I’m staggered & insanely excited to read that Autodesk have just announced their intent to acquire the highly innovative & leading provider of CAM software, Delcam. Combining HSMWorks‘ technology with respect to scalable processing of toolpath generation, as well as their approach to post processors, with the extremely efficient toolpathing strategies produced by Delcam will be a killer combination. FeatureCAM – Delcam HyperMill’s automated baby brother – is also highly respected in the CAM industry. I could easily see feature recognition & automation technology within FeatureCAM doing some incredible stuff with products like Inventor ETO within semi-custom production companies.

“Today we are taking an important step on our path toward delivering a better manufacturing experience,” said Carl Bass, Autodesk president and CEO. “Together Autodesk and Delcam will help further the development and implementation of technology for digital manufacturing.”

I have no doubt the acquisition is as much about the CAM software as it is about the industrial measurement solutions Delcam have developed over the years. Taking a look at Delcam PowerINSPECT you realise Autodesk have closed the loop, they can now supply reality capture, tools to clean up & refine the resulting data, then engineer that data, machine it, then verify the end product meets the original intent. This certainly is a big deal for the future of digital manufacturing. Lovely Jubbly.

So, I thought I’d better take a quick look at Delcam PowerSHAPE, Delcam’s CAD solution…. that has changed heaps from what I remember when I last looked at it in 2007. Delcam have combined solid modelling, with surfacing & triangulate meshes. So there’s a solution for using STL models, combined with NURBS models to create tooling. Roll in a dash of Autodesk’s recent meshing forays or even just Fusion 360 T-Splines and you start to have an extremely exciting/insane line up of manufacturing tools.

“I am very excited by the opportunities from combining Delcam with Autodesk to create a compelling platform from which to service both companies’ manufacturing clients,” said Clive Martell, Delcam CEO. “The offer is at a level which recognizes the potential of Delcam and provides an attractive opportunity for shareholders to realize value for their current holdings in cash, while at the same time opening up new opportunities for our staff and partners operating within the wider platform of the Autodesk group.”

If I were working at Delcam I’d be pretty damn excited to get access to the resources Autodesk are currently committing to digital manufacturing. I look forward to reading more details about their plans, but also getting to work with the software in due course. In the meantime check out DelcamTV to see some of the badass stuff this company do. All going well the deal is expected to close in Autodesk’s first quarter of fiscal 2015.

Al Dean's opinion of Autodesk's Delcam Announcement

Bloody good on Carl n his crew. Now please dig up a solid slice of nesting software & make sure you grab Vericut before someone else does. I’m seriously loving this manufacturing centered phase Autodesk is going through.

Oh look that’s another free Solidworks CAM solution nabbed by Autodesk. hehe.

What does everyone think? Where does your imagination take you? Make sure you let us know by commenting below.