All About CAD Conversion

How CAD/CAM Services Uses SolidWorks 2017

Posted by Scott Shuppert on Thu, Jan 12, 2017 @ 02:11 PM

How CAD/CAM Services Uses SolidWorks 2017

If you’re a regular reader of our blog, then you know our engineering staff here at CAD/CAM Services are big fans of SolidWorks. 

Did you know that SOLIDWORKS 2017 is the 24th annual release of this great software product?  It delivers CAD (MCAD, ECAD), simulation, data management and collaboration tools that we use daily to provide finished jobs to our clients and customers. 

We like SolidWorks, because they are so response to user feedback.  In fact, they tell us that 90 percent of their software enhancements are driven by user feedback, like ours. Thank you, SolidWorks! 

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Tags: 3d CAD, SolidWorks

What's New in Scan to CAD?

Posted by Scott Shuppert on Fri, Jan 06, 2017 @ 03:11 PM

What’s New in Scan to CAD?

It used to be that scan to CAD meant one thing:  taking a paper drawing and it scanning with a large format scanner, then converting it via a process of raster to vector conversion, in order to end up with a digital CAD drawing.  And while we still get calls for that type of service the whole nature and complexity of CAD has changed.

Today’s technology is all about 3D scanning to 3D CAD models, and in 2017 all indications are that we will be providing far more 3D scan to 3D model for our clients than ever before. 

In fact, FARO, a trusted source for 3D measurement technology, says that “laser scanning technology has become established in many quarters -- from recording complex components, measuring buildings, façades, interiors and technical installations, to the documentation of traffic accidents and crime scenes.”

We know all about this technology.  We know that it often requires many scans to generate one model.  We also know that the larger the number of scans, the more complex the process becomes when it comes time to create a CAD model from individual scans or create visualizations of scanned objects from point clouds.

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Tags: 3D Scanning, 3D Printing, 3d CAD

How to Modernize Your Engineering Archives in 2017

Posted by Scott Shuppert on Wed, Dec 28, 2016 @ 02:16 PM

How to Modernize Your Engineering Archives in 2017

Do you still have paper and mylar engineering and parts drawings in your archives?  For companies who maintain long-life products (airplanes; military vehicles; manufacturing machinery to name a few), it’s not unusual to have non-digital documents detailing these products and their replacement parts.    

That’s because engineering drawings for these kinds of equipment were traditionally created and stored on mylar sheets and/or paper drawings.  As these drawings age and deteriorate, it becomes increasingly difficult to preserve them and to use them when it becomes necessary to repair the equipment.

That’s why many companies choose to scan and convert them into 2D CAD drawings or 3D CAD models.  Digital documents and digital models do not deteriorate. Additionally, converted drawings can be accessed and disseminated much more quickly than mylar or paper drawings can.  Often, in today's military and business environment, success depends upon the speed with which information can be deployed. 

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Tags: 2D to 3D CAD, Paper to CAD

Kick Start Your SolidWorks Productivity

Posted by Scott Shuppert on Tue, Dec 20, 2016 @ 02:38 PM

Kick Start Your SolidWorks Productivity

If you use SolidWorks, you know that it is a powerful CAD software product for professional 2-D and 3-D design and drafting.   Whether you’re doing 3D CAD, Product Data Management, Simulation, Communication or Design, you know that SolidWorks CAD Solutions and rendering software help drive your product development processes.  CAD Solutions and Rendering Software to Help Drive Your Product Development ProcessCAD Solutions and Rendering Software to Help Drive Your Product Development Process

The SolidWorks file extension is “.SLDPRT.”  However, you may come across various file formats as you work with suppliers and customers who use alternative CAD packages.  When that happens, it is best to  look at the restrictions and considerations you need to understand in order to successfully manage models that have been imported in different formats.  You also need to understand your options for exporting for other CAD users to accept.

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Tags: 3d CAD, SolidWorks

CAD, CAM, CNC and Robots = Manufacturing Automation

Posted by Scott Shuppert on Thu, Dec 15, 2016 @ 04:11 PM

CAD, CAM, CNC and Robots  = Manufacturing Automation

Manufacturing is an evolving industry.  Automation, manufacturing, off-shoring – all contribute to changes in the way products and parts are designed, developed and manufactured.    Fast, effective design strategies are essential for companies who want to keep up with the latest in manufacturing automation.

CAD refers to the design process and is described this way by AutoDeskCAD is the use of computer technology for design and design documentation. CAD/CAM applications are used to both design a product and program manufacturing processes, specifically, CNC machining. CAM software uses the models and assemblies created in CAD software to generate tool paths that drive the machines that turn the designs into physical parts. CAD/CAM software is most often used for machining of prototypes and finished parts.

CAM refers to the use of various software packages to create toolpaths and NC code to run a CNC controlled machine, based on 3D computer model (CAD) data. When the two are used together, this is generally referred to as CAD/CAM.

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Tags: CAD CAM Outsource, 3d CAD

Evolution of Design:  2D to 3D to PLM and PDM

Posted by Scott Shuppert on Thu, Dec 08, 2016 @ 04:43 PM

Evolution of Design:  2D to 3D to PLM and PDM

Design has come a long way since the days of paper and pencil drafting.  Even 2D CAD, a staple of design and engineering since the 1980s has mostly been replace by 3D design, PLM and PDM.  If you’re a CAD designer or engineer, the tool and processes you use are nearly as important as the design you create.  As specialists in 3D design, we know that fast-paced, product-driven businesses need effective product lifecycle management (PLM) and product data management (PDM), as well as intelligent 3D models.

According to Wikipedia, product lifecycle management (PLM) is the process of managing the entire lifecycle of a product from inception, through engineering design and manufacture, to service and disposal of manufactured products, while product data management (PDM) is the business function, often within product lifecycle management (PLM), that is responsible for the management and publication of product data. In software engineering, this is known as version control.

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Tags: PLM

How to Make PLM Easy

Posted by Scott Shuppert on Wed, Nov 30, 2016 @ 02:16 PM

How to Make PLM Easy

Ask nearly any design/manufacturing enterprise why PLM has become one of the most important ways for them to speed product development, reduce costs and generate higher revenues, and they’ll tell you it’s “because it works!”  Ask these same companies how easy it was to implement their PLM and the answers may not be as positive.

The reason for the gap between how well it works and how (un)easy it may be to implement is because PLM is less about the actual technology and more about business process transformation.  And, nearly any psychologist can tell you that “change is difficult.”

But, PLM is a change well-worth making!

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Tags: CAD CAM Outsource, CAD Conversion, 3d CAD, PLM

Product Engineering 3D Modeling Processes Promote Growth

Posted by Scott Shuppert on Thu, Nov 17, 2016 @ 05:52 PM

Product Engineering 3D Modeling Processes Promote Growth

What do you do when you’re a business that is dedicated to product innovation, impeccable customer service and the manufacture of quality products -- and you get more orders than you can handle?  You have three options:

  1. You can turn down the business;
  2. you can hire more staff; or,
  3. you can outsource the extra work.

When you’re a company that boasts a world class team of experts who operate with integrity, honesty, and strong core values and leadership, turning down business is not something you’re likely to do.

When new hires must fit into a team of experts that is committed to the research and development efforts needed to advance engineering capabilities and product improvements, the hiring process can’t be rushed.

That leaves outsourcing.

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Tags: 3D Modeling

The CAD/CAM Guide to Assembly Drawings

Posted by Scott Shuppert on Wed, Nov 09, 2016 @ 04:56 PM

The CAD/CAM Guide to Assembly Drawings

If you’re an inventor, a designer, an engineer or a manufacturer, then it’s likely that you need assembly drawings.

An assembly drawing is necessary for any product, design or invention that has more than one part:  From computers to aircraft, lawnmowers to heavy machinery, skate boards to baby carriages – they all need assembly drawings.

Some assembly drawings are simple (think about the last piece of IKEA furniture you purchased and assembled).  Some assembly drawings are complex (like the motor for your automobile.)  Assembly drawings all have these things in common:

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Tags: CAD CAm, 3d CAD

Interview with a CAD/CAM Services Technician

Posted by Scott Shuppert on Tue, Nov 08, 2016 @ 05:33 PM

Interview with a CAD/CAM Services Technician

I don't usually get to spend a lot of time talking to our engineers and technicians who actually work with our customers. But, I recently made time to sit down with one of our best technicians to get his take on how well we're doing meeting our clients needs.  Here are the questions I asked, and his unfiltered, unedited answers:

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Tags: CAD CAm