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    Why Do We Use Cimatron ?
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Many of our customers and associates know that we do some pretty cutting edge stuff at our shop and they want to know what kind of Design and Machining software do we use?  This page is for the purpose of explaining the advantages of using Cimatron.  We do NOT receive ANY compensation from Cimatron for our recommendation... this page is simply our honest opinions, with the goal of providing a service to our customers and associates.  I am enthusiastic about Cimatron NOT because they give me some kind of "kick-back" but because its the 1st system I've used that truly lets me do what I want, its powerful, and its actually fun to use.

So, why do we use Cimatron?......  Because it Works!  That's it in a nutshell, it flat out works.  All CAD/CAM companies make big promises, few deliver.  All software looks cool in the demo, Cimatron works in REAL life, with REAL life problems and obstacles.  Cimatron does not have the slickest interface, use the latest catch-phrases, or have the coolest marketing - BUT where the rubber meets the road it always works and it helps me get a job done quickly, with few hassles.

I'm not new to the CAD/CAM software world.  We have used Cadkey, Mastercam, Surfcam, and SDRC I-DEAS extensively.  I've also had some exposure to Autocad and Pro-E.  Each of these systems have their strengths and weaknesses.  The most frustrating thing in mold design is to know what you want, or have an idea, BUT not be able to do it because your software doesn't have the ability to pull it off OR even worse, because it makes you follow some arbitrary set of rules that make no sense!  We have used used a LOT of software and we (easily) like Cimatron the best.

OK, so that may all sound well and good, but what specific issues make Cimatron worth using?

Cimatrons People:  One of Cimatrons greatest assets is its people.  Real people that actually know what you are talking about - NOT tech support dweebs that just read from the manual.  Cimatrons Technical Support staff and sales people really seem to understand the manufacturing business, most of them have worked in real shops.  They are knowledgeable and quick to respond.  If you call and have a problem with an "undercut", "shut-off", or "lifter" they actually know what you are talking about!  (Phil, Dan, Ralph... thanks guys)

Tooling Focused:  Similar to the item above.  Cimatron is really geared toward tooling, tool shops, and manufacturing.  Tooling is not just something that they do as an afterthought.  They don't just have a few "tooling guys", everyone there has had some chips in their shoes!  When we used another CAD software, enhancements that we would request would always get pushed aside for more generic modeling enhancements.  With Cimatron almost all the enhancements are somehow tooling related.

Special Tools:  Speaking of "Tooling Focused", Cimatron is not just a generic modeler.  They actually provide specific tools that help automate repetitive tasks.  They make special software tools specific to the tooling industry, such as: Core and Cavity splitting, semi-automated electrode design, design change analysis/comparison, draft analysis, mold catalogs, etc., etc.

Translation: Your software isn't worth much of it can only work with its own native data or if it insists all models be "watertight" solids.  Cimatrons translators work really well, we bring in CAD data from practically any other software you can imagine.  We rarely have any problem.  We can read in practically anything and we can actually work with it... not like other packages that we have used that would let you read something in but unless it was "perfect" you couldn't do any real work on it.

Modeling: Surfacing is my "big issue".  Solids are great but CAD software still needs to work extensively with surfaces.  I want the freedom to be able to manipulate individual surfaces, to make them bigger, smaller, trim them, change their shape AND I want the software to be very forgiving.  I don't want to have to make surface boundaries *perfect*, or have to have trim boundaries perfectly on the surface.  I need to be able to make surfaces in a variety of ways with less than perfect data to start with.  We need to be able to make a variety of "blend" surfaces.  Basically we want to have extremely powerful surfacing! Cimatron meets all of my needs.  I'm confident we can surface ANY job.

Many packaging talk about "hybrid" modeling but I really like Cimatrons philosophy of modeling.  I have many choices between surfacing techniques, solid techniques, wireframe, etc.  I can pick and choose what operations best suit the modeling task I am trying to accomplish and use them without having to be in a particular modeling "mode" or without having to worry if my part is solid or just surfaces... I can perform surfacing routines on solid parts or solid functions on just surfaced parts.  Flexability is the key word here.

NC: You can model it, but if you can't cut it then your in trouble.  Machining is where theory meets practice, its where the rubber meets the road... where your design becomes reality!  I wanted two things from an NC package, that sounds simple but there are few systems that offer BOTH these things.  ONE, we wanted a software that was gouge free. Cimatron isn't perfect but its close, you have to be somewhat careless to have a gouge.  TWO, flexibility! I want to machine my parts the way I want, NOT, the way some software engineer "thinks" I should.  Cimatron gives me a lot of flexibility and control over my cut.  We wanted to have many ways/styles to cut something - Cimatron offers many different machining routines.  I know we can cut ANY job quickly and efficiently.

Drafting: We still want to make good looking drawings.  Our industry is NOT a paperless environment and isn't going to be any time soon.  I want to have a lot of control over my drawings.  I want them to look neat and clean, be easy to dimension, and not take forever to produce them.  Cimatron drafting is nice, its not quite as good as I want it to be yet but its still quite good and gives us what we need.

Conclusion:  
Take this page for what its worth... my honest opinion.  Will Cimatron be everything you want it to be?  I don't know... it can't be the perfect software for everyone.  What I know is that it works for me!  Cimatron's "E" package is a key part of our shops strategy, and an integral part of our ongoing efforts to increase quality and decrease delivery times.  Basically, although its not perfect, and there are always functions you still dream of, I really like this software, and I really like their staff.  We constantly evaluate other CAD/CAM software packages and I have yet to see something else that made me want to switch.

I hope you find this information helpful.


Note:
We currently use Cimatron E version 6.





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