Manufacturing

Cadalyst MCAD Tech News #128 (Sept. 2, 2004)

2 Sep, 2004 By: Joe Greco


Cadalyst MCAD Tech News

What's in a name?

A few weeks ago I was having a conversation with a colleague, and I happened to mentioned MecSoft, the CAM company. He responded, ?I didn?t know MecSoft started doing CAM?? This made me realize that he thought I was talking about another company, MechSoft. So I got to wondering: If someone in the CAD business can get confused, what about those who follow the industry only casually? I began to think about attempting to clarify those companies and products with similar names.

MANY, MANY MECHS
Let?s start with MecSoft, the company that was, unknowingly, the cause of all this. Based in Irvine, California, the company develops a low-cost CAM program called VisualMill. It should not be confused with MechSoft, the company that makes a knowledge engineering program of the same name and has its headquarters in the Czech Republic as well as Austin, Texas.

Of course these two companies shouldn?t be confused with MechWorks, a company that develops file-management software that works with MCAD programs such as Inventor and SolidWorks, or with SolidMech, a parts library for SolidWorks from Cadalog.com (not Cadalyst.com). Speaking of SolidWorks, by now most users have stopped confusing it with Solid Edge. But don?t confuse Solid Edge with Pathtrace?s EdgeCAM, or NovEdge, the San Francisco-based reseller that doesn?t sell Solid Edge, but does have Solid Edge add-ons.

SOLID SOMETHINGS
Other ?solids? exist too, such as Evoqe?s solidThinking, which actually handles surfaces only (and is not to be confused with think3 from thinkdesign), and SolidCAM, from a company called, well, SolidCAM. Many do confuse SolidCAM (the product, not the company) with CAM Works, which is by TekSoft. Don?t confuse TekSoft with Softek, the makers of structural-engineering software, or TekCAD, which is described as ?3D geometry generation software? by its developer, TekStar, or Tech Soft America, the developers of the HOOPS graphics toolkit used in programs such as SolidWorks and Kubotek?s KeyCreator.

KeyCreator used to be CADKEY, not to be confused with KeyCAD, from SoftKey, not Softdesk, which was bought by Autodesk. Kubotek also has KeyCreatorNC, but don?t confuse that product with Sescoi?s CAM program WorkNC, which is different from OneCNC?s low-cost CAM software, also called OneCNC. Don?t confuse OneCNC (the company, not the product) with CNC Software, the makers of MasterCAM. And definitely don?t confuse MasterCAM with CAM Master, a program for designing CAM followers, developed by Echoscan, which has offices in Niagara Falls, New York, not to be confused with Niagara Falls, Canada, where it also has a P.O. box.

HUH?
Now that I have made my peace with this piece, I hope your confusion has been lessened, or at least that I have given you a lesson in confusion.

COMPANIES/PRODUCTS MENTIONED
MecSoft
MechWorks
Cadalog.com
SolidWorks
Solid Edge
Pathtrace
NovEdge
Evoqe
SolidCAM
TekSoft
Softek
TekStar
Kubotek
Autodesk
Sescoi
OneCNC
CNC Software
Echoscan


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