Freeform Technology was founded in 2008 by Simon Burchett and Fred Hutton after they spotted a market opportunity to apply precision machining methods in the composites field. Having started back in 2008 with one machine and some hand-me-down tools, the organisation now have a number of machines and a team to provide a range of services including:
Being a start up comes with a range of obstacles and stresses, but Freeform Technology knew that by having powerful and reliable software they would have one less thing to worry about during the scary days of being a start-up. Freeform Technology knew NX Design from Siemens Digital Industries Software was a cut above the rest in terms of software and support.
Burchett and Hutton have a deep understanding of tooling processes and procedures and, building on that, they have developed a range of templates within NX CAM. These are preset CAM files with predetermined tool settings and cut depths. Similarly, all machines are set up with identical options for tools, tool builds, speeds and feeds. Providing consistency, these measures also facilitate a smooth process when CAD files are received from a client, usually in Step or IGES format.
The majority of Freeform Technology’s business is the manufacture of patterns for carbon fiber components. The turnaround from CAD model to a finished pattern ready for molding can sometimes be achieved in just 24 hours. All patterns are custom made by Freeform Technology, which has a team of dedicated offline programmers. What they write one day will be on the machine later that day or the day after.
“With Siemens Digital Industries Software’s solutions, we can consistently offer our customers the very best quality, absolute accuracy and the tightest turnaround time.”
Freeform Technology needed a software that is flexible and time-saving. As the company completes up to 50 patterns a day and needs the ability to produce unique custom molds according to customer requirements.
One time-saving feature of NX is the capacity to program one side, and then choose to regenerate the model in mirror image. As most cars have matching left- and right-hand side components, this not only saves programming time, it means that partner components can be loaded on two separate machines at the same time.
By using Siemens Digital Industries software, Freeform Technology now have the opportunity to stay ahead of the competition and diversify. Read the full case study to find out more.
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