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Answers to the major issues

How does the cost compare?

CamSoft converts any existing CNC machine at a much more reasonable cost than any other brand name pre-fabricated control.  CamSoft eliminates the need to purchase a new machine to gain the latest state-of-the-art programming capability.  For an immediate quote, click here.

How open is your control?
  • Servo loop closed in software or hardware
  • HMI, CNC, Digital I/O, Analog and Logic in one software package
  • No third party SoftPLC language to run or buy
  • No Visual Basic or C++ required
  • Open enough for many first time users to do self installation
  • Software bundled or unbundled from hardware
  • API, DLL, ActiveX, Network or RS232
  • Unlimited real-time data collection
  • Remote operation and machine monitoring
  • Self diagnostics tests for motors, analog, encoders and I/O
  • Automatic servo tuning software
  • Table of 199 user definable G & M codes each
  • Create and customize G & M codes without using VB or C++
  • Create and customize hundreds of specialized macro routines
  • Dozens of logic examples for many types of hardware
  • Provided Tool changers, Homing routines, Jogging devices, Turrets & Rotary tables
  • Provided Gear changing, Probes, HandWheels, Canned cycles & Timed events
  • Provided Blade/Knife functions & Material height sensing 
  • Hundreds of fixture, tool and part offsets
  • Single operating system environment
  • No need to run or buy third party kernels or operating systems
  • Single or Dual CPUs. One for the HMI and one to close the servo loop
  • No proprietary hardware
  • Use a motion card or use a software driver
  • Multiple sources for hardware
  • Industrial or office PCs supported
  • User installable and upgradeable
  • User configurable operator interface
  • User configured hardware
  • Supports user independence
Do you offer a turnkey system?

CamSoft offers several different in-stock, ready-to-go professional CNC controller enclosures. Install the same high-quality CamSoft retrofit hardware/software components into your own Windows based personal computer. To ask for more information about enclosures through email, click here!.

How easy is the CNC to install?

Machine conversions can be accomplished without the need to trace wires to the PLC or write ladder logic. The computer becomes the PLC and does the logic. Several ready-to-go operator screens are available. Run new wires directly from your existing motor drives, encoders, spindle drive, limit switches and home switches directly to the CamSoft provided terminal strip. Mix and match physical buttons, knobs, gauges, switches, lights and displays with virtual ones. To ask for information on our 3-day installation package through email, click here!

How easy is the CNC to use?

With an operator screen that is fully customizable, the time it takes is strictly up to you. You may customize your operator screen as simple to complex as you desire. CamSoft offers two programming styles: G code or CAD to motion. No need to know C++ or VB programming to configure the screen. Simply drag and drop control objects around the operator screen and then set their properties. 

Can I use my existing motors and drives?

Yes. CamSoft works well with existing motors and drives sparing you the expense of new equipment. This also ensures that the motors and amps are sized right for your machine. Our software can control existing motors that are: brush or brushless, AC or DC, servo, stepper, PWM or hydraulic. The amps, also known as drives, can be either current driven or velocity type. Spindle drives use current mode or invertors. Feedback can be closed loop or open. Closed loop systems use encoders or resolvers. There are a number of companies that make digital I/O cards. Any manufacturer's I/O card that uses an 8255 chip will work. We also have touch screens or we can show you where you can find your own. 

How long will this take?

Most companies can not afford to take months "off" to get a machine on-line and productive. The learning curve with the CamSoft software is approximately 1/4 of the time needed when compared to most CNCs that use PLCs. Installations can be done in 3 days for most common types of knee mills, bed mills, lathes, lasers, water jets, plasmas and punch presses. To ask for information on our 3-day installation package through email, click here!

Where is the retrofit done?

Another issue is convenience and shipping. If you have a large machine, you don't want to truck it all over creation. You can do the installation yourself, in your own shop, within your own timeframe or have one of our technicians or a local dealer come to you on an as-needed basis. Do what you can to save time and labor costs and call us to finish the rest.

Will my old G code programs still run?

Yes. You are given a definable G code and M code table to configure the new controller to your pre-existing programs. 

Can I customize the system myself?

Yes. Customize the complete system. It's an open system. The screen can easily be customized without having to be a VB or C++ programmer. Typical --style fill-in-the-blanks and check boxes are used to construct a well-organized screen. Drag and drop objects into place and set their properties. More advanced users enjoy configuring the controller routines to support new processes and technologies with published, well-documented software application program interfaces (APIs) and source code for ActiveX and DLLs available to all customers.

How fast is the CNC performance?

Tested and proven with over 200,000 motion cards shipped to date. 62.5 microsecond servo update times per axis result in cutting feedrate velocities of up to 122,000 IPM. Detect a change of state at rates in the 10 KHz range. Dual 32-bit processors increase productivity, feedrates, accuracy and cut quality. Multiple events and multiple position motions can happen simultaneously. Cut 3D profiles while the tool is changing or a servo motor positions a rotary table. The extra processor on the motion card is the best way to close the servo loop and the quickest method to produce the fastest block-to-block cutting speeds. To learn more about Fastmode by email, click here!.

Is there third party support and communications?

The software supports the ability to integrate third-party applications into the machine control. Standard software already includes machine maintenance software, remote diagnostics via a modem, self-diagnostics and remote machine tool monitoring via RS232, ActiveX or a Network card. The software also automatically collects manufacturing data such as cycle time, feed rates and setup time in real time without operator intervention.

Will CamSoft help eliminate downtime?

Yes. Replace your broken controller with a spare computer. A terminal strip connects the machine wiring to the computer via a 100-pin cable. Swap out the old computer with a new computer by unplugging the cable from the computer. Wiring to the machine is not disturbed. Next, restore your controller logic by restoring a single backup file that fits onto a floppy disk. Motion or I/O cards can also be replaced by anyone without disturbing the wires, control screens or logic. This is much easier than a pre-fab controller since pre-fab controllers have hard wiring and external PLC devices with ladder logic burned into them. With CamSoft, the logic is running in the computer. The handheld controller is also another good idea because it uses a standard long printer cable that can be unplugged by the user and replaced in 5 seconds. The handheld controller replaces all the operator interface buttons, lights, knobs and handwheel. The computer's keyboard or touch screen contains the rest. Keep in mind that we also provide remote and self-diagnostic software to each customer. Think of it this way, keep on hand an off-the-shelf computer from the store and any other spare parts you need. If a control breaks, you can swap out the broken computer with a new computer to replace any control for any machine type at anytime. You just have to save the CBK file onto a floppy disk to restore that particular operator screen, G codes, M codes and logic. 

What about maintenance and repair?

Maintenance and repair are no longer an issue. Be the master of your own machine. Self diagnostics are part of each system. When it comes to parts, you can use off-the-shelf Windows based personal computers and brand name hardware purchased from local sources. Are your parts now either so proprietary or hard to find that they don't exist anymore? How long can you be down? You shouldn't need to rely on others, we can teach you how to service, support, maintain, and upgrade the complete control and replace any part yourself.

How is logic programmed?

You are provided with complete seamless digital I/O logic commands running in concert with the motion and other system logic on the PC itself. NO external PLC devices or ladder logic is needed. No need to purchase third-party software. CamSoft offers a much easier logic programming method using simple commands that are referenced by terminal strip number of descriptive names. This method is preferred by installers that need to diagnose, modify and test the logic before they begin physical wiring. This is the only method that allows remote I/O logic diagnostics via a modem. We have our own I/O logic, which is much easier than learning PLC ladder logic. It even provides for very complex multiple I/O threads whereas ladder logic is sequential and only branches off. Hundreds of every type of command, including IF THEN, LOOPS, TIMERS and WAITUNTIL are provided in simple to read text files that compile when the system starts. We utilize several manufacturers' I/O boards to give a wide choice of inputs/outputs. CamSoft wrote its own assembler drivers to access these cards in the unprecedented 10 KHz range. To request a logic programming example through email, click here!

Is there graphic CNC simulation?

You receive "real time" solid modeled or wire frame tool path simulation while the machine is cutting. Starting with CNC Professional Level 5, tool path animation and CNC verification is available to verify what will happen prior to cutting the part. You have step-by-step control over each move graphically by moving the light source, solid model rotation and changing the viewing angles. 

What about service?

Always count on prompt, complete service and technical support by contacting our qualified technicians via e-mail, fax or phone. If you need application assistance or custom logic, CamSoft has qualified in-house staff and local reps to assist you. Unlike other companies we do not detach ourselves from the hardware boards. CamSoft supports and takes responsibility for all of the hardware boards we sell you directly.

What about Documentation?

CamSoft is committed to updating our documentation and do so along with providing product enhancements every Friday afternoon. These weekly updates are not counted as version releases. We believe we have the most completely documented CNC system on the market by far. Written professionally by people with degrees in computer science from North Eastern University graduating summa cum laude. The contributors of the technical information come from many of America's major corporations along with our own technical engineering staff that actually pioneered the PC based CNC industry from it's beginnings in the 1970's. We know this business and our product well. The staff is devoted to maintaining the quality, organization and accuracy of the technical content so that it is always updated as hardware & technology changes.

The documentation is massive. We are old fashion and still provide a lot of our documentation in printed form. Depending on the product ordered, there are 2-5 printed manuals (Hardware Wiring Charts, Installation Guide , Customization of Screen Design, IO Logic commands and Internal Functionality, CAD/CAM part design, G codes, Tool Path & Post Processor writing) which average over 400 to 600 pages in each manual plus 3 CD's (approx 1,800 megabytes) of electronic on-line tutorials containing detailed hardware wiring charts, settings, usage information, graphically animated wiring connection tutorials, 4 hour long animated Study Guide and walk through. In addition to this printed and animated movie style documentation there is a Data Base which can be electronically searched that far exceeds the information contained in printed form. It is a quick detailed way to find answers called Search for Solutions on the main CNC Set up window. You can search for answers using key words like a web-browser or else click on the Help-Index Search button on the Search for Solution window to have access to most (not all) of the documentation in the printed manuals. The Search for Solutions window actually contains much more documentation than the printed manual do, but on the other hand the printed manuals show many more charts and diagrams that the on-line search doesn't. So in essence you need all the printed manuals and CD's to have access to the full documentation.

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What about Operator Interface and User Screens?

The user interface can be as feature rich or as simplistic as you want. There are many choices for the person(s) installing the system that will give them full access in setting up the operator screen so that they may create their own desired personal look & feel plus provide separate functionality per each machine operator. There can be several operator screens saved and restored on the same machine that suit each persons taste in the matter of a few seconds. The quality and functions on each of these screens can be as graphically flashy or simple as you want. You may choose to display a modern screen as seen at a trade show you recently visited or else display a replica of the original machine interface.

We will provide a generic default operator screen made for your machine based on your description that will be made from similar machine that someone else already paid for and got working. We remove their company logo and replace the bitmaps they used with more generic image. To dress up the user interface you may browse through our CD which contains hundreds of bitmaps that you are welcome to use. Some very attractive and others plain. Or else you can use a digital camera and take photos of your favorite brand of CNC and paste those images of buttons, light bulbs, knobs, gauges ect... on the CamSoft screen in the exact same order and layout assigning the same functionally to each control shown. We have over 64+ installers and dealers that also provide on-site installation and application assistance to follow your specifications.