Theory and Practice: Mastercam’s Machine Shop

We all learn a lot from bringing theory into real-world practice. Ask anyone who’s learned to fly a plane after using only a flight simulator — there are just some things that you can only learn from practical experience.

That’s CNC Software’s view on CAD/CAM software. Unlike most CAD/CAM developers, CNC Software has a fully equipped machine shop to do practical R&D on new toolpaths, refine existing ones, and produce factory-approved post processors. We get new machines from time to time to help ensure a good mix of different styles and manufacturers using the latest technology.

This practical testing is crucial to producing software that solves problems actually encountered by many shops. For example, we test our high speed toolpaths on hard-milling applications (over 60 Rockwells), giving us feedback that simply wouldn’t be available in any other way. We also get valuable insights from our machinists, who can help us fine-tune new cutting techniques by bringing their “sound and feel” experience to the software.

The current Mastercam machine shop houses three machines in 700 square feet, including a high speed mill and a multiaxis machine. Our commitment to this practical method of CAD/CAM creation is continuing as we expand the shop to almost 3,000 square feet to make room for a variety of new equipment including a router and a multi-tasking machine.

Sometimes our programmers do some pretty wild stuff, just to test the limits of the software and our machines.

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