One of the big factors in success in the mid-range CAD area has to be partnerships. PLM is kind of the opposite of partnerships, but PLM isn’t making a lot of headway in the mid-range segment. Mid-range market tends to buy the best applications available from the best provider rather than one-stop-shopping for all product development needs. CAD is just the sexy part of product development, but there are other parts as well, such as napkin sketches, all the way through to manufacturing. There are many forms manufacturing can take, one being machining, and of course you need CAM software for that. CAM (computer aided machining) has been around for some time, in fact, the need for geometrical data for use in CNC (computer numerical control) machines is what drove the creation of CAD itself. CAM develops toolpaths for the CNC.
Back to the idea of partnerships, there are several ways of managing partner relationship. For CAM software, it has mostly been simple data exchange. But there is also the possibility of integrating the CAM software right into the CAD window. The issue of integrating CAM and CAD in a single window is not without its controversy. Some argue that it ties up both packages (and the money invested in each) when you are only using one. Another argument is that you don’t want your machinists messing with your CAD files or your designers screwing with toolpaths. Of course there are people who are qualified to do both.
Advantages of integration are of course to get the editing power of the CAD system, and avoiding shuffling data back and forth, plus a consistent interface.
Solid Edge, for whatever reason, has been lacking an integrated CAM package. But last year at Solid Edge university, Geometric (the company that creates CAMWorks, eDrawings, Glovius, and other CAD helper software packages) committed to creating an integrated CAM program for Solid Edge. You can’t be sure, but you might guess that it would show up at Solid Edge University this year.
And then this popped up:
It was first seen on Dave Ault’s blog, SolidEdgeing. In fact, Dave’s blog post seems to indicate there is something in the works.
Dave was also recently captured at the Siemens offices with a smile on his face and something that looks like a training manual. How much does it take to get Dave to smile like that? The only thing I could get him to say about the subject was that “you’d better show up in Cincinnati this year if you’re interested in machining parts.”
Speaking of Cincinnati, if you haven’t signed up yet, you can still get in on it. The agenda has been published. We’ve got Adam Steltzner, engineer responsible for landing the Curiosity on Mars. You’ll be able to hear from Karsten Newbury, Dan Staples and Chuck Grindstaff.
Look forward to seeing you there!