How do you really upset a machinist? Show them an fully-integrated SolidWorks CAM solution that puts their 2D toolpath pickin’ to SHAME. That’s one angry CNC programmer. That is, until they realize how much time you’ve saved them. HSMWorks, creators of the product by the same name, is releasing the first free CAM solution for SolidWorks. HSMXpress is a fully-functional 2D and 2-1/2D CNC programming systems you can use to lay out and visualize toolpaths for basic CNC operations like drilling, contouring and pocketing.

HSMXpress SolidWorks CAM Solution

Here’s the idea. CAM is a bit separated from the design and engineering process. You know about it, can have emotional discussions with manufacturing about the trials and tribulations of material availability and set-up time, even nod your head in approval when a new print is needed. But for the most part, engineering doesn’t get involved with what comes after their drawings release. This changes that. Even more so, if you do work close with manufacturing and desire to move them to CNC software that works with SolidWorks geometry.

Now, it’s limited to basic 2D toolpaths, so you won’t be machining a Daft Punk helmet, but you will definitely be able to become more familiar with toolpath set-up. Here are the main features in HSMXpress.

  • 100% HSMWorks Technology – No Compromises Feature Set
  • Same 64-bit, Multi-core HSM CAM Kernel as HSMWorks
  • Basic Milling Machining including 2D Roughing and Pocketing, Drilling, Facing, Contouring, and more…
  • Support for form tools including ability to automatically import SolidWorks Part Files as Form Tools
  • Integrated 64-bit, Multi-core Simulation with toolpath/solid forward, reverse material removal
  • 64-bit JavaScript-based Post Processor System including many generic posts
  • CNC program editor with file compare, math ops, backplotter, and communications

And, it’s completely integrated into the SolidWorks UI…

  • All CAM data stored in your Part (.SLDPRT) or Assembly (.SLDASM) files
  • Access to all HSMXpress Tools and Commands via SolidWorks Command Manager
  • HSM CAMManager Tab that organizes all Job Setups and Toolpath Operations
  • Toolpath Configuration via SolidWorks Property Manager
  • Backplot and Simulation commands via SolidWorks Feature Manager

You can download HSMXpress for the free price of registering your information.

HSMXpress CNC training

Inspirtech has also developed a course, Fundamentals of CNC Machining using HSMXpress, to get you up to speed on the software and started off right. Get the Fundamentals of CNC using HSMXpress training

Disclosure: HSMWorks has advertised on SolidSmack in the past. They did not pay or send food for this post.


Josh is founder and editor at, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.