The First Post
A blog about manufacturing software? Who’d read that?
Well I guess you would. At least this once anyway.
It’s not that CAD/CAM is boring – far from it in fact. It’s just that it’s not sexy or salacious in the way that Hollywood blogging might be. It’s not consequential as world politics. It’s not the quirky, offbeat and viral stuff of internet legend. And no, we have no pictures of cats.
But everything you touch in this world has some reference back to CAD/CAM processes. Even “handmade” is made with tools that came off a cnc machine somewhere – Roy Underhill notwithstanding. And if that’s not cool then consider this:
Most of the people I meet in this business started like I did. They took a college course, got a job in a shop somewhere and took to learning a trade because they really liked making things. You can make a living exerting your will upon big, dumb chunks of stuff in this world and end up with something exceptionally beautiful or highly useful. I’ve met a lot of people who get a real charge out of that.
I don’t know about you, but I still do.
When I discovered that computers weren’t toys, that they were actually tools I could use to do stuff – and better yet, make stuff – I was hooked. CAD was power. CAM was power squared. Once I gained proficiency in that computer assisted environment my ability to create things grew exponentially. I could make a lot of things really accurately, really quickly with all sorts of complex and precise details.
Now not only could I crank out the mundane bread and butter stuff, but I could invent, create tools, devise part relationships without wrecking a single piece of material, and generally take my work to the level of an art. And after more than 30 years in the grown-up, working world, I still find this the coolest thing. And rather than abdicating my human work skills to a machine, I have magnified them. I can pretty much make anything that I can draw. And with good software I can draw anything I put my mind to.
Imagine elevating your skills and creativity with dead accuracy and executing your intent with the steadiest hand modern technology can devise. This is in fact, what we are doing in CAD/CAM. I’ve been saying this for 15 years to my Alphacam customers. Artists, scientists and inventors of bygone eras would have gone crazy with the technological wonders of what is now commonplace. But just because it is commonplace does not make it any less of a wonder.
Most CAD/CAM websites focus on the rational, engineering and financial considerations of a software package. But the power software like this puts in the hands of a craftsman runs much deeper. I’ve seen the eyes of stoical journeymen light up when they come to realize what they can do with these systems. They see and I know – it is amazing stuff. Through these means come truly stunning products, efficiencies impossible any other way and the creation of not just bits and parts, but an amazing lifetime of work.
So, yeah, you could say I’m still excited about this line of work even after all these years.
It’s just too cool not to be.