Autodesk’s HSM: Easy to use, Powerful & Free!

There is a CAM product that is easy to use. Making the move from programming your CNC machine by hand, or struggling with a CAM program that is difficult to use should not be a hard decision.
Autodesk’s HSM runs inside SolidWorks and Inventor; giving you the best CAD/CAM, and you will like that the standard 2.5 version is FREE!

Autodesk HSM

If you are already familiar with powerful CAD, the integrated CAM is going to shorten the learning curve dramatically. Many CNC Programmers are having a hard time getting code to the shop floor fast. With HSM’s ease-of-use, you will find that creating good code for your machine can be done faster, even on your first part.

Ever had to re-program a part because you did not trust old files? Don’t burn time and money this way. Working within the best CAD and CAM environment helps to keep your data organized. Having all your CAD and CAM data stored in one file has a huge benefit. There is less data to keep track of, and when you CAD file changes, your CAM toolpaths just updates. You do not have to re-program your part every time there is a design change.

Are you looking for growth and new customers? You can’t tell your customers what software to use, and you do not have to. Both Inventor and SolidWorks comes with the best importing tools, letting you convert IGES, STEP, Parasolid and another dozen types. Not only will you have great CAD tools for part, fixture and work holding designs, you might also experience getting the order just because names like SolidWorks and Inventor will tell your customers that you are on the cutting edge.

So when looking for a CAM product that is easy to use, FREE and runs inside Inventor and SolidWorks, you just need to click here

Autodesk Releasing HSMWorks 2015 R3

HSMW BAC 2_5_1
The Autodesk CAM development team has released HSMWorks 2015 R3. This release is adding up all the deleopment builds since the R2 release back in march. Counting over 50 new features, improvements and fixes.

Some examples include continued improvements to the free post directory, including a CAMplete APT and post for my new favorite Haas UMC-750. Also, rest machining has improved for both Milling and Turning. Further, there are new Simulation updates, making sure you can see what is going to happen before hitting Cycle Start.

Looking for a toolpath of a racecar? They have also worked hard on updates for Adaptive Clearing, a toolpath strategy you could never live without. This is the stuff that fills your CNC machinist heart with love.

One highlight is the Silhouette Feature. Check out this short video from Product Manager, Al Whatmough:

Getting the latest version is easy, just go here: HSMWorks 2015 R3
Now go update and create!

CAD Tip: Do you have a CAD Modeling Style? Should you?

Do you always model up you 3D models the same way? Should you use different styles? I use Revolve, High Roller Stacking and my favorite manufacturing style all the time.
What do you use?

Link to Video

Learn HSMWorks Faster with Bite-size Tutorials

Learning new software can be confusing and frustrating, but I think you will find HSMWorks the easiest CAM you will ever use. Installing the software and get up and running takes minutes, and you will find yourself ready to program your first part in no time.
If you don’t have HSMWorks, download your free CAM for SolidWorks here

This series shows the short, bite-sized “how” on learning HSMWorks. These videos are broken down into individual toolpaths and will not cost you more than 3-5 minutes of your time. Subscribe to this YouTube playlist as this short series will grow into a long list of “how”-type tutorials.




CAD Tip: Where do you locate your CAD Origin?

If ever taken a CAD class; you normally get told that your first sketch geometry should be connected with the origin. This results that the origin many times gets located in a corner. Is there a better way?

Link to video…

Podcast Episode 11 – Quick CAD Tip, 7 Skills Needed to be a top engineer & CAD News

Listen to the Podcast!
Quick CAD Tip, 7 skills needed to be… & CAD News!
Show notes:
CAD Tip: Start your CAD Design the right way
7 Skills Needed to Be a Top Engineer
CAD Professional’s Guide to Lightning-Fast R&D
Lawsuit Against Stratasys Claims MakerBot Knew Of Faulty Smart Extruders, Misled Investors
MakerBot opened its new, 170,000-square-foot factory
Massive Investment in GM Arlington Assembly Plant
Delcam Appoints Charles Jones as Industry Marketing Manager
BobCAD-CAM Releases v28 CAD-CAM Series
Develop3D Summer magazine
What you need to know about upgrading to Windows 10
How Fast Can A Ferrari Go On Autobahn? This Video Has The Answer

CAD Tip: Start your CAD Design the right way

For some reason we have no patience with getting lines and arcs created on our CAD system. Many times resulting in going down the wrong path with our design. Resulting in recreating way to many things. This week’s tip is to slow down and maybe make sure you think through a few questions before drawing your first lines.

YouTube Link

Learning Inventor HSM in bite size

I don’t like learning new software; too many times I find myself confused and frustrated. After what seems like hours, I finally bow my head and Google “How to learn…”
What I have realized is that I’m not always looking for the same type of help. Sometimes I’m looking for “why”-type help and other times I’m looking for the practical “how” kind.
The “why”-type help always needs to come before the “how”. It’s when you have that glazed-over look on your face versus “Oh, now I get it.”
About a month ago, I posted a “why” series on learning Inventor HSM
Now that you have the “why”, you’re ready to continue onto “How”.
I am happy to share the next series, one that shows the short, bite sized “how” on learning Inventor HSM.
These videos are broken down into individual toolpaths and will not cost you more than 3-5 minutes of your time. I would love if you subscribed to this YouTube playlist as this short series will grow into a long list of “how”- type tutorials.




Podcast Episode 10 – Quick & Dirty Tip, A National Test for Manufacturing & CAD News

Listen to the Podcast!
Quick & Dirty Tip, A National Test for Manufacturing… & CAD News!

Show notes:
20 Google search tips
How good are your CAM skills? A National Test will find out
Welcome the AutodeskAEC podcast channel
Lawsuit against 3D Systems
Lawsuit against Makerbot
Makerbot at Sams Club
Autodesk’s update/upgrade to Fusion360
SolidWorks 2015 Service Pack 4.0 is available.
CAMWorks 2015 for Solid Edge ST8 is available.

Other news that did not make it:
Why the apple watch is flopping
How does a driverless car see the road
Here’s how the internet has almost run out of space
In-house manufacturing of the machined direct-drive drum pedal

3 Reasons that Autodesk has Become the Manufacturing Leader

One of the more interesting questions is; how has Autodesk developed to become the leader of manufacturing? For those unfamiliar with Autodesk, the company’s rise and current leadership developing design and engineering software has improved the technical tools and helped manufacturing.

Autodesk Manufacturing Leader
Most people who are in the business of manufacturing know Autodesk created the groundbreaking 2D Autocad, the first real mainstream CAD system. This started the growth and development into today’s use of 3D CAD and CAM for design and manufacturing. From here the company started to go in a new direction. Anyone who has looked at the Autodesk portfolio will see that Autodesk is focusing on providing both width and depth in a total solution of software for their customer base. Autodesk is setting the gold standard for selling and supporting the entire manufacturing and fabrication world.

There are plenty of individuals at Autodesk who have been a big part of shaping this new industry leadership. The engineers who are creating Autodesk products have switched attention to making a better solution, and CEO, Carl Bass, is the chief “user” of Autodesk products himself.
I would like to suggest that the reason the company is successful can be boiled down to three key principles that make it hard for competitors to compete with Autodesk.

1. The products that Autodesk creates are in sync with what the market needs.
So many times with other software companies, the goal is almost always based around the technology first, followed by the question, do people want to use it? Geeky engineers are dazzled by technology at their disposal and often create something because they can. However, Autodesk is taking a hard look at this. The company is creating ease of use software that can easily be implemented either as a total product solution or as bits and pieces depending on the customer’s needs. The engineers are not sitting in deep hidden caves, but are often spotted testing and making products with their creations at Autodesk’s state of the art manufacturing and fabrication place on San Francisco’s Pier9.

2. Offer great customer service and Product flexibility.
Even if you create products that are easy to use, the variety of things that people want to make creates complexity. Because of this, users may need some hand holding from time to time. Besides relying on their big partner network for support, Autodesk has created a network of support in places like social media. Listening to customer request and concerns has pushed Autodesk to be the front runner offering such things as Desktop Subscription (Pay-as-you-go). Big companies might not value this at the same level as small manufacturing companies, but that is not a coincidence as the company is just as focused on small business. If you want to be a leader, it is not just about keeping the stock market happy, but also to help and support smaller companies into growth. Autodesk does many things to push the design world in a better direction. Most notable is their decision to provide all educational institutions with all their software at no cost. This is helping to create an entire new generation of makers. But also such things as sponsoring free workshops and making software free, such as 2.5D integrated CAM that runs inside SolidWorks and Inventor with support.

3. Autodesk stays ahead of its competitors.
Every industry has their giants, but no one looks at companies such as GM or Ford for direction and innovation in the automotive industry today. They were once considered leaders and might still be giants. This should be one of the fears of Autodesk’s competitors. Those competitors are the GMs and Fords, who have spent enormous resources protecting their customer base. When you spend more time playing defense than listening to your customers, and innovate, there will be a point where customers will look elsewhere for better solutions. With Autodesk’s approach, they are building an exceptional set of tools for everyone in the manufacturing and fabrication industry.
Some of these are:

  • Trusted, high-end CAM such as Partmaker and Powermill from Delcam. HSM, the fully integrated CAM inside Inventor and SolidWorks.
  • Best in class, nesting, waterjet, laser cutting and the magic power of composite from Majestic.
  • The only released CAD in the cloud, Fusion 360, a full CAD package including CAM and 3D Print layout capabilities inside the software.

These three principles may seem a bit simplistic, but as long as they adhere to them, it is pretty likely that will Autodesk continue to grow and command a large share of the manufacturing market.