

  • Worknc is the most popular cam system for die /mold work here in the metro Detroit area

  • […] is a list of the most popular software from our last CAM Package Survey that shows whether each package has Plunge Roughing or […]

  • Here is the deal..I bought a cnc with the idea of learning how to use it.Here is the problem and i am sure I am not the only one out there..We need a tutorial which starts from a picture of a flower in your pc,,how to convert it to a cnc useable version,how to tranfer it,convert it,set it up and where.Simply the whole process up to including integrating into your program like meshcam or others…

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