CAMWorks Helps Victoria University Drive Innovation in Industrial Design
New Zealand based Victoria University of Wellington (http://www.victoria.ac.nz) decided to adapt CAMWorks, an intuitive solids-based CAM solution from Geometric Limited, as a part of their curriculum for the third year Industrial Design students with an objective of helping students easily understand one of the process in engineering.
Victoria University introduced CAMWorks to the curriculum in 2002 to provide a holistic approach to their industrial design students, thereby enabling them to understand not just the CAD modeling of an object but also the CAM aspect. The University was already using SolidWorks?, the industry-leading 3D CAD software. Hence, the choice of CAMWorks, which offers plug and play integration with SolidWorks, was almost automatic.
The idea behind the University’s CAM project was to expose the students to the machining process, exploding myths that machining was only an engineering sphere. Training on the CAM platform was integrated into the curriculum through short projects spread over two weeks.
Tim Miller, Senior Lecturer at Victoria University says “The principal behind the whole project is that CAMWorks makes it a lot easier for the students to understand the process of the machining. Given the ease of use of the software, it also allows non-engineering experts to access parts of the manufacturing process that were formerly only accessed by engineers.”
Students are encouraged to explore different patterning processes on virtual surfaces by using CAMWorks to machine the surface through techniques such as contour machining, zig-zag, and flowing machining. All of these have a different visual effect on the surface that is being machined, allowing student to create nearly 25 virtual models, varying the surface form by changing the machining details.
For the students, CAMWorks enabled acute visualization of the end results, a key element for designers, while also allowing them to get a sense of the vast possibilities of machining.
As Miller says “It prepares the students for the future, and it gives them a bit more insight into what happens in industry. The point of using CAMWorks is not just to show the students how virtual modeling is done – this is achieved quite easily in many three dimensional programs. What is more difficult to explain is the relationship between a virtual object and the physical object made from CAM data. I think that CAMWorks is excellent as a teaching tool to help explain the machining process but more importantly this project, illustrates the opportunities and benefits for designers who engaging with technical software such as CAMWorks.”