US prototypes and low-volume parts manufacturer Craft Pattern & Mold reckons it has reduced delivery times by up to 50% using Delcam CAM software.
The company, which is using PowerSHAPE design software and the PowerMILL CAM system for its precision plastic and metal production services, says it can now ship machined prototype parts within 14 days of receiving the customer’s CAD file.
According to owner Tony Cremers: “By combining our technical knowledge with the latest manufacturing technologies, we are dramatically reducing the development time for our clients.”
The company – which typically produces six to 10 patterns a week for manufacturers in the aerospace, agriculture, automotive, consumer products, electronics, medical and toy industries – is also now able to create models and secondary tooling in a day or even hours.
“Previously, it might have taken up to a month to turn around castings or machined parts, but with this software, we can go from the customer’s CAD file to patterns to castings in one to two weeks,” says Cremers.
“For example, a patternmaker can use the software to generate an efficient tool path that he knows will work well the first time, get the program out to a mill, and then get on to programming a subsequent job, while the previous job is running,” he adds.
“The speed with which we can create toolpaths not only keeps delivery times to a minimum, but keeps our shop running consistently.”