Manufacturing at 3DEXPERIENCE World with SOLIDWORKS and Tormach

The world of CNC starts with software. Specifically, CNC starts with CAD software to design and develop your part before you ever create toolpaths and make chips. SOLIDWORKS is one of the largest CAD companies out there, and every year they host SOLIDWORKS World, until now. 

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Making in the Big City

Here at Tormach, we always welcome customers (and potential customers) to come visit our facilities near Madison, WI, but sometimes it’s easier for us to make an appearance at various events. This past weekend, Tormach employees were all over the map. Saturday and Sunday we showed off the PCNC 440 just down the highway from Tormach Headquarters at the Milwaukee Maker Faire. The event was held at the Wisconsin State Fair grounds and exhibited everything from lightening in a box to working replicas of R2-D2. Also over the weekend, a Tormach crew found themselves at the second largest Maker Faire that Make: Magazine hosts, in New York. While we were milling fidget spinners and talking shop, there was still a lot to see in and around the New York Hall of Science. The Maker Faire events attract both young and old inventors and makers, and gives some folks their first opportunity to see many machine tools first-hand and ask questions. The International Symposium on Academic Makerspaces (ISAM) is still happening in Cleveland, OH at Case Western Reserve University, where a Tormach team is busy introducing academics and makerspace creators to the world of CNC. This event is a collaborative effort by several universities, including Yale, MIT, and Berkeley, among others, to help educational institutions develop makerspaces and provide more hands-on opportunities to students and teachers. Tormach is teaching a class at this event, where we're taking attendees from art to part, so they can experience exactly what goes into machining a part – we taught a similar class during Tormach Tech Days at the beginning of August. Coming up, we’ll be at Gamehole Con in Madison, WI on November 2-5 with a PCNC 440.

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New Product to be Unveiled at Tormach Tech Days

Next week brings about the new era of the Tormach Open House, Tormach Tech Days! This new event will span two days, and since our open house has grown so much over the years, we’re hosting it at the local Waunakee High School – just down the road from Tormach Headquarters. Saturday August 5th is free to all, and it’s going to be an event to remember with a number of seminars from the Tormach experts all day long, as well as live machining demos. Aside from all the excitement with the Tormach Experts, some of the Tormach brand ambassadors will be in attendance to talk about how they use their Tormach machine tools, including John Saunders, Robert Cowan, The Hacksmith, and the BattleBots champion, Ray Billings. If you were still on the fence about making your way to Wisconsin for Tormach Tech Days, this should solidify your decision. During the morning keynote (at 9:00 AM) by the Tormach CEO, Daniel Rogge, on Saturday August 5th, we’ll be unveiling a brand new Tormach product. If you want to be the first to know what we’re up to, you need to be here! [youtube]aJvMfDIQVKk[/youtube] Since this event isn’t being hosted at Tormach Headquarters, we’re emptying out our showroom and taking every machine that we have available over to Waunakee High School. There is road construction happening around the school, so keep your eyes open for signs with Tormach’s logo, and in case you get lost, there will be a Tormach employee at our facilities who can get you on the right path. Get ready for a full day of CNC education, conversation, and some fantastic announcements!

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Tormach Tech Days Is More than Just an Open House

[youtube]aJvMfDIQVKk[/youtube] Year over year, Tormach has hosted an annual open house event where we've invited you (all our customers and potential customers) to come see our facilities and our machines in person. But, we've grown over the years here at Tormach, and now, the Tormach Open House has evolved into a two-day event called Tormach Tech Days. This two-day event gives us more freedom to not only teach our customers, but connect with them as well. For those who want some hands-on learning, Friday August 4th has mill, lathe, and CAM workshops, but, space is limited so sign up now! Saturday, August 5th, is for those who want to talk shop and meet other CNC enthusiasts. Saturday is free to all, and will feature some live demos, conversations with Tormach experts, and talks by some of our Tormach Brand Ambassadors.

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Reducing Lead Time in Event Production with Tormach

[youtube]xVANPSl4NQw[/youtube] When you go to a concert or attend a major event, the fanfare and spectacle of the event are what captures your attention, but there is an array of event production going on in the background to make everything happen. Steven Anschutz at Entertainment Fabrication uses his PCNC 1100 to excel in the niche industry of event and staging production by creating various specialized parts to make industry-standard components work with each other, as well as not-so-standard components. “We manufacture an array of brackets and adapters for the entertainment industry,” explains Anschutz. “We work with companies that provide staging, lighting, and trussing to make parts that will interface between those components in a different way than they’ve been able to in the past.” The parts and components are quite simple, but sometimes the simplest elements can be the most complex. “A lot of the products that we manufacture have four to sixteen holes drilled in them, so that they can be bolted to various items.” This is an attempt to make these fixtures more universal and adaptable to varying setups. “We’ve also started working with a lot of local designers when they come up with creative concepts for theater productions or concerts, and we’ll help create all the staging and infrastructure that goes into those productions,” Anschutz explains. He took the lead on designing these brackets and adapters after helping to launch the company in early 2013. “I had some experience in CAD that really came into play so that we could start creating drawings,” Anschutz says. “When we finally decided we needed to jump into the world of 3D CNC machining, the simplicity that Tormach has put into PathPilot and not having to go to an outboard CAM software was really an attractive feature for me.” Read: Tech and Spectacle Intersect at Two Bit Circus “As you can imagine, trying to drill a lot of holes exactly where they’re supposed to be manually can be very time consuming,” he explains. “When we graduated to our Tormach PCNC 1100, it allowed us to dramatically cut down on lead time. Instead of looser tolerances and spending an hour just trying to drill out a plate, we can now just clamp it on the Tormach, generate the hole pattern within PathPilot, and then have a part out in fifteen minutes.” Entertainment Fabrication also heavily utilizes a plasma cutter to create the main plate for most of their products. “About half of the products we make start on [the plasma cutter].” But sometimes they need more refined holes or threading. “That’s where we’re able to come over to our Tormach and refine a hole or drill out features that are too small to cut with a plasma.” As live events continue to grow in popularity, they will continue to grow in complexity and need more efficiency. That’s where Entertainment Fabrication steps in and helps to simplify the various elements of production. So, the next time you’re at a concert or watching a live performance, remember that there may be parts from Entertainment Fabrication, created on a Tormach machine, holding up those trusses or angling those strobe lights just right.

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Maker Faire: Live Demos and the World's Largest Show-and-Tell

Last weekend, Tormach showed off a PCNC 440 just down the road at the Madison Maker Faire. With local maker celebrities, like Ben Heck and ArcAttack (Tesla Coil Music), as well as our two local makerspaces (Sector67 and The Bodgery), the event brought in over 4,000 eager makers.

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