Software and Training
What is Software?
There are 3 types of software on any machine, the CAD (computer aided design) and the CAM (Computer aided manufacturing). The third being the machines individual operating software (this is written by the machine manufacturer and is therefore important you know who the manufacturer is and buy from a trusted source). This controls the machines movements and actions.
What is CAD/CAM?
CAD (Computer aided design) is the ‘front end software’ that allows the design and visual construction of component parts on the computer screen.
CAM (Computer aided manufacturing) is the ‘back end software’ which converts the visually constructed part from the computer screen into machine code to enable the machine to produce that part.
Why is the software so important?
Some machinery manufacturers/suppliers have their own ‘home grown’ software which initially will look as though it will cater for everything you could ever need. However, once a CNC machine is adopted into a manufacturing facility, suddenly what was once seen as time consuming curves and shapes will be designed and manufactured in a fraction of the time. However, over the course of time as more possibilities are explored, this ‘home grown’ software can too often become somewhat restrictive and limiting and these users will often turn to industry leading Alphacam for more advanced or bespoke solutions.
All AES CNC machines are supplied with industry leading Alphacam software.
What if I already use a CAD package?
Depending upon the package, it is possible to import directly into Alphacam so if you have several years work stored for example in Autocad, Solidworks, Rhino etc then you can still use your CAD but import and use Alphacam for the CAM.
Alphacam is a dedicated and independent specialist designer of CAD/CAM software which caters not only for wood working but across engineering and other industries. Alphacam is not only arguably the best ‘back end’ software to convert on screen drawings into machine code but also offer multiple levels of ‘front end’ CAD software, depending upon each manufacturers requirement and therefore are not the ‘one shoe fits all’ approach given by the suppliers of home grown software.
Every training program is based around the individual user and is not simply about pushing buttons, so if you are new to CAD/CAM or are looking to process parts on a 3 axis or even 5 axis machine, we can offer the appropriate training. The most important part of training is being specific to what you are looking to achieve. We can even offer advice on tooling and as part of the training we can also process parts designed by you.
If you have ordered a machine from us, we can offer pre delivery training where the operator will spend the time needed with us to become familiar with all aspects of a machine from the control panel, to changing tools, etc We also offer initial training on the Alphacam CAD/CAM software or importing into Alphacam from existing software. This is to prepare you for when your machine arrives and allow easier integration as opposed to being bombarded with too much information at once.
On Site Training
Once a machine has been delivered and commissioned, we will then offer additional training on your machine and work with you to process your work. The time spent will be dependent upon the operator who will be brought to a level where they will be both confident and competent in the use of the new CNC machine.
Of course, learning should never stop once a machine has been delivered. As the demands of such a machine inevitably gets more and more complex, we can offer ongoing training and support as required.