CAD/CAM Software Articles

No modern fabrication shop would be complete without computer-aided design (CAD) or computer-aided manufacturing (CAM). This technology area has information on 3-D modeling, nesting, machine control, and process simulation.

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When nesting, does it pay to be the early bird? -

When nesting, does it pay to be the early bird?

September 5, 2013 | By Adria Iles

Country music legend Willie Nelson is credited with saying, “The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese." It’s unlikely that Willie was reflecting on manufacturing. Regardless, his quote still summarizes perfectly one of the greatest challenges sheet metal fabricators face: When nesting, is it better to be early, or just in time?

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A solid model for modernizing a fabricator -

A solid model for modernizing a fabricator

July 11, 2013 | By Tim Heston

Matot, a small dumbwaiter manufacturer in the Chicago suburbs, is a microcosm of high-product-mix, low-volume manufacturing. Fabricators no longer make it work on the floor. Instead, they adjust the model to suit the process.

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Nesting software integration leads to improved performance -

Nesting software integration leads to improved performance

June 3, 2013 | By Derek Weston

Advancements in nesting software development have made a real impact in terms of increased material utilization and machine uptime, but for a fabricator to get the most out of the nesting software, it needs to be fully integrated with the design and shop management software systems.

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Metal fabricators get on the same page, with software -

Metal fabricators get on the same page, with software

April 19, 2013 | By Tim Heston

Conductix-Wampfler, Omaha, Neb., developed software that integrates information from CAD, product data management, ERP, and customer relationship management. Built on the company's success, the software is now available for others interested in ensuring everyone in the business is on the same page.

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Bending software speeds up production -

Bending software speeds up production

April 17, 2013 | By Dan Davis

The speed of fabricating is increasing at a rapid pace, but the press brake remains a bottleneck for many companies. Laser cutting and punching machines can run unattended if necessary without the need to program a robot, but the same can't be said for a press brake. Human operators still are pretty much a necessity. Advancements in bending software, however, can help to streamline the bending process. Fabricators only need to give it a try.

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Fixturing for the short run -

Fixturing for the short run

December 3, 2012 | By Rob Thompson , Jamie Sprague

Hard tooling for traditional fixtures often depends on costly milling and other non-sheet metal processes. So how can these costs be minimized? The simple answer is to marry the processes and machinery you already have--including laser cutting, waterjet cutting, and punching--to the appropriate CAD system.

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Connecting 3-D modeling to nesting -

Connecting 3-D modeling to nesting

September 7, 2012 | By Dan Davis

It sounds like a no-brainer in electronically connected world, but shops don't have the ability to integrate their 3-D modeling capabilities with nest creation. As more shops jump into 3-D modeling with the goal of decreasing turnaround time for jobs, they are looking at a more formal connection between the design and production world.

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Evolving from job shop to custom manufacturer -

Evolving from job shop to custom manufacturer

January 11, 2011 | By Jack Thornton

Equipment and software upgrades are helping Decimal Engineering, Pompano Beach, Fla., to increase its customer base and, as a result, increase its profits.

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Are you maximizing your nesting efforts? -

Are you maximizing your nesting efforts?

November 1, 2010 | By T.R. Kannan

Making cost-effective designs has become a basic requirement in manufacturing, and proper nesting can contribute to this overall goal.

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nortool precision machining tooling.jpg

Die not in the mix for tool shop

September 1, 2009 | By Dan Davis

Nortool Precision Machining and Tool has turned to a 3-D CAD/CAM package for both design and NC and has found that it is delivering quicker and more accurate bids, while simultaneously improving the quality of tool- and diemaking.

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nesting software

Software evolves to take a humanlike approach

July 6, 2009 | By Erik Kettenhofen

Nesting software has evolved to the point where it can "see" shape contours and can determine how they best fit together.

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humvee iraqi freedom

Armored and ready to make a difference

June 2, 2009 | By Dan Davis

Doug Bergeson of Bergeson Technology, Dawson, Minn., saw the carnage that improvised explosive devices caused in Iraq, so when he came on, he worked on a solution. He has one now and wants others to know about it.

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heavy hauler trailers

Heavy hauling, heavy fabricating

May 1, 2009 | By Tim Heston

Ohio-based Diamond heavy-haul found efficiency in its cutting operations through nesting software by managing remnants and reducing scrap.

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circle precision

Modeling in a 3-D CAD system

March 1, 2009 | By Gerald Davis

Among the tools in the 3-D CAD toolkit—extrudes, revolves, sweeps, and lofts—the first two can be used to create identical parts, but they don't work the same way. Depending on which process you choose, the time the computer needs to model and rebuild the part can vary substantially.

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 Precision molded dimensions figure 1

Dimensioning in a 3-D CAD system

February 1, 2009 | By Gerald Davis

Columnist Gerald Davis explains that preparing a 3-D CAD model without dimensions may look great, but it doesn't really do anybody any good. For example, a 3-D CAD model with dimensions helps quality control inspectors.

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