One of the paradoxes for me with CAMWorks is how the power that resides within the program has been difficult to unlock for quite some time. It was like two people with differing viewpoints and practical experiences determined the idea of Feature recognition and then the implementation of the same. One was brilliant and the other was, well lets just say that the other one was a programmer that probably figured chips came packaged in various flavors for your eating delight.
This is no longer the case and here is what is going on. As I type this work has been ongoing for a few weeks and will continue until done. This is not a back shelf finish it someday project but one that has priority and I fully expect that it will be completed this year. So just what is this Jobshop TDB?
There are two aspects to this and they are as follows. The tool library is being updated to current use and practices tooling using current available tools from current manufacturing catalogues. No more will you have to deal with a library that just had tools thrown in there to occupy spots. Real tools readily available and a reduction in overall quantities of tools. Tools bought often enough that companies make and stock them on the shelf as regular demand tools. Two, three, four and five flute end mills for instance will be in there in various substrates. In particular this is beneficial for things like Volumill where so many of the strategies involve three and five fluters. Now these will be there and you will be able to create your high performance tool paths out of the box with an expectation that the majority of your common use tools will already be there.
The second aspect of the rework is that the basic strategies used for cutting are being revamped by experienced machinists who are aware of proper cutting strategies so that once again out of the box what will be there will in many cases be immediately useable. Now look, I understand that there will have to be tweaking to dial in to your favorite exact strategies. But what is the big deal here is that for the first time ever CAMWorks is going to deliver something that will get you up and running pretty darned painlessly and afford you the luxury of developing your exact strategies and learning how to use the TDB over time. Quite a change from what there is today where you have to constantly fight this thing and learn to tame it before you see the potential become the reality. Feature Recognition with CAMWorks is the industry best and getting the practical immediate benefit of it without tons of fiddling around has just become a reality coming soon to you.
The TDB is common to both SE and SW users by the way so rejoice all you CAMWorks SW users, you to are going to see this come your way also. I know in speaking to SW users that this has been the principal major complaint expressed to me over time.
I like the moniker that Geometric has chosen in Jobshop TDB. But it is more than just a title or name it is the intent behind what they are doing and why they are doing it. It is a recognition that our time has value too and that there needed to be out of the box a far more user-friendly way of implementing this program. A recognition if you will of the hurry-hurry world so many of us live in where another complicated paradigm to master before becoming productive is not what we want or need.
I was not kidding a post or two ago when I compared this to the evolution of SE from ST2 to ST3. It was when SE learned to effectively communicate with itself yielding efficiencies that many of us though should have been there for ST1. In many ways I consider ST3 to be the first release of SE as it was meant to be. And like SE now CAMWorks is going through the same metamorphosis and the benefits to the user base are going to be considerable. I don’t know what stage Geometric will be at with this for SEU 2014 but I consider this to be one of the biggest “new” program features I am aware of at this event and probably the single most important one for those of us who use both SE and CAMWorks and then make what we design.