Responding to requests from attendees for topics they want to see at the show, AWFS has planned an open forum-style event on “Design and CAD/CAM Software” and an Introduction to Google SketchUp for Woodworkers.”
“The Design and CAD/CAM session will be hosted by a variety of software and machinery company technicians as well as manufacturers who are users of the software,” says Rob Howell of SCM Group and Chair of the AWFS College of Woodworking Knowledge Committee, which selects and develops topics for the show. “We really wanted to give attendees the opportunity to ask questions of the software engineers as well as the practitioners who will be gathered together in one place at the same time, to not only address their concerns but to allow attendees to learn from the questions raised by their peers as well,” says Howell.
Participating companies include KCDw, CabinetVision, Microvellum, SCM, AlphaCAM and Stiles Machinery. A moderator will pose questions to the group and facilitate a Q&A from audience members. The open forum format will allow for discussion of a host of topic areas that might include such things as how to replicate core components or add custom changes; determining whether your software should be as a sales tool only or a complete manufacturing tool. Attendees can ask about applications, upgrades, costs, rent vs. buy options, technical support and more. The session is ideal for those contemplating CNC purchases or those new to the processes.
Google SketchUp has proven to be a valuable tool for woodworkers. In this introductory session, presenter Alan Harp, of Alan Harp Design, will demonstrate this powerful and free 3D surface modeling software in the design, documentation and presentation of a furniture piece showing the basics of drawing, dimensioning and 3D modeling. The seminar is targeted to those who are looking for an inexpensive entry into the use of CAD software to improve the accuracy and speed of the drawings for their shop.
The Software & Technology Track also offers a session on “Tools to Cut Costs and Power Up Performances,” led by Mark Alster of Leitz Tooling. The session reveals how tooling selection can positively or adversely affect productivity and profitability, and he discusses current tooling technology as it relates to machine and process optimization.
Running as an early morning SMART (Special Machinery and Relevant Technology), program -- the technical sessions conducted on the show floor before the show opens -- “CNC Window & Door Applications” will demonstrate methods for machining passageway doors and windows on CNC routers, including the programming software for the machined parts.
The Software & Technology track is complimented by a host of choices in the Techniques & Applications track, which includes such topics as Intelligent Cell Manufacturing, Rapid Case Construction through Dowelling, Machining Plastics and Composites on CNC, Advanced Sanding Methods and more.