Anniversary Edgecam supplier looks back on 30 years of software history, upgrades latest release

Editor: Eric Culp

Edgecam supplier Vero Software said the software suite is celebrating its 30th anniversary, and the company talked about the CAD/CAM system’s past and future.

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A scientist holds an antennae produced in Edgecam that was for a space observatory.
A scientist holds an antennae produced in Edgecam that was for a space observatory.
(Source: Vero Software)

The original suite, called Pathtrace, was launched in collaboration with Surrey University in 1983 and changed its name to Edgecam the day Windows 95 was released.

Edgecam General Manager Raf Lobato painted a picture of the past. “The first release of Edgecam in 1995 took a DOS-based textual menu-driven system into a Windows look and feel with graphical icons replacing textual menus.” At that time it was a traditional wireframe and surface-based CAD/CAM system. However, Vero said that with the development of Mechanical Desktop and Pro Engineer, followed by Solidworks, Solid Edge and Inventor, mid-range solid-based CAD systems took off. Instead of basing its software on a solid-based kernel, Edgecam chose the unique route of supporting all major solid kernels in 1999. “We didn’t need to translate the CAD data,” Lobato said, noting that other systems still have problems transferring data via independent formats. The company adopted the solids-based technology because “we believed that was where CAD systems would go. We expected people to move from wireframe and surface-based CAD to solid-based systems.”

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Edgecam’s latest incarnation, Edgecam 2013 R2, includes an application called Workflow, which automatically loads a part in the correct manufacturing environment with datum set. Vero explained that Workflow tools aid in loading and positioning the component, choosing the manufacturing method and suitable machine tools, adding user defined stock or stock from a database, importing fixtures, selecting a machine and toolkit, and managing strategies for the automation of manufacturing.

At each stage, Workflow is said to take decisions or make suggestions as to how the goal is best achieved. However, users can override the choices if desired, which improves the system’s flexibility, Vero added.