Fri, Aug 20, 2004
New CAD Program Allows You To Design Part, Then Send It To
On this side of the table, we have computer-assisted drawing
programs. Over here, we have manufacturers who use CAD renderings
to... well, make things. So what would happen if the two were
brought together over the internet?
You'd get something like Jim Lewis's eMachineShop. And it could
be a big boon for homebuilt aviators and those who meticulously
restore vintage aircraft for which parts are no longer
Lewis's company contracts with 19 different machine shops around
the world to make the parts his customers order. Even though he
doesn't advertise, eMachineShop employs 19 people and has
reportedly handled more than 1,000 orders since going live online
back in June.
"Being able to sit at you home computer, draw up some parts,
submit them and 30 days later they are on your doorstep, all
without human contact, is mind-blowing," said Dennis Vegh of Mesa
(AZ). He told the Associated Press that he's building an aircraft
from plans drawn up in 1929.
"I had to have the pieces made because they do not exist
anywhere," Vegh said.
Aside from the direct-connect with manufacturers, eMachineShop
has an interface it promises won't let you make a mistake when
you're designing your dream part. For instance, if we're talking
sheet metal, the program won't allow you to design a bend so close
to the edge that the machinist can't do it right.
"My dream is essentially to become the Amazon in the
manufacturing segment," Lewis told the AP.
Lewis said it takes about 30 days from the time the CAD is sent
to his company before the part is delivered.
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