The year 2018 marks the 35th anniversary of CNC Software Inc., developers of Mastercam CAD/CAM software. In 1983, two brothers, Mark and Jack Summers, came up with a new concept for programming CNC (Computer-Numerical-Control) machine tools. A third brother, Brian Summers, soon joined and together they developed a PC-based CAD/CAM software package that laid the foundation for what would be Mastercam.
“It started out as a simple idea,” said Chairman Mark Summers. “I was a machinist. My brother was a mathematician. We combined our experience to put what was out of reach for most shops—NC programming software—right onto their desktops.”
In the 35 years that followed, they have advanced dozens of important new technologies for those shops, including “smart” toolpaths, hybrid machining, mill-turn, multiaxis, their proprietary Dynamic Motion technology, as well as basic packages for milling, turning, and wire EDM. All of this couldn’t be possible without the valuable feedback from the industry and from what’s most important to CNC Software, the user base. In addition to manufacturers, the company has focused on selling and supporting Mastercam in the education sector since its inception.
They first called the software program “Meghan,” named after Mark Summers’ eldest daughter, and then changed to “Mastercam” as a clearer descriptive of the software’s primary function. Today, Meghan West is the CEO. “Mastercam users help drive our innovation,” said West. “We’re in constant contact with shops, machine tool builders, educators, tooling suppliers, and they all help us focus on what shops need the most now and in the future, so we can deliver.”
“One of the biggest reasons for our success is our global dealer network, probably the largest and most experienced in the CAM industry,” added West. “They are true partners with our customers, offering advice, training, and applications experience to Mastercam users around the world. We’re also proud to be the number one CAD/CAM program being taught by technology teachers in schools, colleges, and universities. Helping to train the next generation of skilled manufacturing personnel is an important mission of ours.”