Chapter 9

Succeeding with Software

IN THIS CHAPTER

check Spelling out software acronyms

check Unraveling computer-aided manufacturing

check Modeling your parts

check Simulating your programs

check Picking parameters apart

check Figuring out file formats

I am a slow walker, but I never walk back.

—ABRAHAM LINCOLN

If you’re like me, you’d just as soon skip any discussion of computers or software and talk instead about computer numerical control (CNC) machines and cutting tools and metal removal. Sadly, we can’t do that. Like it or not, information technology (computer nerds proudly call it I.T., slowly emphasizing each letter) is an important slice of the manufacturing pie; if you don’t take a big bite, your success with machining will be less than you’ve been hoping for.

Actually, the subject is pretty cool. Software helps you design parts, generate toolpaths, and manage tool life and machining operations. It lets you ...

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