Solidworks CAM can “change the manufacturing industry”, says CAD expert
Image credit: Dassault Systemes
Changes are in the works for Solidworks as the company prepares to launch their new computer-aided manufacturing platform – a software system which will combine the worlds of mechanical design and manufacturing.
Ahead of the platform’s release, E&T spoke to Sandesh Joshi, CEO and co-founder of US-based computer-aided design outsourcers Indovance, about what this could mean for the manufacturing industry.
What is your background?
“After studying a master’s of science at North Carolina State University in the US, where my focus was on computer-aided design and manufacturing, I went on to work for Solidworks and was part of Solidworks R&D for a number of years. While there I helped to develop the Solidworks software in multiple areas specifically in drawings and parts and assemblies. It was there that I saw the market opportunity for computer-aided design (CAD) outsourcing services and that is when I founded Indovance.”
What has your experience been of using computer-aided design and manufacturing processes?
“Indovance has been in business for over 14 years now and we work with a variety of customers, across the world, although our focus is the US, and we support Solidworks as a platform for CAD services, but we also support other software. We work with a variety of companies and industries. Broadly we work in the oil and gas industry, the piping industry and the automobile industry, etc. We are driven by the software more than the industry and our work tends to be driven by companies that use Solidworks and the engineering and drafting services that they need. Over the years, we have worked in different lifecycles of the products for our clients and we have experience working in engineering as well as manufacturing.”
What is different about Solidworks CAM?
“CAM has been around for a while, it’s not new, but it has been complicated, and there have been multiple software packages available from different companies. Where Solidworks CAM is different is in its potential to bring CAM to every desktop. When Solidworks was launched more than 20 years ago it brought 3D CAD software to every engineer’s desktop, and now Solidworks CAM has the potential to do the same for manufacturing. That’s how I see Solidworks CAM in that it has the potential to be a game changer in the CAM industry by enabling every engineer to have access to CAM processes and understand how to design for CAM way up in the design cycle. This will allow for the design of products that are going to be manufacturing-friendly right from the start
“As Solidworks is already the leading CAD software provider, it is in a good position to become the common platform for CAM – this means that everybody will be talking the same language when they are talking about CAM. That has the potential to standardise and bring all parties together on the same table, rather than everyone trying to figure out the CAM solution for their own industry or own company.”
Are there any situations where Solidworks CAM would be appropriate at present?
“CAM has been around for a while, but it has not been on every engineer’s desktop so far. So this is going to be a new revolution and evolution really, that is going to open up doors for the kinds of products that can be CAM-ready. CAM is appropriate for any industry where rapid prototyping is used. This type of prototyping is becoming the norm now, especially with the availability of 3D printers that are cheap, accessible and a lot more user-friendly. This has the potential to open the doors for rapid manufacturing in the future. I see Solidworks CAM integration as the next step to rapid prototyping. Engineers can design products, especially those which are not too complex, very quickly and can expedite rapid prototyping as well as rapid manufacturing.”
Do you expect CAM practices to become more commonplace in the future?
“Absolutely yes – and again, I see this as being brought on by Solidworks. Solidworks has the potential to make CAM ubiquitous and a common place tool for every engineer.
“CAM processes have the potential to revolutionise and expedite the manufacturing and design processes, and optimise productivity in a big way. The industry as a whole is always driving or seeking and pursuing automation for productivity, cost, quality and every measure that makes the industry better or faster. Computer-aided design, computer-aided engineering and then computer-aided manufacturing are all tools that can help every company and every engineer to produce better quality products, with better on time delivery. This has the potential to change the manufacturing industry, and it is something that the industry is seeking.”
What advantages does Solidworks CAM have over other CAM platforms?
“I think the biggest advantage is that Solidworks is that as the leading supplier of CAD software the name is already everywhere today, on every engineer’s desktop. So Solidworks has the unique opportunity to bring CAM to each one of those desktops, and establish a common language amongst each one of those engineers on how to leverage CAM, and how to do this early on in the design process. This in itself is huge; it could be a huge differentiator and has the potential to be revolutionary.”