“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great” – Zig Ziglar.
A few months ago I wrote a blog post with the same title, except it was about CAM inside Autodesk’s Fusion 360, not Inventor HSM. The 5 part video series is blowing up my view count on YouTube. Why? One could think it’s because it is not only about the “how” (there is a lot of “how to videos on YouTube) but also focuses on the “why”. When learning something new, you will find it easier if the “why” comes before the “how”. If interested, check out the Fusion 360 CAM series link at the bottom of this post.
With a YouTube count like that, it’s only obvious to try to generate the same type of content for the other great Autodesk integrated CAM products. To make things better, Inventor HSM Express is 2.5 Axis free CAM. If you have a seat of Inventor, you are a few clicks from programming your first part.
Are you ready to start learning some Inventor HSM? Chapter 1
Does it make sense to stuff more power into your existing CAD tool? Most people will answer yes if it will make their design life easier.
Take Autodesk’s Nastran Simulation software that runs inside Inventor and SolidWorks. You get the most trusted industry simulation brain right inside two of the most powerful CAD packages. If your designs live outside a box of bubble wrap, Nastran can save you from re-designs caused by product failure in the field. You can, with a few mouse clicks, get a picture of how your designs react to things like temperature, loads, twisting and everyday usage. It’s much better than the old trick of over-designing: beef up material, and then take a hit on cost and weight.
The fear most people have is learning a new piece of software. I have to admit that I was a little scared when asked to learn simulation. You are not going to find any Ph.Ds in my family tree. Lucky for me and other former C-grade students, the simulation software is in many ways easier than CAD software you are using today. You are really just following the same dance steps every time. Pick material, how everything is being assembled, and where the forces are applied.
Check out this great video where my friend, Jim Byrne, gives an excellent example of the power of Nastran In-CAD.
When your priority is keeping CNC machines removing metal, creating high quality parts, and do so fast, you need great CAM software. The CAM tool will help take the design on 2D print or on the screen and generate code that in the end will make the machine run. When my task was to keep half a dozen CNC machines busy 24/7, I was always looking to be part of beta testing of upcoming CAM releases. This would give me chance to see what development was working before the annual software release.
Today we can do better than secret beta testing clubs. One thing that makes the Autodesk CAM development team stand out, is continued updates, willingness to listen, and helping users on the camforum.autodesk.com
To top that of here is a couple of videos on what is being worked on right now…
Fusion 360 CAD/CAM lives in the spotlight of Autodesk’s slogan “The future of making things”. But what if the “future” ambushes you while sipping your morning coffee, busy catching up on yesterday’s news?
This—design, engineer, fabrication—tool will bring you the future, today. Beginning with CAD that creates form, features and drawings, and in the end lets you manufacture products with built in 3D printing layouts and create nifty CNC toolpaths. This all happens while you can collaborate with anyone on any type of cloud connected device.
I had a chance the other day to be a guest on the Fusion 360 Live Classroom with James Herzing, Fusion 360 Community Manager, and I got to show the basics of 2.5D CAM inside Fusion 360.