Introducing SOLIDWORKS CAM: a Smart Manufacturing Ecosystem

SOLIDWORKS CAM is a 2.5-axis milling and turning solution that is powered by CAMWorks, a SOLIDWORKS Gold-level solution partner in CAM since 1998. SOLIDWORKS CAM will allow users to program in either part or assembly environments. In addition, SOLIDWORKS CAM will also be able to work with configurations of components to expedite the programming process.

Over the last several years, SOLIDWORKS has been building a Smart Manufacturing ecosystem. Components of this ecosystem, such as Costing, Inspection, and Model-Based Definition (MBD), have been a priority to take the next logical step that will improve efficiency for our users. Having integrated CAM capabilities is becoming more important than ever; especially when efficiency is involved. For example, users want to be able to check their components for manufacturability earlier in design process.  Using an integrated CAM system makes it easier to learn and understand how your components will transition from bits to atoms. Integrated CAM also allows for automatic updating of toolpaths because the CAM system can read changes as you make updates to parts.

This push to boost efficiency is manifesting itself in practice as validated by surveys and research reports. One example is Business Advantage’s CAD Trends Survey, which found that 34 percent of CAD users increased their use of CAM last year.  Of those surveyed, 70 percent think it’s “important” (36 percent think it is “very important” and 34 percent “quite important”) to have machining instructions automatically generated from 3D CAD models.  Six in ten (61 percent) want to see “more” (half of them want to see “much more”) software development effort on CAD/CAM integration.

Based on these trends, and the previous work on Smart Manufacturing ecosystem updates, the foundation of SOLIDWORKS CAM, Knowledge-Based Machining (KBM), was created.  KBM will allow companies to define standard machining strategies that can be used by everyone within their organization from quoting to programming.  This standardization will ensure that everyone is on the same page, which will reduce errors during the design-to-manufacturing process.  The more consistent a company can leverage existing data and processes, the more efficiently they can produce their products.  Consistency in workflow has been shown to reduce cycle times, improve quality and boost employee satisfaction.

SOLIDWORKS CAM is available for Beta starting April 1, 2017.  Commercial release for SOLIDWORKS CAM will be available with the release of SOLIDWORKS 2018. To learn more about SOLIDWORKS CAM

Mike Buchli

Mike Buchli

Michael Buchli has 20 years of design and manufacturing experience throughout the Midwest ranging from Aerospace to recycling systems. A number of those years were spent learning and understanding workflows and processes to improve efficiency and productivity. From running CNC equipment to welding and painting Michael has been hands-on in all aspects of bringing products to market. Michael is also certified in many areas of mfg and a CSWP. He has also written the CAMWorks Handbook.