The first, and most
important,thing to consider when choosing programming software should
Of course you need to
make sure that
the software will do what you want, but reliability should be
key concern. By reliability I mean that you should be totally 100% confident that
the programs produced will remove all
the material you want and only
the material you want, with no
collisions or gouges.
In this ever
increasingly competitive world, getting the job correct first time, every time,
is key to maintaining your edge over the competition.
Other important considerations
include: A wide range of available machining
strategies. Regular updates to keep up with new cutter
technologies and new methods. Good technical support from the suppliers
and, for most people, an easy to use interface.
The reason for saying "for most
people" when talking about the user interface is because
we have a unique method of running our machining software. Over the
past 10 years we have developed a complete system to run alongside our
This system allows us,
at the front
end, to run the software through pre-stored macros with the added
flexibility of variables, loops and built-in functions. In short, this
allows us to build a library of macro code that we can test, perfect ,
store and re-use time and time again. It allows us to create complex
sets of machining stategies easily and quickly.
While our system is controlling
running our machining software it is contantly storing
about the cutter paths, cutter data and parameters so that when the
programming is finished our setting sheet software (also unique to
Alphatech) can use this data along with data from our job database to
create clear data and setting sheets.