CamSoft's Time Line, History and Beginnings
CamSoft's beginnings as a company started in the mid 1970s as a NC programming service to local machine shops in the Orange County and greater Los Angeles areas of California under the name Contour Systems, Inc. D.B.A. Compucor. In 1976 the company's original founder, Mr. Gary Corey, created the first microcomputer based CAD/CAM system for sale in the United States showing the system at the Westec Machine Tool Show in downtown Los Angeles. By 1981 the company was incorporated.
Mr. Corey started working in machine shops in 1971 and programmed one of the first NC milling machines called a Moog Hydrapoint with numeric dials and levers to punch a paper tape. He worked with the initial group of engineers whom pioneered and developed the first microcomputer based NC software package for national sale to other machine shops back in the 1970s. This was a time when the CRT "computer monitor" hadn't yet been invented for microcomputers. Programs were punched on paper tape and printed out on paper by teletypes. Then later these teletypes were connected to the first pre-DOS microcomputers, which were originally used for data storage.
The engineering group owned a prototype of their first microcomputer Serial #004 purchased from a company now called "Intel" today. This microcomputer contained a pre-Intel Z-80 chip and later was upgraded to one of the first 8-bit 8080 processors in 1976. This equipment was bought as a piece of used office equipment from Intel labeled as Prototype #004 and consisted of a single 8" floppy disk for storage, 4K RAM and a Teletype port "no monitor" running initially on its own proprietary operating system then upgraded to the CP/M operating system. Mr. Corey took it upon himself to learn and program the Intel Prototype in assembler language to perform trigonometry along with a series of geometry calculations for developing tool paths in G code using his own self-written version of the APT programming language for the mold industry prior to the existence of hand calculators, computer monitors or the disk operating system.
In 1981 Mr. Corey formed a new corporation providing programming services as well as offering the software he wrote to his customers so they could do it themselves. As business grew, the software was ported over to the Radio Shack TRS 80 with better black and white graphics and then to the IBM personal computer.
The next year IBM Corporation heard of the work Mr. Corey was doing and he was given an invitation with first-class plane tickets to fly to Boca Raton, FL, as well as a free IBM personal computer with color graphics running IBM DOS 1.0 Operating System provided free by Microsoft. The invitation to IBM headquarters was originally to do a presentation to a small engineering group at IBM looking for possible commercial uses for their new IBM personal computer line. This was later moved to a full-size auditorium that held over 100 IBM staff members. That same day Mr. Corey was given a Purchase Order to supply IBM with what was then called "NC software", which at the time the term CAD/CAM had not yet become a coined phrase. This event then changed the rest of the company's history.
In 1991 the company shifted focus from DOS to Windows 3.1 and developed the first microcomputer based CNC hardware / software retrofit package for CNC machinery based on Microsoft Windows for national sale.
Mr. Gary Corey's background has allowed him to teach CNC classes at some of America's largest corporations and he has been a key note speaker many times for the IMTS Trade Show as well as for the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. Mr. Corey holds a patent for Multi-axes tool compensation and kinematics performed on a CNC machine and wrote a book on how to do CNC Interfacing that is in the National Library of Congress in Washington DC. He was in attendance when the first Water Jet machine cut a part using CamSoft software performed for newspaper reporters and magazine photographers. Mr. Corey was also in attendance at JPL Laboratories in Pasadena, CA, to help collaborate on a new programming language format and got to see and work with the engineers who made the first Mars Rover. He had taught computer programming classes at Motorola. He has also done consulting on legal matters for Fanuc, getting paid directly from Fanuc, and is also recognized by the United States Superior Federal Courts as a CNC expert. Mr. Corey has had the opportunity to work with the creator of SolidWorks to develop the first CNC software module for SolidWorks and worked with the creators of Rhino before the company was known as Rhino.
Mr. Corey met his wife at Microsoft in Seattle. He considers a high point of his career when he was humbled by a personal call received for him from Mr. Bill Gates in the mid 1980s asking for Mr. Corey's opinion on a new start-up software company that Mr. Gates was considering purchasing. A couple of years later he was offered a free beta version of McAfee virus checking software for DOS to test and report back his findings. In exchange for his efforts, Mr. Corey was offered free unlimited updates for life personally from Mr. John McAfee, which they did not honor.
Mr. Corey was also asked to invest in the first version of AutoCad and CADkey during a private seminar held in Anaheim, CA. The first versions where shown on a Victor computer with a green CRT monitor. Ironically, he told them he thought the software was a bad idea and did not invest.
CamSoft today is a developer of computer-aided design, computer-aided manufacturing, and PC-based CNC Controller software with a worldwide base of over 8,000 corporations and Universities including many of America's largest and best known companies. CamSoft is supported by a base of over 60 independent installers and dealers in North America. CamSoft has evolved to offer software and hardware toolkits that allow a user to create and to customize a CNC machine tool controller for 12 different machine types in up to 8 axes using a standard personal computer. The software also accommodates a variety of pendants such as touch screen, floor standing and hand held models.
The software is designed around a Windows open architecture making it flexible for many machine applications. The future life cycle of a machine is then increased by using low-cost, non-proprietary, off-the-shelf PC hardware components available from many sources. This makes finding spare parts easier to find in the future.
The operator screen, also known as the GUI or HMI, is user customizable. The screen can be as simple or as feature rich as the application demands using attractive bitmap images coupled with real-time solid modeled graphic tool animation for previewing actual machine cuts before pressing Cycle Start.
The system incorporates a philosophy of a Universal CNC Logic Programming Language, meaning that when the user learns the system, he or she will have the tools necessary to program almost any machine type.
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