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January 31, 2005
MecSoft Releases Integrated CAD/CAM Solution - RhinoCAM 1.0
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Jeff Rowe - Managing Editor

by Jeff Rowe - Contributing Editor
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MecSoft Releases Integrated CAD/CAM Solution - RhinoCAM 1.0

MecSoft Corporation, the maker of VisualMill, the easiest to use and best performing standalone CAM application, is now releasing a fully integrated CAD/CAM software package called RhinoCAM 1.0. Working in partnership with Robert McNeel & Associates (RMA), the maker of the world's leading NURBS based CAD product Rhinoceros, MecSoft brings to the market un-paralleled ease of use and seamless CAD/CAM integration in this product.

RhinoCAM is ideal for the industrial design, rapid prototyping, production machining, mold making and educational markets. Powered by the VisualMill 5.0 CAM engine, it offers 2 1/2-axis milling, 3-axis milling and hole making operations along with free post-processors.

"RhinoCAM is a fully integrated best of breed CAD/CAM solution that offers full data associativity with seamless user interface integration" said Joe Anand, President of MecSoft. "The associativity between design and manufacturing data, allows users to react to design changes instantly, reliably and most of all without the need for data translation. Additionally RhinoCAM's user interface is seamlessly integrated into Rhino allowing the user to create manufacturing operations without the need to learn a completely new user interface. All of this translates to significant productivity improvements and cost savings for the user. We are truly excited about RhinoCAM and consider this release as
an important first in a series of new products that we have planned."

"Combining Rhinos flexible free-form modeling with RhinoCAM's excellent machining capabilities brings together a set of features never previously available in such tight integration," explains Bob McNeel, President of Robert McNeel & Associates. "Now it is possible to change the Rhino models and then immediately update the toolpaths for quick turnaround of prototypes and production machining. And all of this can be done without leaving the familiar Rhino native environment."

MecSoft Corporation is a leading provider of Windows-based CAM software solutions for manufacturing parts in a wide variety of industries, including automotive, mold & die, aerospace, general machining and education.

Founded in 1980, Robert McNeel & Associates (RMA) is a privately-held, employee-owned corporation providing technical professionals with productive tools shaped from emerging technologies. RMA has regional offices in Latin America, Europe, and Asia.

RhinoCAM 1.0 is a plug-in that is completely integrated in Rhino 3.0 and requires Rhino 3.0 to be installed in order for it to run - it is not a standalone application. This plug-in is a general purpose machining program targeted at general machinists. RhinoCAM 1.0 includes 2-1/2 axis, 3-axis, and hole making operations. This 2-1/2 and 3-axis solid/surface/STL manufacturing system is based on the MecSoft VisualMill 5.0 CAM engine It comes with hundreds of post-processors and a post-processor generator that lets you create user definable post-processors.

This product is well-suited for the rapid-prototyping, hobby, and educational markets where ease of learning/ease of use are major requirements. It supports several universal manufacturing methods and is also well-priced for a product of this type. The price right now for the RhinoCAM 1.0 plug-in is (US) $699 (regularly $999). The current price for RhinoCAM 1.0 including Rhinoceros 3.0 CAD Modeler is (US) $999 (regularly $1,499).

I've been a fan of Rhino since version 1.0 because it can create, edit, analyze, and translate NURBS curves, surfaces, solids, and is quite affordable (it has no maintenance fees) for all of its capabilities. There are virtually no limits on what Rhino can handle in terms of complexity, degree, or size. Unlike some of its competition, models created with Rhino are precise and accurate. It can read and repair IGES files and is compatible with just about all CAD, CAM, CAE, rendering, animation, and illustration software. Rhino also supports polygon meshes and has relatively modest computer requirements.

Designing for manufacturing is not easy. Modeling for manufacturing is even harder. RhinoCAM provides the freedom, control, and accuracy to model just about anything and then manufacture it and its tooling directly from the same model. RhinoCAM is the beginning a solid marriage of two good products - one CAD and one CAM.

Jeffrey Rowe is the editor and publisher of MCADCafé and MCAD Weekly Review. He can be reached here or 408.850.9230.

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    You can find the full MCADCafe event calendar here.

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    -- Jeff Rowe, MCADCafe.com Contributing Editor.