Integrating Software in Woodworking Production
By Bill Esler | Posted: 07/06/2012 9:14AM
Using Autodesk Inventor, a custom project can be designed, tested, then adjusted rapidly before any wood is cut, says Steve Widom. One of the key technologies at the International Woodworking Machinery & Furniture Supply Fair 2012 next month will be software applications. Visible in many of these products are platforms — AutoCad, Inventor, REVIT — from Autodesk.
A search for software at IWF 2012 returns more than 51 companies, including equipment manufacturers who integrate their offerings with software applications.
Microvellum, Booth 4553, for example, began building its applications in the 1990s around Autodesk’s AutoCAD software. It says a typical wood products manufacturer starts with design in AutoCAD, and the design data then integrates with CNC-enabled manufacturing equipment, and that same design information can also be used to optimize wood use.
Likewise for, 20-20 Technologies, whic is also integrated to Autdoesk's AutoCAD. 20-20 Technologies' software is design for the full spectrum of production, from closet design and production to full integration of factory operations.
20-20 Technologies 4735
Cabinet Pro 4723
CIM-TECH.COM, Inc. 5820
Compass Stair Software 4342
ETemplate Systems 4149
Eurosoft, Inc. 4335
Fagor Automation 5829
FIMMA Brasil 4317
Friedman Corporation 4535
Global Shop Solutions 4657
Hymmen Industrieanlagen GmbH 4558
Cameron Automation 6412
KCD Software 2854
Microvellum, Inc. 4553
Missler Software / Topsolid 4523
Mozaik Software, Inc. 6101
Planit Solutions, Inc. 4613
Prime Estimating & Software 4439
Riverside Tool Corp. 7129
SA International 5440
Termolegno Srl 7164
TradeSoft, Inc. 4327
Unicut Sp. J. 4841
Vectric, Ltd. 5839
WoodStream Services 5457
*List does not include major equipment providers,who also offer operational and equipment control application.
Another wood industry developer of Autodesk products is SigmaTEK Systems, Booth 5343. Its latest SigmaNEST software received the Autodesk Inventor 2013 certification, verifying compatibility with the Inventor 2013 design and production application. “As Inventor continues to expand in functionality and use, it is important that companion tools continue to advance and leverage CAD model usage,” says SigmaNEST’s James Lindsey.
Another Autodesk platform gaining the attention of the woodworking industry is REVIT, which functions as a design and production application for custom design of building projects, and links to Building Information Modeling (BIM) Systems. Marvin and Pella use Revit to fulfill custom window orders, for example. Advanced Cabinet Systems, Marion, IN, uses it for its commercial cabinetry and store interior projects.
Autodesk will be represented at IWF by Widom Associates, Booth 4545. Steve Widom, chief technology officer, says his firm is the only Autodesk AutoCAD and Inventor reseller in the U.S. (of some 250) that is focused on woodworking.
Autodesk will be represented at IWF by Widom Associates, Booth 4545. “The Inventor technology is the first tool that actually allows you to consider design first and not drafting,” Widom says. “Wood industry software tools can do a decent job using libraries of components,” says Widom. “But you are so involved in drafting that you miss the focus of what you are doing. Inventor frees up the design side of things to make decisions early on in the process.”
It can also test designs for stress factors, load capabilities, and visualize placement of hardware. At IWF Widom says he will “let woodworkers know there is another tool that can do anything — from catalog driven cabinetry to things that are the most creative, like one-off custom furniture.”
He hopes to show woodworkers “how interactive it is and how much it is like the process you are already using to build projects in your shop.” Output can drive CNC machines or calculate how to build jigs for a manual shop. “Autodesk offers universal tools,” says Widom, “ones that develop relationships between fabricator and designer and architect.”
About the Author
Bill EslerBill Esler, Associate Publisher/ Editor in Chief, Woodworking Network Bill is responsible for editing Custom Woodworking Business and coordinating all content for Wood & Wood Products , CLOSETS , Woodworkingnetwork.com and Closetsdaily.com, along with related newsletters. Bill’s expertise includes using innovative print manufacturing techniques to grow audience engagement, using textured offset, digital printing, purls, QR codes; and lead-generating webcasts, custom websites, and custom digital and print content. Read Bill Esler's woodworking blogs. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.