Editor’s Pick: SmartCAM V2016 Released

The solution includes applications for CNC machining, EDM, fabrication, milling and more.

SmartCAM Native Data Translators are optional modules that allow native-CAD design models to be opened directly in SmartCAM. Pictured here is the SmartCAM Autodesk Inventor Connection. Image courtesy of SmartCAMcnc.

Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:

Tony LockwoodMany people harbor pipe dreams of rescuing something from “the man” and succeeding against all odds. Today’s Pick of the Week did it.

Years ago, SmartCAM was a dominant CAM solution. That made it a prime target during the 1990s’ corporate acquisition binge. It was shuffled around and ignored inside of companies that were subsequently shuffled around and ignored inside of the companies that bought them.

SmartCAM’s believers wouldn’t let it go because it was CAM that worked like makers work. Over a decade ago, a scrappy crew wrested SmartCAM out of limbo and have developed it since. Now comes the 2016 release of the SmartCAM portfolio, and it seems that SmartCAM is as ever CAM software that works like makers work.

The SmartCAM solution includes applications for CNC (computer numerically controlled) milling, turning, fabrication and wire EDM (electrical discharge machining). There are add-ons for CNC machine code editing and native format data translators for mainstream CAD applications like Inventor and other extensions.

SmartCAM v2016 sees a lot of work in its Knowledge-Base Machining (KBM) Library. The KBM Library functionality is intended to make creating new programs easy. It brings together your tool and operation parameter management as well as managed manufacturing data in a single repository. That means you can store then re-use tooling and operation settings. As well, the KBM Library’s associativity feature allows jobs using library definitions to be updated to the most current definitions quickly.

Improvements to the KBM Library introduced in v2016 include a revised user interface that enables SmartCAM programmers to add multiple tools or multiple steps to a job operations setup with a single action, a new Group Filter feature that displays the tool set or steps associated with a user-defined filter and a new Manage Library utility with maintenance and administration capabilities for library data and group filters.

SmartCAMcnc Debuting in SmartCAM v2016 is a new View Section command that can be used to expose hidden elements, making it to both view and select such elements. Here, the View Section command reveals bore details in the SmartCAM Turning application. Image courtesy of SmartCAMcnc.

SmartCAM v2016 also sees improvements in its mill roughing capabilities, a new View Section command that makes it easier to view and select hidden elements as well as a bunch of new customization functions, many of which are user-requested.

You can get the skinny on SmartCAM v2016 from today’s Pick of the Week write-up. Links at the end will take you to in-depth details on its milling, turning, fabrication and wire EDM applications. Make sure to poke around the SmartCAM website to see how SmartCAM works like makers work.

Thanks, Pal. – Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood

Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering

Learn more on SmartCAM v2016 here.

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About the Author

Anthony J. Lockwood's avatar
Anthony J. Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood is Digital Engineering’s founding editor. He is now retired. Contact him via [email protected].

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