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Friday, September 18, 2015

A Visit to Westec 2015!

I've had some time on my hands while I've been on the job market, so I decided to take a drive to the Los Angeles Convention Center and spend a short time at Westec 2015.  

A little tech in action
There was some pretty cool technology there!   

The first machine I saw was a waterjet machine made by Flow Waterjet.  It's been a little while since I've had any interation with one, but the most interesting thing I learned was that the taper (caused by the waterjet spreading out as it cuts through the material) has been eliminated by automatically tapering the head.

I also made a trip to see if there were any 3D printing companies there.  I did find the 3D Systems booth.  Most of the things I have seen before.  But it's always an amazing technology to see.  There's a certain Zen I find watching the machine build,   And the things have gotten much more amazing since I last saw it in the early 2000s. 

And seeing how it's a show for machine tools, I had to see a few more "traditional" CNC machines.  I only call it traditional because they're probably the oldest technology there, but event that technology evolves constantly.  

I was able to get a pretty good video at the Datron booth of a machine running toolpaths.  I wish I had gotten there when it was cutting the part instead of repeating the path over a finished part, but I'm sure aluminum billet gets expensive after a while.  Not to mention cleanup!  

Finally, I did swing by the Autodesk booth where they were showing Autodesk Inventor HSM and HSM Works.   As a long time CAD jockey, I can say that it's strange to see Solidworks running in an Autodesk booth!   But this is life in the modern era.  Autodesk is a Solidworks supplier after all. 

The Autodesk booth was like this all day! 
They were making parts on a Haas CNC machine, and they were getting a lot of attention.  I could barely get room to get the video! 

I was really amazed at how crowded the show was.  It was a zoo!  Which is great for the vendors.  I'm glad they're busy.  It took me nearly 45 minutes and repeated flybys of the SolidCAM booth before I was able to talk to a friend for 10 minutes.

But all in all, it was a good show.  I just wish I'd been able to grab a few more pictures and videos! 

And by the way, if you ever have a chance to swing by a trade show in your industry, I encourage you to do it!  You don't have to spend all day, you don't have to become the "turtle person" who is weighed down by twelve bags full of t-shirts, pens, and squeezy stress balls.

But see what's out there, and see what you thought was state of the art, may have past into history while you were hunched over your desk in the cubicle farm.

Technology will march on!  And it won't wait for you to make sure you packed a lunch. 

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