Maybe I’m the lucky one but as a matter of fact, I had chance to use almost all the major cmm software in the market (about 14 in total). And from time to time I found there are people on different cmm forums asking for “unbiased” opinion so they can make decision on their purchase. Then unsurprisingly you’ll see many responses with “unbiased” opinions. I’ll say, be realistic, how can you be totally “unbiased”. Anyway, I’d like to share some of my “biased” opinions since I know those major software pretty well (not just used it).

 Hexagon

 1, PC-DMIS

 This is a big name with no doubt and also one of my favourite software. Very powerful almost on any inspection functionality. Famous for bugs too, some bugs are really annoying like changing nominals (3.5, 3.7). The really good thing about this software is the support and resources form Wilcox site. Many years ago I downloaded all the VB scripts and modified them to meet my needs like changing feature names globally. And I like the hyperview reporting a lot but now the newest 4.3 has all the goodies so you don’t need hyperview reporting anymore. It’s not a perfect software for sure, one example is once you start your program in one unit you can never switch to another unit half way so you have to start a brand new program.

 2, MM4

 This is such an old software that probably no one is using it. But I want to mention it because before PC-DMIS I used it a lot and enjoyed almost everything in it. The best thing is it almost has no bug.

 ZEISS

 1, Calypso

 I think Calypso is getting more and more users especially in aerospace and power generation industries. This is a very unique software in that it employs Object Oriented Programming concept versus all the other software using procedure oriented (programming in measurement orders) methods. So you can define all the GD&T you want to check (called characteristics in Calypso) and then when you run through the program will pick all the related features automatically. Also it will figure out all the necessary clearance moves based on your settings. But I don’t see some of the powerful Umess functions in it.

 2, Umess

 A very powerful but strange beast (running under HP Unix) in cmm software industry. If you start your cmm jobs with any windows based graphical software then you’ll definitely hate it. But I know there’re many Umess lovers out there and I’m one of them because I still see many things that Umess can do but other software can’t do. Equipped with Prismo vast xxt plus a rotary table, you get a best scanning cmm.

 3, Usoft

 I really don’t think it’s necessary to mention it but as a dos based software it’s not that bad. At least I remember it’s quite easy to save the result file after running the program, just a F3 (maybe F2) and give it a name to create a .res file.

Mitutoyo

 Mitutoyo used to rank at 3rd place after Hexagon and Zeiss all the time and I think they still share a big part of the market even after the export-controls violations back in 2006.

 1, Mcosmos (Geopak-Win)

 15 years ago, Geopak is one of the most popular software on many cmms and many cmm people including myself start their career from this software. Geopak was a very quick, straightforward application and almost can meet all non-cad inspection tasks. If I’m not mistaken the developer is from German Zeiss group. But it did take Mitutoyo a long time to finally find a good cad solution. Some of you might not know that they developed Cadmeasure (autocad based) years ago but wasn’t a good cad package at all. Mcosmos is much powerful yet user-friendly, even though it’s missing many features in my book but it definitely delivers a full inspection package. The major thing is this is a modal based software, which means you’re really running many mini applications like Geopak, 3D-tol, Statspak, Scanpak, Dmispak, etc…, vs. other software like PC-Dmis, Metrolog are truly one application.

 2, Geomeasure

 I actually prefer to use Geomeasure for programming because of its full coding functionality and good dmis compatibility. For cad work, the solution is to use an off-line package like Checkmate or the newer one, NewCastle Measurement, which is developed for Geomeasure so it’ll not only output dmis code but also write to geodmis directly and even better it’ll take in result file from Geomeasure for graphical reporting.

 LK (now Nikon Metrology)

 1, WinCmes

 If you want to set up a part on cmm table and manually check some features then WinCmes provides the quickest way. One line of WinCmes code (with”/”as separator) can finish a 3-2-1 alignment and measure a few points or holes, which will occupy a full page of coding in most other software. And the beautiful thing about WinCmes is you can easily retrieve any line of code form history with your right mouse click. Once you put all these lines in a text file and change it to prg extension it becomes a WinCmes program. Therefore even this is old dos version application I’ll give it a high score.

 2, LK-Dmis

  This is a very pure dmis based software. The interface is straightforward but you won’t like it at all because it starts a new toolbar for each click so quickly you’ll get lost where you are. If you can create dmis code with other off-line package and use LK-Dmis to drive cmm to run the program it works well.

  3, Camio Studio

  Camio is a very nice cad package for cmm programming. I don’t see any other cmm software can export the cad model to other various other cad formats but Camio does (if you purchase the full package). So this is bonus because it works like a cad convertor. And it allows you to create some simple cad features like cylinders which will help a lot on offline programming if you only have a drawing. Fully dmis compatible and can be easily edited in text editor like UltraEdit. 

 4, CMM Manager

CMM Manager is so far the only software that you can plug-n-play on various controllers, which means saving money on retrofit. The software is very well designed to be a truly user-friendly package with lots of intelligent tools.

Wenzel

Open Dmis is very pure DMIS package, yet has some very powerful tools to handle point clouds. Its drag-n-drop operation makes programming very fast and no need for any pop up windows like most of other software.