Introduction to the Alphacam course
Alphacam is a CAD/CAM software. It allows you to easily prepare machining programs for CNC machines. Most users of this software are associated with wood and wood-based materials machining, but there are also people who use this software successfully in metal or stone machining.
Unlike other popular CAM solutions, Alphacam is a very universal system. In this system, we can prepare programs for metalworking and use the full capabilities of woodworking machines (e.g. multi-spindle aggregates, sawing, nesting). Typically, CAM systems that are dedicated to typical CNC milling machines (mainly intended for metalworking) do not have options to use the capabilities of woodworking machines, such as the previously mentioned multi-spindle aggregates or saws. This makes Alphacam stand out from the competition and we have to take this system into account if we plan to machine wood and wood-based materials. Of course, this does not mean that Alphacam has no competition and is the only solution that meets all your needs. But Alphacam is definitely at the forefront of these solutions.
In addition to the capabilities of the CAM system, Alphacam also has the functions of a CAD system. They are basic but very helpful. Even when working on 3D models, it is often very useful to create 2D sketches (using the functions available in Alphacam), e.g. to determine the machining boundary. With 2.5-axis machining, editing the geometry of the workpiece is almost everyday. You almost always have to draw something, connect some lines, cut something, extend something etc. Therefore, in my opinion, it is worth to learn these functions, because in a later stage they can significantly accelerate the creation of machining programs.
I plan to start this course by creating geometry in Alphacam. From scratch, step by step. So that novice users get used to Alphacam before discussing machining. The course will be based on the Alphacam Router module, but if you have Alphacam Mill or Stone, you will definitely find useful information here.