CAM software helps make Quick Draw a top gun in machining.

Position:Manufacturing Solutions
 
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Before he went into the machine shop business, Rob Wanderscheid knew that to build a successful business, he needed more than just his banking degree. So, he spent two years earning a second degree in manufacturing technology. Then he turned his sights toward building the machine shop of the future. He built it in Austin, TX, and called it Quick Draw Manufacturing, reflecting his commitment to fast response times, from design to final product.

At Quick Draw, Wanderscheid's focus was on lean manufacturing-- high output with minimal constraints and work process flow. Driven by a personal motto to "use technology to the max," Wanderscheid created his machine shop of the future: bright, clean and high-tech. Companies such as Parker Hannifin, Carlton-Bates, BAE Systems, Tesco and others have visited, and have been impressed by and contracted work from Quick Draw.

At the heart of the machining operation was the software package Wanderscheid found to be best in class for graphical CNC programming: GibbsCAM from Gibbs and Associates, Moorpark, CA.

Contoured route to success

From the outset, Quick Draw experienced respectable growth, but it took an oddly shaped heat sink to break open the market.

"This particular heat sink was designed with a succession of radii, one radius running into another, then into another," Wanderscheid recalls. "A very sculptured look. Contours take shape in the Y-Z, X-Z and X-Y axes. Any way you looked at it, you could see a different set of contours." A job of this complexity required sophisticated NC programming. Wanderscheid felt that GibbsCAM's rare combination of power and ease of use (reasons he chose the software in the first place) made it the perfect candidate for this job.

"It was the first time we did a contoured job on Solid Surfacer," Wanderscheid recounts, referring to the GibbsCAM module that provides 3D virtual milling capabilities. "Although I had to open the manual numerous times, and made several calls to customer support, GibbsCAM got the job done quickly and with ease. We filled the first order ahead of schedule, and the customer was absolutely amazed. The heat sinks looked completely cast, even better than cast."

That customer has become one of Quick Draw's largest accounts, capitalizing on the shop's ability to do quality, quick-response prototyping and production. Wanderscheid credits the software's ease of use with helping Quick Draw keep pace with client demands for lightning-fast response times.

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