Surfware Inc., developer of CAD/CAM systems under the SURFCAM brand, has announced an extensive collaboration with Faro Technologies, a leading provider of dimensional quality control products, to provide cutting-edge solutions in computer-aided manufacturing (CAM).
Among many new features in its latest service pack, the SURFCAM CAM software program now supports USB-enabled Faro portable measurement arms, marketed under the FaroARM name. Surfware actively pursued developing this specific enhancement to further augment what SURFCAM calls “design-to-reality” solutions.
“The SURFCAM and Faro alliance provides a seamless part digitizing to machining solution,” said Shaun Mymudes, Faro’s director of product management. “Using SURFCAM to capture dimensional data, Faro portable measurement arms provide our customers with a direct interface to a very high-end CAM program.”
The FaroARM interface for SURFCAM allows use of any Faro 6- or 7-axis portable digitizer as an auxiliary pointing device to input 3D coordinate data into an active SURFCAM session. It also allows SURFCAM users to freely intermix digitized input with all other input modes. This facilitates model creation, toolpath generation, and material removal simulation in a single environment, continuously displaying the FaroARM probe tip for graphical verification.
“Users can create, edit, generate and simulate toolpaths, then machine complex surface models all in a single setup without any file transfers,” said Don McKillop, president of CAM/CAD Technologies and the author of the FaroARM USB interface. “The SURFCAM FaroARM interface is uniquely suited for reverse engineering of complex 3D objects.”
This interface now supports both serial and USB connectivity, enabling the system to work with legacy and current Faro equipment. It includes a variety of convenient coordinate alignment techniques, probe calibration, probe changing within a session, system diagnostics, and a series of convenient digitizing modes. Digitizing modes include discrete point input, lock-plane input, streaming-coordinate mode input, and project-onto-plane input.
“We are proud to work with Faro Technologies to provide state-of-the-art ‘design-to-reality’ solutions,” commented Joe McChesney, product manager at Surfware. “We will strive to continue offering enhancements to SURFCAM that deliver the latest cutting-edge technologies to our customers.”