CAD Tech News (#66)

14 Jun, 2017 By: Cadalyst Staff

▶ Will Integrated CAM Yield More Manufacturable SOLIDWORKS Designs?

Sandesh Joshi, a former member of the SOLIDWORKS R&D team, expects the coordination of CAD and CAM in the upcoming 2018 release to have a significant effect on product design.

By Cyrena Respini-Irwin

One of the hot topics at the SOLIDWORKS World 2017 conference, which was held in February, was the introduction of SOLIDWORKS CAM. Currently in beta and scheduled for release in SOLIDWORKS 2018 this fall, the 2.5-axis milling and turning computer-aided machining (CAM) solution is powered by CAMWorks from HCL Technologies and will be integrated into SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD software. (Interested parties can register to take part in the beta test.)

According to SOLIDWORKS, "SOLIDWORKS CAM ... allows you to integrate design and manufacturing processes under one system to evaluate designs earlier in the process ... It leverages the rich content in the 3D CAD model to speed up product development and reduce error-prone, time-consuming, repetitive manual steps in the current development process, like programming CNC machines."

Sandesh Joshi believes that the integration of CAM has the potential to be as "revolutionary" as the launch of SOLIDWORKS itself, which changed the CAD landscape when it brought a mid-range product to engineers' desktops two decades ago. "It could change the industry in a big way," he said.

Joshi, currently CEO of the CAD outsourcing firm Indovance, spent six years as part of the R&D team for SOLIDWORKS. Now, his clients are buzzing about the forthcoming CAM integration. "I do see the excitement in the industry," he said.

'Everybody Will Have Access'

Because SOLIDWORKS is one of the most widely used CAD platforms, the new release will bring CAM functionality to a large number of users, including many who haven't had it before. "Suddenly, CAM will be ubiquitous," Joshi predicted. "Everybody will have access to CAM, and that will improve overall design and manufacturing."

This change will be especially notable for designers who are usually well separated from the shop floor, and may not even have a manufacturing department within their company. "The designers often don't know about [CAM], or need to know about it," Joshi observed. "[With this release,] there's going to be a lot more CAM awareness and usage." Read more »

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Cyrena Respini-Irwin is Cadalyst's editor in chief.


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