CAD/CAM Software Industry Articles page 5


Top 10 Advantages in 2014 to Using CAD-CAM in the CNC Manufacturing Process

cad-cam-high-speed-machiningCAD-CAM software is used by thousands of CNC Machine shops around the world for its advantages in CNC manufacturing. CAD-CAM software is found in shops both small and large througout America and in other countries because in order to stay competitive and productive you have to have and use it. From Design to machining strategies and g-code programming, CAD-CAM has many advantages.
Here are 10 of the top advantages in 2014 to adding CAD-CAM software to your CNC toolkit.
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High Speed Machining Vs. Traditional Offset Machining

By adding High Speed machining operations into your part-making process you can achieve excellent results faster than by using traditional offset toolpaths. It isn’t only just for 2 Axis CAD-CAM programming anymore. The latest CNC machining technologies in CAD-CAM software include High Speed Machining operations for 3 Axis as well as 4th and even full simultaneous 5th Axis CNC Milling. The following CAM Clip video shows a direct side by side comparison between these two types of machining operations and how they relate to CAD-CAM software for advanced CNC metalworking.

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An Artist Combines Traditional Craftsmanship With Modern Artistic CAD-CAM Software for Success

Artistic CAD-CAM Software Provides Boundless Possibilities for The Imagination and Creativity of a True Artist & Craftsman
Artist Francisco Rodriguez GuillenFrancisco Rodriguez Guillen is a Costa Rican artist who combines cabinetmaking and art with CNC machining technology to produce stunning finished projects. He expresses his job is cabinetmaking while his passion is Marquetry, or inlay type craftsmanship and artistry. Marquetry is an art which originated in the Middle Ages, in the Muslim world. The origin of its name is French (Marqueté) and is synonymous with the word “inlay”. Francisco studied music at Universidad Nacional (Costa Rica, 1990 – 1994) and after that he studied cabinetmaking in Instituto Nacional de Aprendizaje (National Learning Institute, Costa Rica, 1996 – 2000). Since 1994 he works in his own company where he focuses on cabinetmaking and his art. Francisco started as an artist in working with custom woods in 1995 and has specialized in Marquetry (inlay) since 2000. He has no mechanical engineering background, has no CNC machining experience and has never used CAD-CAM software before, yet he saw the potential and decided to take a chance on technology as the means to expand his vision and automate the process.
francisco-inlay-custom-art-woodworking“Wood contains its own colors, shapes, textures and smells impregnated in every piece. My art seeks to understand and express the poetry of wood and for this I use my marquetry”, commented Francisco when discussing his art. His highly specialized work has been exhibited in various places in Costa Rica such as:
– Gallery Sophia Wanamaker, in July 2008
– Librery Joaquín García Monge, in November 2008
– Supreme Electoral Tribunal, in May 2009
– Great Hotel Costa Rica, in August 2009
– Legislative Assembly, in September 2009
– Cultural Association Dante Alighieri, in June 2010
– Valoarte, in October 2010
– Valoarte, in September 2011
– Gallery 1887 of Department of Culture and Youth, in October 2011

As a result of the work that Francisco has done to present his work online since January 2010, more than 40 artists have recognized and congratulated him (Britain, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Russia, Serbia, Canada, United States, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina and Australia), one of them being Paul Krenz who is the renowned German artist of Marquetry.

Francisco first got involved in CNC machining 2 years ago and acquired his first CNC router with a 4th Axis and a Mach3 controller in February 2013. At the same time he acquired a license of the BobCAD-CAM CNC programming software and the BobART artistic add-on module in order to create his designs and then machine them out of different types of wood. Continue Reading…

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Dynamic Machining Strategies™ | DMS™

What are Dynamic Machining Strategies™?

CNC shops are always looking for faster, smarter and easier ways to program parts with the latest in CAD-CAM technologies. A significant attribute in CAM software is the Job Tree or CAM Tree Manager that allows the user to list out all of the machining strategies along with their parameters for cutting for a job, all within the software interface. Among CAM Tree features having to do with cutting conditions, tooling, post processing, material libraries and much more are the toolpath strategies themselves. An advantage in working with a CAM Tree is that machining strategies are easily accessible and sometimes “Wizard Driven” within CAD-CAM software. The wizard approach streamlines procedure and steps the user through process, removes programming guesswork and keeps machining input variables in proper order for the user to dictate what the toolpath outcome will be before actual cnc machining takes place.

cadcamsoftwareprocessA wizard is designed to provide a simplified workflow while continuing to give users the ability to control things themselves as they need to. An example of this is the tool page of the machining wizard which allows the programmer to use “system” tool parameters or override them such as the offsets, cutting feedrates, plunge feedrates or even adjust arc slowdown percentages for slowing down the cutting speeds as the tool approaches a corner amongst other important inputs. Wizards allow the user to make necessary changes on the fly without having to leave the wizard and edit variables in a VB script environment. Machining wizards also include parameters for toolpath linking, controlling options for tool lead-in and lead-outs, cutting direction controls for climb or conventional milling, toolpath offsets G41 or G42 and machining sequences along with the many other factors that go into determining the outcome of machine toolpath. Now we can introduce the latest achievements in CAD-CAM that includes what are now known as Dynamic Machining Strategies or DMS functionality in CAD-CAM CNC Software. Continue reading…
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CAD-CAM Software and Feature Based Machining

Is it another CAM-Based term for Geometry-Machining?

Almost every manufacturing CNC shop deals with solid models. Decades of CAD Design technology advancements have allowed designers to create models faster, smarter and easier than ever before. In fact, Parametric CAD modeling has allowed designers to collaborate and make changes far easier than even 10 years ago. This is because CAD model components that make up a model assembly contain the data necessary to edit and “update” complete assemblies within the blink of an eye. A decade ago there were few design products that offered such capabilities that included stress and heat analysis among other benefits. Todays design systems allow you to collaborate freely, pass data back and forth from designer to designer with construction, feature and change histories including full detail as to what each component is. This is the future of innovation happening right now. But how does CAM take advantage of such power and flexibility? Is Feature Based CAM really Feature Based CAM? The answer is yes…..and no. Continue reading…

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2D Toolpath…Why You Need It.

CNC Machining & The Need for Toolpath

It’s no mystery that CNC businesses have to maintain a high efficiency level when it comes to machining parts. This is where programming automation can make a big difference in a shop’s bottom line. The word “Toolpath” is a CAD/CAM related term that is basically a series of coordinate locations that a cutting tool will follow in the machining process. Toolpath is traditionally divided into two categories: Roughing and Finishing. A roughing toolpath is generally used in the CAD/CAM cnc programming phase for removing the most amount of material possible, as accurately and as efficiently as possible. Finishing toolpath comes after roughing and essentially “finishes” the cutting process removing the last amount of material on the machine to complete the machining process. CAD/CAM software toolpath has been under development for the last 20 years becoming smarter, faster and more robust in terms of what can be done with it by CAD/CAM developers.

Even in today’s fast-paced, competitive manufacturing industry, cnc businesses are still learning about it and shopping for toolpath capabilities that make better sense of their machines and provide better ways to accommodate the needs of shops that want an edge in part-making. Without toolpath there is no CAD/CAM benefit – it’s that simple. So what are the advantages of CAD/CAM toolpath? To answer this we should break it all down by complexity level.

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CAD/CAM & The Benefits of CNC Machine Simulation

The Purpose of CAD/CAM Machine Simulation

As CAD-CAM Software offers CNC businesses a wide variety of design and cnc programming benefits, the aspect of Simulation has steadily advanced over the past 10 years and has become a critical aspect of offline programming in an effort to provide the necessary utilities that help eliminate costly programming mistakes at the machine. Much of this is due to improvements in computer hardware, graphics capabilities and the fact that simulation in CAM software products has seen a lot of improvements coupled with the fact that simulation technology is now more accessible and more affordable than ever. So why should cnc businesses insist that they have machine simulation? Keep in mind that not all CAD/CAM products include or offer full machine simulation.

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CAD/CAM Software for CNC Turning

How Does CAD/CAM Software Improve CNC Lathe Programming?

CAD-CAM software makes programming cnc machines faster, smarter and easier allowing cnc businesses to stay lean and competitive. When it comes to CNC Turning, CAD/CAM software can help increase process efficiency in a variety of ways:

  • CAD CAM Software Lathe SimulationOpen the door to design innovation and long distant client collaboration.
  • Use existing designed part files for creating machine toolpath and NC programs.
  • Automate the programming phase and allow you to get away from conversational programming at the machine.
  • Save you time and money.
  • Allow for complete machine toolpath visualization prior to reaching the CNC machine tool.
  • Speed up cnc production by as much as 50%.

Gone are the days of having to spend hours calculating geometry by hand and writing NC programs with text editors. What used to take hours, sometimes days, now takes a matter of seconds when it comes to cnc machine toolpath and g-code programming. CAD/CAM software is the ultimate solution to streamlining productivity for cnc turning. It has a lot to do with time and potential loss of profit due to scrapped parts or other programming errors. The real question is how much is it costing you to not have a CAD-CAM product?

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CAD-CAM Success Story: John Hashey

John Hashey cnc machine programmingJohn Hashey – a tattoo artist, teacher, cnc machinist, and United States Marine Corps Veteran – uses BobCAD V25 to design and create his own line of tattoo machines, as well as work on other cnc machine projects for his manufacturing business American Veteran Manufacturing. Hashey’s studio and machine shop are located just a few miles away from BobCAD-CAM’s headquarters in Clearwater, Florida.

Hashey is using the tattoo machines that he designed and machined in BobCAD in his tattoo shop, Arty Joe’s, and in his Advanced School of Permanent Cosmetics, as well as selling his line to other tattoo shops. Hashey told us that making his own tattoo machines is essential. “We want everything 100 percent US made, everything made by our hands.”

When asked which features of BobCAD and BobART he uses, Hashey replied, “We use just about everything, from a sketch all the way to the finished product.”

John Hashey AVM cnc machined plaque“My cousin owns a company called Lighthouse foods and we took his logo right from a business card and we are now cutting it out of solid brass and solid aluminum, just like the photograph. I haven’t found any [other] software that will do that.”

“The guys at BobCAD, the tech support, Mike, the post processing department with Al – all those guys are fantastic. I’m not saying this on a cuff, I’m a retired marine – I say it like it is, those guys… they do a great job.”

“BobCAD has saved us hundreds and hundreds of hours… It’s enhanced my business, it saves me a lot of money, but more importantly, it’s allowing us to get big contracts with big companies and make 100 percent US made products.”

John Hashey |Owner
Arty Joe’s Inc Tattoo Supplies
Advanced School of Permanent Cosmetics
American Veterans Manufacturing

The CAD/CAM Software Stock Wizard Solution

How Does CAD/CAM Software address the Stock Setup Process?

CAD-CAM software makes programming cnc machines faster, smarter and easier. This being the case we are taking a look at how a CAD/CAM product addresses the stock setup process. The stock setup procedure will tend to vary from product to product. Even though this is true, every CAD/CAM software product should have a Material Database as well as a method for allowing a programmer to quickly establish the stock for the part within the process of creating a job.

  • Material Database
  • Stock Setup Procedure

Early CAD-CAM software products were wireframe based and relied on straight line and arc type geometry for creating toolpath in order to generate an NC program for a machine tool. Modern CAD/CAM products are much more robust, allowing much more flexibility in setting up the parts stock because of solid modeling technology development and behind the scenes intelligence that allows software to recognize all of the different geometry types and deal with them correctly based on feature design.

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