By Anthony J. Lockwood
Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
Now that we’re staggering into the end of the year madness, it’s traditional to seek inspiration from tales of times gone by. And SmartCAM software is an encouraging story if there ever was one.
Begun in the ’80s, SmartCAM took the shop by storm. It was so successful as a stand-alone system that in the mid-90s it was scarfed up by a bigger outfit, which was gobbled down by still a bigger outfit. Two more acquisitions and … well, corporate benign neglect fated SmartCAM to oblivion by 2001.
Almost. See, SmartCAM users still loved it. So, inspired by that, this a gutsy band of believers, a bunch from the original developers of the software, mortgaged their careers and obtained the exclusive rights to bring SmartCAM back to the marketplace five years after it was — for all effective purposes — kaput.
Now, 9 years later, more than 12,000 outfits in 67 countries deploy SmartCAM from SmartCNC and the company just released version 19.5. There’s a lot to read then watch about v19.5 from today’s Pick of the Week write-up, so what I’ll do is focus on one cool thing that SmartCAM does for you. It’s called Toolpath Modeling.
Basically, Toolpath Modeling puts you in control. SmartCAM handles all toolpath elements, whether created manually or by its automated toolpath creation tools, like they are geometry. And this means that you can manipulate toolpaths like you can manipulate a model’s geometry elements. In shaggy fingernail terms, you can create, edit, and delete toolpaths as you need to. You can change CAD geometry into toolpath geometry. You can reorder or re-sequence a toolpath, and you can make changes to your post processor. Or you could just mix around some automated processes that need some editing. You’re in control.
OK, running out of space. One thing that I should mention before signing off is that SmartCNC also seems to have a close working relationship with its users. SmartCAM v19.5 has been enhanced with a number of user-requested usability improvements, and many of them seem of the ilk that can only come from the minds of seasoned users.
With that said, take a little time and learn about SmartCAM v19.5. It seems as remarkable a piece of craftsmanship as it is a story of gutsiness.
Thanks, Pal. — Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering
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