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Inventor Woodwork for Inventor Cam Nesting



Good afternoon, thank you for coming. Thank you for attending our session today. We've gotten lots of interest and lots of phone calls and emails from individuals in unique companies, students in regard to CAM and how to associate CAM and woodworking together. Without the complication that many of the software packages have today, so our goal is to talk to you about the ease of use of some of the tools we would recommend for most woodworking facilities. The major consideration would be that the software that we're going to use today of course is Autodesk Inventor.

The versions that we'll be speaking about would be versions 22 through 24. We can connect to earlier versions but some of the software tools that are in the newer versions weren't in the older versions so I'd like to show the latest. The Autodesk products as well as the woodworking for inventor products are the ones that we are addressing for today.

I put up on the screen some of the URLs that are focused and directed to finding any of the packages that we're speaking of. Both of them meaning inventor and woodwork for inventor have trials demo sets so that you can run them for 30 days. Just to get comfortable, look at what the capabilities are and so on. And of course, we are always available to assist any of our end users as well as new converts to how to handle and manage this capability. I put on the screen some of that information that you can get a hold of us.

Again my name is Steve Whittam, I represent Wham Associates, and Wham Associates has now been supporting Autodesk software since 1984. It's a long time and inventor for the last 20 years. Woodworking for Inventor is a toolset that adds to existing software, existing inventor software so it's sitting on top of it and you'll see today how well it's integrated. So why am I putting my time in and showing it? Well, first of all, normally I'd record this and make it as slick as possible. Well today, I decided to do it on the cuff and show you capability. So if I make an error or a mistake or what have you, you'll see it in real time. I apologize for that but I think it's more real than PowerPoints.

So why consider a different CAM tool? Well, the major reason we've decided to move in this direction is because many of the CAM tools that are integrated or they say they're integrated with Autodesk software are meant for metalwork, not woodwork. So what I'm about to show you is all Wood related and why is that important? Well, the goal for a woodworker I always believe is to have something that works efficiently and it's easy to use. The key is easy to use. It has to have of course accuracy, speed, and a one software solution which means I don't have to go in out in one program, out of a program into another, export it, import it. I don't want to do any of that because any of that causes the possibility of errors.


The other nice thing about what I hope to show you today is that I don't need a dedicated CAM programmer. Think about this, if you have a dedicated CAM program and that's all they do, you are spending an excessive amount of time getting work done. What if the engineering department themselves can generate this information for you? And then, all that's necessary is the CAM operator on the shop floor feeds the machine itself and it processes it.


That's what I'm thinking of. That's what I want. I want something that's easy to use whether I am a large manufacturer or someone in a home shop. I don't need a learning curve that takes forever. The other thing is it, I want a Perpetual license. I don't want to have to keep paying for it every single year. So low cost is something I'm looking for also because many shops are much smaller than large metal manufacturers and budgets are very, very tight now.


So what if we can have something that is going to give us all these features as well as being inexpensive? And then, of course, being able to machine single Parts left panel, right panel, kick, whatever. And what if I create a job and I want to know how many sheets of 4 by 8 or 5 by 10 and what's going to be hardwood and what's going to be softwood? Why not have all of that at the same time?


Full cut lists and bills of material, well all of that is possible now. I'm not going to spend hours and hours presenting this. I'm going to show you key points in real world scenarios and if any of this seems at all to be interesting to you, we're more than welcome you to call and we can go into a deep dive for your particular needs.


So let's go into the actual file itself. So what I've done here is, I've created a very simple unit. Panels, Hardwoods, you could see that. You know, I've got the plates on the back which would be hardwood or softwood. You could see the grain, the grain Direction. Whereas the panels themselves, the top, the bottom, left and right are all this is MDF on Maple or maple on MDF I should say.


So what we're looking at is a real world scenario. Now let me turn off one of the doors. So I'm going to turn the visibility of the door off and you'll see I have hinges of course, pile shelf pin holes, confirmat screws and again if I turn off let's say the visibility of the top you can see these true confirmat and there are holes that they're going into because I need to machine or I would like to machine all of that.


The model itself was done in Inventor using woodwork for inventor. It is a parametric model. It gives me the ability to change its size, its depth, it's width at any time. Today's session is not in building the model, it is after the model is built, what can you do with it, where do you take it from here and that's sort of where I'd like to go.

So let's put the door back on. Now if I open the door up to on it on its own and take a look at it you could see that I have of course all the pilot holes for the hinge. I have a rabbit for the back for maybe this is going to be a grill work, maybe it's going to be glass, whatever. So it's not just a simple solid body model, there there's a lot to it. And again this is a simple model but the goal here is to show simple models or more complex models how easy or how difficult it is to generate.


So this model, if I was to If I Didn't Have a library of these and I had to build it from scratch, it's probably about 15 minutes worth of work, fully parametric so can change size at any time. But then what do we do about Machining it? So this is where our session really gets started.


Ease of use is the key, cutting out cycle time to the shop. The one thing one has to consider though is that engineering Now controls the Machinery. If I build something here and go directly out to Machining, whatever I build should be machined exactly as I built it.

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