MCAD Tech News #182

2 Aug, 2006 By: Jeffrey Rowe

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The Next Chapter for CAM

As CAM matures, it is becoming easier to use — and profitable

I’ve witnessed many changes in the manufacturing market, and one of the most significant ways that it has changed and continues to change is in how it's influenced by technology and CAM (computer-aided manufacturing). Unlike CAD, where prices have dropped relative to functionality, to a large extent CAM has not enjoyed the same situation. Historically, CAM has had a high initial cost, high maintenance fees and a high learning curve. Add to that high salaries for those who've run these systems. These are all major hurdles that hindered wider acceptance of CAM -- the same obstacles that CAD overcame more quickly.

One recent development that has opened up more options for CAM is multitasking of both people and machines.

As manufacturers have cut back on staff, there are fewer machine specialists, such as lead programmers and technical experts. These specialists have largely been replaced by people who are required to multitask by programming and running machines. Likewise, the advent of MTMs (multitasking machines) with multispindle and multiturret configurations have replaced many conventional single-process machines. MTMs are a growing segment of the machine tool market because of their multiprocessing ability that reduces overall manufacturing times, as well as the ability to machine complete parts with little or no human intervention. Read more>>

Tech Trends— Restoring Lives with Rapid Prototyping

by Kenneth Wong

After making its way through Baghdad's security gantlet and U.S. Customs' scrutiny, a package containing a plaster cast arrived at St. Charles, Missouri. It finally came to Bill Macy, chief technology officer of REALADI, a company founded by several former Boeing engineers. The cast gave Macy the necessary specifications to manufacture something for a 37-year-old Iraqi man who had sustained a traumatic injury. Macy was going to build a new leg for him. Read more >>

Mark Your Calendar: MCAD Events

For Cadalyst's full calendar of events, click here >>

Southern California CAD Summit
August 24, 2006
Long Beach, CA
This event (7:30 a.m. - 5:15 p.m.) includes more than 25 CAD-related educational sessions geared toward professionals in the civil, mechanical and architectural design, building, engineering and geospatial industries. This year's keynote speaker is author and columnist Lynn Allen.
Read more

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Online Archives:Click here to view an online version of this newsletter and past issues of MCAD Tech News.

First Look Review – Inivis AC3D v6: Inivis' subdivision surface modeler lets users describe smooth 3D shapes with underlying polygon objects.

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