Monday, January 25, 2016

The CAD for CAM wars are dead! Long Live AnyCAD

The CAD Wars are Over!

OK, that's kind of a peculiar statement, especially since there still exist several big players in the CAD marketplace, and a handful of smaller ones. What we mean is that many people have already selected their CAD design system, and they likely don't want to change. Unless it's a situation like Fiat buying Chrysler and causing a shift from one standard to another.

However, when it comes CAM, the landscape is a little different. At one point, there was literally over 40 CAM partner products for SolidWorks. Many CAM programmers and job shops don't use one of the main CAD design systems for their CAM, but rather a non-integrated solution. 

Data translation has historically been a tricky issue, that has gotten easier and more reliable over time. But it's still not perfect.

The benefits of an integrated CAD/CAM system have been discussed ad nausea. There are HSM CAM solutions for two of the most popular CAD design systems readily available (for Solidworks and Inventor). However, what about the job-shop that has customers using a variety of different systems? 

AnyCAD not only allows you to read in various different CAD formats, but what it does different is special. It maintains the associativity between the different formats. See the video below from our friends at 

Now, here is an example of AnyCAD in a CAM environment from Design & Motion. Part associativity can be maintained, making CAM programming changes easier.

Naturally, depending on how much you edit the model, will determine how much you need to change your CAM parameters before calculating the cutterpaths. For example, if the size of the part changes, and you may choose to update the initial block of material being used. 

You can see how to Navigate Translation Issues in a webinar hosted by Engineering.COM.
This webinar is January 26, 2016 at 2:00 EST. Sign up at the link here 

If you miss the webinar, I believe it will be available online. I'll update this blog with a link to it once available. 

Jan 27, 2016 edit: You can view the recorded webinar, here