CAD/CAM companies and developers JUST DON’T GET IT !!
If you are a machinist and / or job shop CNC programmer … this article is for YOU !!
Let’s start at the beginning …
CAD/CAM was originally designed “back in the day” for the design and manufacture of COMPLEX aircraft components. And for that complex programming … yes it is indispensable. But once all those aircraft manufacturers had their CAD/CAM … the market started drying up and the CAD/CAM companies looked to diversify … to look to push their products into other areas … like everyday manufacturing. Gotta keep developing markets to keep those BIG profits coming in.
BUT the reality is …
CAD/CAM was never designed to be a PRIMARY G code generating tool … it’s a design tool first and foremost … thus the need for a drawing to program even the simplest part. This fact can lead to a number of job shop / everyday manufacturing / G code generating issues … such as :
- Removing good chipmakers from the manufacturing process. If you can’t draw … you can’t program.
- Slowing down the programming process … have to always create a drawing first.
- Adds unnecessary complexity to the programming process … CAD/CAM packages are so complicated with cryptic icon driven menu systems making it necessary to weed through tons of unnecessary menus to accomplish even the simplest tasks.
The alternative ????
Shop Floor Programming … plain and simple.
Shop Floor Programming pretty much describes the programming that is done on 95% of job shops around the world every day. Simpler … everyday parts. A shaft with 3 diameters … a groove … and a thread. A round milled pocket with a bolt circle at the bottom. A simple 2D contour for a metal bracket. You get the picture … you know the workpieces I speak of.
For the above … why on earth would I need to waste my time to create a drawing to create some G code ???
Shop floor programming is the answer. A simple tool that was designed specifically for G code generation … not design primarily … G code generating primarily.
Some machine tool builders will tell you that their cryptic, archaic “conversational” control is “shop floor programming”. But the fact is that their CNC control is NOT a PC … and doesn’t have a PC’s capabilities or user-friendly-ness. AND … it’s specific for their machine … and is locked to the machine. You gotta program in the shop … at the machine … and what about all your other machines?? There’s a BETTER alternative …
Load Kipware® conversational CNC programming software on a laptop … BOOM … conversational, fill-in-the-blank programming for EVERY machine in your shop. Program at the machine … in the office … at home on the couch with a beer … wherever !!
Pull up a round pocket fill-in-the-blank screen … answer some questions … BOOM … G code.
Pull up a bolt circle menu … answer some questions … BOOM … G code.
Pull up a shaft menu … enter some diameters and lengths … BOOM … G code.
You get the picture.
If you agree with the facts outlined here …. if you’re fed up with having to go down the CAD/CAM road where CAD/CAM companies FORCE you to go …
DUMP the CAD … KEEP the CAM … click HERE to DO IT !!
President — Kentech Inc.