CAD/CAM Ecommerce integration - software selection advise required.

Let me preface my question's details by stating that I'm not a CAD/CAM user or an IT specialist. I'm a management consultant designing a business model that's success is dependant on identifying an integrated software solution that won't require a ground up build and huge expense.

I'm seeking the community's advice on software selection/options for this project.

To avoid divulging confidential IP, lets say the business manufacturers bicycle frames, using CNC laser tube cutting, robotic assembly and laser welding.

The only sales channel is their website's Ecommerce store.

When a visitor enters the store they can choose from a variety of standard frame designs that are displayed as a 3D render.

Selecting a frame design they are then taken to a page that provides them a larger 3D render of the frame, with a range of customisable options, such as tube diameter, frame height, frame length and fitting points on the frame for parts and accessories.

Any custom changes they make update both the the rendered image and the price shown for the frame and its freight, in their chosen currency. Once they have completed their customisation they can process their purchase through the site's checkout.

In the background I need the customised order to be saved as CAD files.

I then require the software to consolidate the day's orders/CAD files and translate them into CAM files for the next days scheduling and manufacturing on the CNC cutting, assembly and welding cells.

Ideally, this process from website order placement to frame manufacturing happens seamlessly and without the need for human intervention (except the work station operators).

I would appreciate any and all advice if you are aware of either;
-a singular package that might have the required functionality,
- a bundle of software packages that can integrate and meet these requirements,
- examples of websites that have similar features to what we are looking to build,
- or integrators who you know and would recomend that have the constituent exoertise to put a package together (ideally based in Australia).
- or if I'm simply off with the faeries and it cant be done.

thanks for your time Grabcaders

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1 Answer

Hi Alan,

I have used the software, Autodesk Inventor as the design software for many years now and it has options to create several different frame options from simply doing 2D or 3D sketches as lines. It can then have those lines be turned into 3D structural members of any sort from metal tubing to I-beams. (obviously I-beams wont be involved) It can then show welds that need to be made between those members as weldment features. It also has and ability to do a frame analysis (frame stress test) after the designs are complete. We also then export our drawings we make from the models in dxf. and other formats over to different CNC machines we use for our machinist to have easy access to the drawings we make and can import them directly into the machines. You may need a mix of softwares as design and machining softwares are very different from one another. For ours we use Omax and Gibbs CAM for the machining. Master CAM is another widely used machining software.

These are what I recommend you use for ease of use and the availabilty of some of the best engineering and machining tools available. There are others out there though but this should at least give you a good start of what to look for.

Best of luck!

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