I would like to see more articles about CAD->CAM software. I think the 3D printers are pretty cool, but sometimes you need to cut a block instead of build it up. From what I've seen at Makezine, and Instructables, there are a notable number of DIY CNC machines out there. It would be nice to see CAM software affordable for these folks so they can spend more time making and less time futzing with kludgie software.
You are right, Alex. We haven't written about CNC software lately. Most of the CAD vendors have some CNC integration and compatibilities, but it isn't a feature set that they readily talk up. It more likely that CNC vendors have their own proprietary programs that are tuned for particularities of their specialty systems. This was interesting to me because it was a variation of CAD for a very specific audience, that be users of CNC machines. So the idea is giving them just enough CAD without requiring them to invest in expensive CAD platforms to get the cursory functionality that they need.
This struck a chord as the first piece we've done on CNC software in a while. Do most CAD vendors offer CNC connectivity, or do CNC machines tend to have proprietary software to run the machine and that's it?
This slideshow includes several versions of multi-materials machines, two different composites processes including one at microscale, and two vastly different metals processes. Potential game-changers down the line include three microscale processes.
Hosted CAD or PDM systems is an emerging technology that offers many advantages over traditional on premise workstation CAD configurations and is making many companies rethink how to deliver future CAD software solutions.
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