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Once a 3D model is converted to an STL format, the resulting layout of triangles is often referred to as a “mesh.” A mesh editor lets the user directly edit the points of the mesh: stretching, shrinking, smoothing, or otherwise manipulating the actual shell of the 3D model.

A software package for programmatically generating 3D shapes, complex systems of pieces, and even parametric designs.

Even though he was still in his twenties, he had 10 years of tool & die experience starting with IBM’s apprenticeship program.

King knew how to operate CNC equipment, he had high-end CAM programming experience with CATIA, and the buyout he was about to receive would provide him with enough capital to finance a Fadal CNC machining center and a seat of Mastercam that he purchased from Prototek after an extensive review of all the software packages available at the time.

As opposed to traditional CAD programs, there is no “drawing” in Open SCAD — all designs are defined as text and then compiled to see the resulting shapes.

Additive manufacturing works in layers and a “slicer” is the software package used to cut a 3D model into flat layers that can be printed one at a time.

With the rapid expansion of hobbyist-class digital fabrication equipment and the always-plummeting price points, new enthusiasts step into a world of acronyms, software packages, and terms to master. Computer-aided design is software that allows the user to create models in 2D or 3D formats.

While CAD was initially common only in architecture and manufacturing, enthusiast-oriented packages are now readily available at low (or no! Computer-aided manufacturing software generates the toolpaths (using G-code) for CNC milling and cutting machines.

The specific G-codes control motion, speed, rotation, depth, and other related switches and sensors used in the operation of a machine.

Pascoe told King that the latest version of his CAM software, Mastercam from CNC Software, Inc.

(Tolland, CT) contained several new features that would greatly improve his productivity, especially roughing and fine finishing.

These hours are not only expensive, but also tend to be anxiety-ridden because there is a customer somewhere waiting for the delivery of his mold and he will only be getting it after hours of tedious manual polishing has been completed.

So, it is no surprise that Dave King, owner of Choice Tool (Minneapolis, MN), was all ears when Brian Pascoe from Prototek Engineering (his local CAM reseller) called to inform him that these cost factors were about to change dramatically.

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