It Can Be a Difficult Choice
Do we find an experienced Mastercam programmer and make him a composites expert? Or do we ask our expert structural design engineer to become a proficient Mastercam Programmer?
Blue Force Technologies (Morrisville, NC) provides specialized composites manufacturing services to customers who need access to high levels of engineering and manufacturing expertise on a fast turn basis. Many prospects immediately embraced this concept and began contracting projects that they wanted in a hurry.
In 2012, after being in business for only a year, it was becoming evident that the company would find it difficult to keep pace with aggressive delivery schedules without bringing the CNC production of tooling for composites manufacturing in house.
So the company acquired its own 5-Axis CNC mill and Mastercam software to go along with it. But how would they get a proficient programmer with composites manufacturing expertise?
Blue Force President, Scott Bledsoe said, “With Mastercam, we went from zero machining experience to developing an in-house machining capability in very short order. Instead of hiring an experienced Mastercam programmer and training him in the intricacies of composites manufacturing, we asked Blain Echols, our structural design engineer, who was proficient in CATIA and SOLIDWORKS, to learn how to program in Mastercam.
The training we got from our Mastercam Reseller (Barefoot CNC) was a big help as was the ongoing support we get from those guys. We installed our 5-axis CNC in March and were programming it to meet the demands of complex projects by May. This year, our orders have quadrupled. We could not have grown at this pace without Mastercam.