Using Spreadsheets and Other Methods for Drawing-Free Manufacturing

Not everyone needs or wants to proceed with engineering and manufacturing their products from a "draw it first" approach. Drawings are great for visualizing what you want to make, and they can give you a quick check on how things line up and come together, and are often required for client review and approval, but many products, from cabinets to closets to store fixtures to millwork - don't require or benefit from the "draw it first" method. Drawings are also not the best vehicle for communicating manufacturing information although over time, primarily using layers, this need has been accommodated. For example, do you really need to draw a closet shelf or cabinet back in order to manufacture it? The same can generally be said for may other cabinet and closet components, including doors and drawer boxes. It's not unusual for a CADCode users to keep a spreadsheet form handy for filling in parts that don't require additional machining beyond cutting them out of the panel. But you can go much further than this, creating far more complex components. You can also take advantage of parametric formulas to modify your parts automatically, and far more accurately and faster than redrawing them.

CADCode easily imports data from spreadsheets and databases (including ERP systems) - as long as the data includes the dimensions and machining details, CADCode can generate optimized patterns for cutting parts on saws or out of a nest, as well as machining programs for single and nested parts, and part labels for printing in the office or on the shop floor. If you're interested in a different approach that may add to or replace your drawing program, ask us about working with spreadsheets and using XML to communicate the manufacturing data to CADCode.

While we're on the subject of new approaches - recent innovations in CADCode include working with inventory management systems that load saws and routers, and pre-labeling panels before they're cut. We're also about to launch a new product that makes re-work fast and easy for the machine operator to replace a damaged part without having to go back to the engineer in the office to generate fresh code.

If you have a specific production problem you'd like to solve, give us a call. We can't guarantee we'll find a solution, but we're always interested in expanding on what CADCode can do to make you more productive and profitable.