BobCAD-CAM’s commitment to education is materialized in the Manufacturers of the Future Program. The MOTF program provides educators and future manufacturers with affordable access to our latest software, training and support. Today we are highlighting Horace Dale’s Department of Physics over at Emory University and peeling back how they use BobCAD’s latest CAM software.
“At the physics department, there's a lot of research that goes on here. A lot of undergraduates and graduates that are working in the labs around here. We do self-condensed matter research, biophysics and computational physics (this is where they use BobCAD a lot). We have a laser cutter and a Fadal VMC-3016,” says Horace. He tells me that most of the programs he writes are by hand. If there is a part that has a lot of complicated geometry, then he will sketch it up in BobCAD and run toolpath on it, generating his G code. The students, however, program on a stand-alone computer when creating their projects.
Horace has used BobCAD for over 10 years in his curriculum, utilizing both of our products; BobCAD-CAM and BobCAM for Solidworks. Currently, Emory University is equipped with our latest CNC software, BobCAD-CAM V31. He really enjoys the CAM side of BobCAD for all of his complicated projects. “If we have to Mill an aluminum plate and the plate has a weight restriction to it, then you are going to have some complicated geometry that you Mill away. This allows you to maintain the structural integrity, but you are taking away most of the material due to the weight restriction of the design. So, instead of me writing each line by hand, I would rather generate that with a CAM product,” says Horace. BobCAD’s ability to import a wide range of file types was another big reason Horace and his students like using BobCAD in the classroom.
As we moved further into our conversation, Horace began to get into detail about what kind of parts they were making. There is a rayometer that they use over in self-condensed matter that measures the torque of forces that are required for cutting materials. Horace tells me, “We manufacture the specific cutters that we need here in our shop. I do most of those because it is a little beyond the capabilities of the students. After I manufacture the cutters, the students put them on this rayometer and it measures the forces that are required to push the cutter into different types of materials. Recently, the University wanted us to build a lifting platform. The lifting platform has weight restrictions so we had constraints on how the platform needed to be balanced. This means we had to have the platform move at a rate of between 10 and 30 microns per second. We had to gear it way down so we could apply a lot of torque to the platform. Essentially what they are doing is rotating the cutter as they are raising the platform & forcing the material into the rayometer, measuring those forces.”
As we wrapped up, Horace had some feedback on how far along BobCAD has come in the last decade. “I would say that BobCAD has made a huge improvement from the software we purchased 10 years ago to our latest addition, the V31 Mill package. I would recommend it (to other schools). It’s very user-friendly, it’s has a lot of parallelism with Solidworks. That, in my opinion, makes it easier to learn and use.”
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