Tech Tuesday is a weekly blog that addresses some of the most common questions and concerns that I hear throughout the previous week from users of BobCAD’s CAM software. Both customers and future customers are more than welcome to leave a comment on what they would like to see covered for the following Tech Tuesday.
No matter if you are a large, small or medium sized machine shop, CNC software delivers many great advantages to machinists of all skill sets. Many shops have been turning to CNC automation for quite some time to stay lean and turn a profit quicker. Whether it’s adding efficiency to different CNC operations or reducing cycle times by as much as 70%, CAD-CAM software impacts all aspects of manufacturing. Products are made quicker and more affordable than ever thanks to software like that from BobCAD-CAM.
Over the last few years, manufacturing has made a strong rebound in America and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. More often than not, I talk to manufacturers like you that are not only super busy, but they are also even looking into hiring a few more people to aid in the high volume of production. Regardless of what kind of parts your shop produces, here are 5 of the top advantages of using CAD-CAM software to manufacture high-quality parts fast and efficiently.
1. Streamline Your CNC Programming Workflow
One of the best things about CNC software is that it allows users to program parts while machining at the same time. That alone can increase productivity by 50% or greater. Software packages from BobCAD-CAM allow users to import or design geometry for toolpath generation and NC programming that’s quick and intuitive. Material and tooling databases add additional intelligence to programming by optimizing speeds and feeds. Create complex 2D and 3D geometry in a matter of no time by using our smart guides within the software, also known as Machining Wizards. No, these are mythical creatures with a wand. Wizards from BobCAD help users program their jobs systematically, step-by-step with the ability to make edits at a moment’s notice without ruining your job’s progress.
2. Program 2D & 3D Parts Easier
Material and Tooling databases add intelligence to programming toolpaths by optimizing cutting speeds and feed rates. Toolpaths can be created in a short amount of time and can be programmed easily for simple 2D shape-cutting or complex 3D surface machining & contouring. Specialized toolpaths for roughing, finishing and rest machining are efficient, developed for high-speed cutting and proven to reduce cycle times by as much as 70% (via CAM vendor reports). Machining Wizards have been developed to remove the guesswork and provide a smooth transition into CAM programming regardless of program complexity.
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3. Increase Your Part Making Capabilities
CNC software technology opens the door for small to mid-sized machine shops to take on work they may not have been able to successfully do before CAD-CAM. Products like BobCAD-CAM BobCAD-CAM typically provide a wide variety of machining strategies that an operator can easily pick and choose from for machining parts. Access to higher levels of toolpaths allows machinists to take on more complex jobs and do it with relative ease. Typically, most machine shops have a couple of different products, as no product does everything. Take Keary Ritchie for example. He is the owner of Vigilance Rifles in Arizona. He tells me, “BobCAD was the first system I used (in 1993) and then throughout the years, we have acquired a couple of other different CAD-CAM programs. Sometimes I use the other programs for my Wire machines. More often than not, I use BobCAD exclusively.”
4. Use Simulation To Eliminate Costly Errors & Waste
One of the greatest tools CNC software offers users is the virtual simulation functionality. Virtual simulation allows the machinist to visually inspect the machining process and toolpaths to catch costly tool gouges and collisions before they reach the CNC machine. This alone makes adding a CAD-CAM product to the shop a good decision. Things like broken tools and crashed machines can delay projects and even result is a lost business opportunity. Virtual simulation provides detailed information about the toolpath, cycle times, part deviation analysis, the ability to create simulation presentations and much more. More advanced machine simulation, like BobCAD’s Machine Simulation Pro, allows users to enter their exact machine kinematics in and simulate with their exact make and model.
5. Customize Your Post Processor
CNC software offers posting engines that allow users to modify and configure their own post processors for G & M code-based CNC controllers. CAM vendors also offer free post processors for machine controllers that include Haas, Fadal, Hurco, Fanuc, Mazak and many others as well as PC based software controller systems like Mach3. Software that doesn’t have an accurate post processor configured is rendered useless. Therefore, CNC products have made posting easier for manufacturers over the years. This also allows shops that have only one CAD-CAM system to write NC programs for multiple CNC machines on their shop floor. A Milling program can be re-posted for a CNC Router, etc…
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Since 1985, BobCAD-CAM has been dedicated to providing manufacturers just like you with powerful and easy to use CNC programming CAD-CAM software. Our purpose is helping you effectively automate the machining process. We offer CNC programming solutions for Mill, Mill Turn, Lathe, Router, Plasma, Laser, Waterjet, and Wire EDM machines. BobCAD-CAM integrates CAD and CAM functionality in a single interface for a seamless transition from the design process to toolpath programming, simulation, and g-code processing. This design makes it easier for you to go from concept to finished product in less time.
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