As complex software programs evolve, they inevitably accumulate kludges – coding that, while inelegant, inefficient, clumsy or patched together, succeeds in solving a specific problem or performing a particular task. The more a program evolves and is "enhanced," the more kludges it is likely to have. Kludges may even force the use of other kludges and workarounds just to keep existing functions working while adding new features. As these bits of inelegant, inefficient code accumulate, the software becomes more inefficient and difficult to maintain or enhance. Simultaneously, the developers of the software are learning better structures and coding techniques than the ones they originally used to make the software. Eventually, there comes a point where the developers realize that as difficult and costly as it may be, it is better to completely rewrite the software using the improved structures and techniques than it is to continually modify the original code.
The people at BobCAD (www.bobcad.com) reached that point two years ago, bit the bullet and committed thousands of hours over the last two years to completely rewriting BobCAD-CAM. The result? BobCADCAM 2007 is not only a cleaner, more efficient version of the software, it is a substantially more powerful and feature-rich CAD/CAM package, said BobCAD.
Through a strategic alliance with Predator Software Inc. (www.predatorsoftware.com), Predator's virtual simulation and verification software and Digital Numeric Control (DNC) functions are efficiently and seamlessly integrated into BobCAD-CAM 2007. Fundamental integration is included in the basic price of the BobCADCAM package, which starts at $1,495. Three progressively advanced levels of verification and simulation features and functions can be purchased for an additional $250, $500 or $1,000 respectively. The Predator functions allow offline simulation of machine processes that can eliminate expensive mistakes, prove out processes, help simplify setups and improve productivity in several areas in addition to part verification.
BobCAD-CAM 2007's low selling price is not a reflection of limited features and functions as much as it is the result of a marketing strategy where BobCAD-CAM sells and supports its software exclusively through the Internet. This allows the company to keep its prices low while still providing a quality package and service to its customers. Is BobCAD-CAM as feature-rich as Catia or UGS? No. But then not all shops need the power and functions of the high-end, high-cost packages. For shops that don't, BobCAD-CAM 2007 may be an appropriate tool. Both BobCAD-CAM and Predator offer clear comparison charts and other documentation useful for evaluation, in addition to downloadable demos, on their web sites.