Windsor, Ontario. Long dubbed the Automotive Capital of Canada, and currently emerging as the Automobility Capital of Canada. A city of makers.
CAMufacturing Solutions is just one of many local trailblazers changing the industry around them. The company is doing things in the additive manufacturing space, making the industry more efficient and more reliable. And the effect is almost contagious. CAMufacturing Solutions provides software tools to manufacturers that give them control over the additive manufacturing process, enabling them to manufacture products that were inconceivable just a few years ago.
“Our software, APlus, is an additive manufacturing module currently for Mastercam CAD/CAM software,” Bob Hedrick, President and CEO of CAMufacturing Solutions, explains. “It’s been in development for 10 years. We sold our first systems in 2017, mainly to large high-profile research labs.”
APlus adds the capability to program and simulate additive manufacturing processes for producing metal and large-scale plastic parts on CNC (Computer Numerical Controlled) machines and industrial robots.
“Our business module is currently business-to-business,” states Duncan Lam, General Manager of CAMufacturing Solutions. “Our software is currently being used in 20 countries across the globe – and on every continent except Antarctica, actually!”
The revolutionary technology of APlus cannot be understated. It operates on the leading-edge of the industry, allowing CAMufacturing Solutions to address the unique challenges that our new digital ecosystem poses for the manufacturing workforce.
“Other manufacturing processes have been around for thousands of years,” Bob states. “Stamping. Molding. Forging. When computers came along, it was all about “automating” the process – taking it from the skill of the artisan to precision and repeatability of digitally controlled tools. But additive manufacturing doesn’t work without a computer. It’s the opposite problem! The technology has been developed by advanced research institutions, but needs to get into the hands of manufacturing engineers and skilled tradesmen to become totally ubiquitous. Our software helps that process, so that workers don’t need a PhD to understand this process.”
Bob Hedrick leads a live demo at the 2022 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago this month. (Source: CAMufacturing Solutions Inc./LinkedIn)
For CAMufacturing Solutions, it’s all about being proactive. Recognizing which way the wind is blowing and positioning themselves appropriately.
“It’s all kind of a moving target for us,” Bob explains. “When we started, we got ahead of the game and anticipated some changes in the industry. We put features in our software that are just starting to be implemented in the control systems for additive manufacturing machine tools. It’s usually the other way around – the software usually lags behind the development of the equipment.”
“We are currently investing in research to advance our software, in a way that no one else seems to be doing,” Duncan explains. “We were doing things five years ago that our competitors are just now showing off. That tells you how far ahead we are! And our competitors are bigger than us by several orders of magnitude.”
CAMufacturing Solutions credits WETechAlliance for helping them reach their current heights.
“We’ve been working with WEtech in different capacities since 2013,” Duncan states. “We’ve utilized a lot of the workshops they have. In addition, we used their network to hire a Software Developer!”
“Before I hired Duncan, I was doing a lot in addition to development,” Bob explains. “I was managing the company. But I have no background in business, so attending those WEtech workshops and chatting with other business owners through their social activities gave me firm footing to stand on. I learned a lot about a lean startup, identifying target markets, things like that.”
CAMufacturing Solutions worked closely with Adam Castle, the Director of Venture Services, during these pivotal stages of growth.
“CAMufacturing Solutions continues to find new trails to blaze forward in their industry, and we are only scratching the surface on the capabilities of additive manufacturing as a technology. The company is allowing innovators to do more than they ever imagined they could when 3D printing was introduced,” says Adam Castle, Director of Venture Services at WETechAlliance. “Windsor is a city of Makers, and CAMufacturing Solutions is leveraging our world-leading manufacturing cluster as a customer base to make software that unlocks near infinite possibilities for an entire global industry.”
For more information on CAMufacturing Solutions, visit www.camufacturing.com.