Technology CAM heads to the clouds for greater productivity

Editor: Eric Culp

CAM software suppliers are taking advantage of progress in computing technology by offering access to off-site data storage as well as other remote features.

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Access to the storage and processing power of multiple remote computers and servers is the promise of cloud computing.
Access to the storage and processing power of multiple remote computers and servers is the promise of cloud computing.
( © Syda Productions - Fotolia)

In the past, to say someone had their “head in the clouds” was a way of telling them they lacked focus. Nowadays, the clouds – areas of remote computer storage and processing – could become the preferred location for computer-aided manufacturing.

For example, not only does the latest version of Esprit CAM software include productivity-enhancing technology for CNC programmers and for machining disciplines, its supplier DP Technology said the program also taps into remote information to free up shop space and reduce tool selection time. Autodesk goes a step further: It is said to be offer the world’s first cloud-based CAM software.

Cloud-enabled CAM for finding the correct tool

With the Esprit Machining-Cloud Connection, programmers can reportedly find the ideal tooling for any job and save time once spent flipping through printed tooling catalogues. They can access complete and up-to-date cutting-tool product data and simultaneously improve collision-detection capabilities, the company said.

In addition, the new anti-collision technology protects machine-tools and the parts they produce, and the software provides complete anti-collision models of tool assemblies that ensure the accuracy of toolpath generation, simulation and verification, the supplier explained.

Other upgrades improve processing, management

Improved features for editing and numbering tools with the software are said to simplify tool management and cut programming time. Users can simplify the process of editing cutting tools and their parameters with the Esprit Tool Editor, which uses a single interface to edit the data of multiple cutting tools, the company explained.

The software also has the enhanced ability to renumber tools by operation and change tool numbers based on the order of processes in the Operations Manager, rather than the order of the tools in the Tool Manager, DP Technology added.

Moreover, in addition to increasing overall productivity, this version also includes a host of time-saving upgrades and enhancements that benefit customers specifically in the areas of tooling, automation, simulation and shop-floor collaboration, the company noted.