Mastercam®, the CAD/CAM software from CNC Software Inc. that first appeared 25 years ago, had more installed seats—135,824—than any other CAD/CAM product at the end of 2007. CNC Software also is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. It was founded by a pair of brothers, Mark and Jack Summers, who had a new programming concept for computer numerically controlled (CNC) machine tools.
The Summers brothers had developed a PC-based CAD/CAM software package with an emphasis on the CAM side. Until then, most programmes were more CAD-oriented, and expensive.
“Ours was developed with the machinist and the design engineer in mind,” says Mark Summers, president of CNC Software. “It’s a direct approach: design the parts and generate the tool paths to machine them.”
Called originally by the name of Mark Summers’ daughter, Meghan, the software was renamed Mastercam to reflect its primary function. Soon after, a third brother, Brian Summers, joined the company. He is now vice president. Jamie Summers, Mark’s wife, is chief financial officer.
The company’s first customer was Connecticut Tool. “We are honoured to have been the first shop to use Mastercam, and continue to value the relationship with CNC Software today,” says its president, Steve Durand. “CNC Software has consistently provided a superior product in Mastercam, with excellent service. We look forward to continuing our loyal relationship with the company for many years to come.”
CNC Software reported record sales for 2007 of $29.4 million. Enabling this success is a global network of more than 400 dealers.
“Certainly, one of the biggest reasons for our success is our exemplary and loyal global dealer network,” says Mark Summers. “Some of these people—really, friends now—have been with us since the very beginning. They have helped shops grow and enjoy a true collaboration with our customers.”
CNC Software continually develops Mastercam—the latest generation is Mastercam X2—improving its features and ease of use. The first version was a two-dimensional CAM programme. Now, Mastercam offers solutions for designers and programmers involved in multiaxis milling, turning, wire EDM, wood router programming, plasma and laser cutting, and 3D design and drafting. CNC Software’s customers range from one-person job shops to Fortune 100 manufacturers. Educational institutions of many types use Mastercam, as well.
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