Kalpana Kalpana (Editor)


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Area served  Worldwide
Website  BobCAD.com
Founded  1985
Products  CAD/CAM Software
Headquarters  Clearwater
Bobcad httpslh3googleusercontentcome8U03SsCmMAAA
Industry  Computer-aided manufacturing, Computer-aided design

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BobCAD-CAM is a developer of CAD/CAM software for the CNC metalworking and manufacturing industry. Based in Clearwater, FL, BobCAD-CAM has a staff of approximately 85 employees. Since opening in 1985, they've developed a reputation in the industry as having one of the most powerful and affordable CAD-CAM software available.


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BobCAD-CAM was created by Bob Twaalfhoven, who graduate from MIT in 1978 with an engineering degree. Twaalfhoven created the software as a means of bringing CAD/CAM technology to the personal computer. Before then, CAD/CAM software wasn't generally accessible to the masses.

Twaalfhoven originally sold his BobCAD-CAM software from the trunk of his car. He sold to manufacturing shops that wanted to automate their programming process but couldn't afford the massive price tag that accompanied traditional CAD/CAM Software in the mid-80's. Twaalfhoven opened his first office in San Jose, California in order to service the local manufacturing market. In the early 90's, BobCAD-CAM expanded to the East Coast where the company's second office opened in Clearwater, Florida.

The software was continually developed throughout the 1990s, adding 2.5 axis milling toolpath features, 3 Axis Planar machine toolpath capabilities for solid models and CNC lathe programming capabilities. This proved to be a wise development move as machining STL models became more popular in the CAD/CAM field. In early 2002 the most significant developments to the software were made by adding Design Surface & Solid Modeling technology, releasing the first Artistic CNC software add-on as well as introducing the first ever training video products for customers to learn CAD/CAM from the comfort of their office. The San Jose location was closed due to expansion of the Florida office; one office was now capable of servicing the global markets easily. In 2007 with the organizational structure of BobCAD-CAM in excellent shape Twaalfhoven began primarily focusing on the development of his CAD/CAM software and rebuilding the product from the ground up. This led to the release of the Version 22 CAD/CAM software, the addition of Lathe, Nesting & Sheet Optimizing and a joint venture with Predator software to offer high level editing and simulation to his customers. Between 2007 and 2014 BobCAD-CAM software technology has taken the largest strides in its company history in the development and implementation of CNC machining technology. The company became a SolidWorks Gold Partner with the release of the BobCAM for SolidWorks CAM add-on for SolidWorks users to be able to program their parts right inside of their design product, saving them time and increasing the workflow efficiency for SolidWorks customers. Recently releasing CAD/CAM software programming technology for 4 and full 5 Axis CNC milling hosting the first ever High Speed Adaptive Roughing strategy for multi-axis CNC milling ever.

CAD/CAM Modules

It should not be assumed that all features on any given model of machine are supported by BobCAD. It is the users responsibility to determine, prior to sale, if particular features of a given machine will be used by BobCAD, and what additional effort may be required to do so. For example, it is possible to draw a turned part with tapped holes situated perpendicular to the main axis, however; what is meant by 'supported' is subject to interpretation. While it may be possible to make some machine functions operable with some effort, such as live tooling on a lathe, the degree of difficulty varies, and technically, live tooling support for lathe is not provided. Industrial robots can be used for non-conventional milling for example. BobCAD-CAM software is modular. Meaning that a CNC business can implement a core 2 & 3 axis milling software and "add-on" to it as the business grows and needs higher levels of machining tool path capabilities. The 3 Axis CNC Software has a Standard and Professional version. There are also Standard and PRO versions for 4 Axis CNC Milling as well as the 5 Axis CNC Milling CAD/CAM. The 2013 Multi-axis CAD/CAM Software offers the first High-Speed Adaptive Roughing tool path strategy in the world for simultaneous 5 Axis CNC Milling. SWARF Milling along with 7 Surface-Based cutting toolpath machining strategies have also been developed into the Multi-axis CAD/CAM Software. The latest release of the CAD-CAM modules uses CAM Wizards for each machining strategy which is a planned series of dialog pages that pertain directly to the machining strategy that the user selects. Recently Dynamic Machining Strategies™ were added. DMS™ functionality requires the user to use a single or multiple machining operations for a CAD Feature that was selected in the process. This basically allows multiple machining operations to be used based on a selected CAD feature. CNC Software modules are available for:

  • Mill
  • Lathe
  • Wire EDM
  • Mill Turn
  • Art (Raster-to-vector)
  • Nesting
  • Machine Simulation and Predator CNC Edit
  • BobCAD-CAM also offers 2 other unique products for the Design & CNC machining world. The DXF ClipART series with over 6000 individual DXF files and the Machinist Toolbox software calculator.


    BobCAD-CAM CNC Software is compatible with the following file formats:

  • .DWG (AutoCAD)
  • .SLDPRT (SolidWorks)
  • .3DM (RhinoCAD)
  • .X_T and .X_B (Parasolid)
  • .DXF
  • .IGES
  • .STEP
  • .STL
  • .SAT
  • .CAD
  • The company also has a fully integrated CAM plug-in for Solidworks. This has been the most anticipated release in the companies 26-year history.


  • Modern Applications News – 2008 Reader’s Choice Awards, CAD/CAM – Third Place
  • References

    Bobcad Wikipedia

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