The on-going topic of "which software would you choose?" seems to always get many interests from people using different software packages, and I'm definitely one of them. The "best" answer so far is it all depends on what you're looking for vs. how much $$ you can spend on, which I totally agree. But I think maybe we can evaluate this question with a more specific angle, e.g. do you want to go with Dmis or Non Dmis? So instead of simply saying "good" or "bad", we can be focused on something that will expand our knowledge base. I assume that you already know what DMIS is and I will put all cmm software into 2 categories::


1, PURE Dmis package such as: Camio (LK-Dmis), Open Dmis, Virtual Dmis, Modus, Capps Dmis

2, Non Dmis package such as: PC-Dmis, Calypso, CMM Manager, Mcosmos, Metrolog and more

One thing I always want to point out is if you're new to cmm software then you might be confused with "PC-Dmis is not dmis" statement because many of my clients (mostly management) calling me for "Dmis" training but end up with actually PC-Dmis training.

To make the evaluation more practical I will go through a few major functions as follow:

 1, Probe/Sensor configuration and calibration:

    You can easily specify a sensor with this line of Dmis code:

    S(TP2_172_A90_B90)=SNSDEF/PROBE,INDEX,POL,90,90,0,0,1,172,2

And you can copy it to any pure Dmis package to run and define a new sensor. With graphical interface in modern Dmis software you will be able to select all standard components from its library to build your sensor without worring to figure out all those numbers in above code. You can find a quick demo in Open Dmis on my You tube channel.

In all other software sensors are configured only through built-in library with GUI, which means you can\\\'t transfer your sensor information directly from one package to another.

2, Alignment/Co-ordinate System strategies:

Dmis standard covers these major tools for alignment construction: 3-2-1 alignment, translation, rotation, RPS, Besffit and again alignment Dmis codes like this "D(DCC_FINAL) = DATSET/FA(PARAL-Y), -ZDIR, ZORIG, FA(CYL-LINE_X), XDIR,     YORIG, FA(PERPPL1), XORIG" can be executed in any Dmis package. But some more complicated tools work differently, e.g. D(MAN)=LOCATE/FA(SPH1),FA(SPH2),FA(SPH3) works in Open Dmis but might not work in Camio.

Non Dmis software seems to have some extra tools on top of above standard allignment functions. For example, in PC-Dmis when you do best fitting alignment you can add tolerance weight on different features.

3, Feature measurement stategies:

Even though all the Dmis software allegdly complies with Dmis Standard, how it actually works really varies in different packages. For example, if you hard code PTMEAS measurement points in PROG MODE in Open Dmis, they will NOT be affected by SNSET/DEPTH, 2.0 but that's not true in Camio. And there are more "subtle" differences between Dmis software.

 Once you're NON Dmis, it opens a big door to do many fancy stuff without being constrained to Dmis standard. You can find many goodies in PC-Dmis that people think you can't do it in Dmis program but that's not really true. One of the thing I always get asked is how to do a "read point" to allow huge deviations on small hole measurement in Dmis programming and it's actually can be done.

4, CAD interface:

I know there're still companies out there who don't provide Cad models for cmm guys to program with due to varies reasons, but 90% of chances you will work with Cad. There're some Dmis commands related to cad interaction but far away from being really functional to handle different Cad geometries. So it all depends on how good your software is designed to interact with Cad, such as mouse clicking, geometry picking, drag and drop, etc.

5, Program run:

One of the big drawback in any Dmis software is if you want to run your program from somewhere in the middle YOU have to make sure the correct co-ordinate system and sensor have been recalled before you hit run button otherwise you might crash your probe badly.

 But in software like PC-Dmis, Calypso you don't have to worry about it because they\\\'re smart enough to know which probe to use and which alignment you're in no matter where you want to run program from.

 It's impossible for me to cover even 10% of the major differences between Dmis package and Non Dmis package, so if you're really interested to know you can always subscribe to my You tube channel:

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qSicP9nYA0&feature=plcp

 But please be patient because creating good video clips to explain such specialized details does take a lot of efforts.