Autodesk has added Delcam’s FeatureCAM feature-based CAM software for its Autodesk Workshop at Pier 9 in San Francisco. FeatureCAM will be used to program all the CNC equipment at the facility, including a DMS five-axis router and a Mori Seiki mill-turn machine.
Autodesk opened its Pier 9 facility in September 2013 to support the company’s vision of helping everyone to imagine, design and create a better world. The 27,000 square foot site is located a short walk from the company’s San Francisco headquarters.
"Pier 9 is a very interesting facility because it has traditional Autodesk software alongside an incredible workshop,” explained Gonzalo Martinez, Director of Strategic Research at Autodesk. "It has a whole floor for additive manufacturing, plus we have a metal shop and a wood shop on the site. The best part of the whole concept is that it lets people experiment here. They have access to the tools that we provide – both the software and the hardware – to see what they can do.”
Jeremy Malan, Applications Engineer at Delcam, was responsible for installing FeatureCAM at Pier 9. "It’s not every day that you can come out to a machine shop overlooking the bay, especially such a great facility,” he remembered.
"Pier 9 does have a lot of people that are learning machining for the first time so it’s really helpful that FeatureCAM is one of the easiest-to-learn software programs out there,” he added. "With FeatureCAM, even new users are able to identify very quickly the kind of feature that they are trying to make and how they are going to do that on the machine.”
"I love what FeatureCAM does because, at Autodesk, we’ve always been very good with design tools, and visualisation and simulation tools, but we were not really connected to what I’d call fabrication,” said Mr. Martinez. "Having access to FeatureCAM is really beneficial because it is able to read files from any of our design software and is able to output toolpaths ready to cut parts on any of our machining equipment.”
"I really looked forward to testing FeatureCAM on our Mori-Seiki machine, which is our most complex being a mill-turn with two turrets and five-axis capabilities,” he continued. "There are always multiple axes moving around but, with FeatureCAM, I can make sure that nothing is colliding and that the machine is working correctly.”
"The support that I have received from the Delcam team has been an A+ from day one. I’m so pleased that we have Delcam; not only the technology, but the people as well. The people are so extremely knowledgeable about the industry that it makes this journey beautiful.”