Freesteel Blog » Feeeeeeeed-back!


Friday, December 16th, 2005 at 11:53 am Written by:

Come on you lurkers, write to us. You know who you are. We do keep an eye out on the Apache logs, so we know something is going on, even if we don’t know what it is.

Is it the chatty front page with its rarely documented historical facts that makes you nervous? It doesn’t look professional and corporate enough, does it? Do you prefer it when all companies in this industry drape themselves in a venier of business perfection which is wholly devoid of life-forces? What’s that all about?

For another project, I’ve recently been scanning through old issues of “Time” magazine, and “The New Yorker” on the open shelves of the Liverpool Central Library where they go back to 1947. I am disappointed to report that nothing whatsoever appears to have changed to the sound of the business news, which is almost all the news. They still took interviews from CEOs and top management only, and they still spoke in the same boring content-free way with no hint of what was happening then, or going to happen in the future, a future which thirty years after the articles were printed I could remember. It’s like there’s some kind of mask you have to put on when you work in a company which makes you measure your words or, better yet, not speak aloud.

Hmm. Maybe that’s is why the internet hasn’t made the political difference everyone expected it would, which is why all the attempts by governments to clamp down on it early on have largely gone away. Its great weakness and strength is that everything that goes through it winds up on the record, in the way that spoken conversations do not, so people subject themselves to extreme self-censorship. And except for management people, politicians, and official spokesmen, most human beings don’t have the confidence to know that they can talk in the absolute platitudes which can’t possibly get them into trouble. So they stay silent.

Meanwhile, I think I’ve halved the time it takes for the Adaptive Machining algorithm to complete in certain examples. Depending on the blood pressure of the salesman, this is considered either a 50% or a 100% improvement. But it doesn’t sound like anyone is particularly interested. Let’s get back to real things like gas prices.

(Rant continued at The Myron Ebell Climate.)


  • 1. Simon Arthur replies at 26th December 2005, 7:14 am :

    I’ve been checking in on this blog for a while now, ever since it was mentioned on the CAD_CAM_EDM_DRO mailing list. I’ve also created software that’s related to machining: Robofac, an open source hexapod CNC controller, and Big Blue Saw, an online custom manufacturing site.

    I’m curious about where your software is headed and I’m especially intrigued by the notion that you might eventually make your software open source.

  • 2. Julian Todd replies at 27th December 2005, 9:10 pm :

    Hi. I just had a look at your (amazingly unresponsive) bluesaw website. There’s something wrong with your server, or my connection, or both. The links to your FAQs are especially problematic.

    I should do a blog entry about what I want to open source, and when, later. Basically, there are a lot of ancillary algorithms in a 3-axis CAM system that I can argue are of no commercial value, because they are too basic and all commercial companies have got them. However, there are no open source versions. So releasing those to into the right places would be a good start.

    One such algorithm is a function which takes a defined area and offsets it out or inwards without crashing.

    You appear to want to sell manufactured parts that are uploaded as DXF files over the web. Look, we all need to work on better web interfaces than we already have.

    Have you seen: ?

    It’s obvious that there could easily be a straightforward open-source javascript/SVG CAD system based on this, which lots of people like you and me could make use of on our web-pages. If it’s excellent and the same everywhere, that’s doubly good because it means users can drive all of our different web-pages without sweat.

    We should keep our eyes peeled for an opportunity to make it happen. What software are you working on?

  • 3. Neel replies at 28th December 2005, 11:45 am :

    Waiting anxiously for your blog entry on open source , what and when

  • 4. Barry Dyson replies at 11th January 2006, 9:37 am :

    My Company (STS) is the Machining STRATEGIST distributor for Australia and New Zealand.
    We have worked with NCG and Vero.
    I am interested in your latest multisurface machining software developments and any current more automated and productive machining algorithms.
    Also I am interested to discover whether you are intending to develop intelligent 2.5D MFR CAM software? (Similar to FeatureCAM).

  • 5. Julian Todd replies at 11th January 2006, 11:22 am :

    Intelligent 2.5D machining? I got to write something about that.

    What would help the most would be if you got some of our toolpaths (the web interface is terrible at the moment) and tried them out.

    We’re working on an improved version now. But you will probably need to install the firefox browser.

    In a CAM system, over 50% of the result is due to the user interface, and the rest (the minority) might have something to do with the quality of the toolpaths. I don’t do user interfaces, but if you see something about the toolpaths you like perhaps we could pressure any of your suppliers to incorporate it.

  • 6. Neel replies at 12th January 2006, 7:59 am :

    Intelligent 2.5D machining. I guess whats required here is feature (hole,pockets,etc) recognition from surface models & then decide the tool , parameters and type of toolpath for machining this features

  • 7. Freesteel » Blog Ar&hellip replies at 12th January 2006, 12:09 pm :

    […] uo; Intelligent machining algorithms Automatic feature detection Neel wrote: I guess whats required here is feature (hole,pockets,etc) recognition from surfac […]

  • 8. Julian Todd replies at 12th January 2006, 12:10 pm :

    Answer given at:

  • 9. Dave Hough replies at 7th November 2006, 9:51 pm :

    Can you please forward me a copy of the software, so I can evaluate it for a current application I have

    Mnay thanks


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