In a bucolic setting in Tolland, software designers at CNC Software Inc. write a program called Mastercam, in which a computer tells a machine how to cut or shape nearly any kind of product from motorcycle wheel covers to hip implants.
"Our product is a software tool that creates CNC programs that allow machines to cut certain shapes," said CNC Software President and CEO Mark Summers. The software can look at a CAD file or 3-D model of the object that is to be made, and produce instructions that will tell a machine how to manufacture the part.
It's also a family business. In addition to Mark Summers, 55, his brother Brian is vice president in charge of marketing, sales and the machine shop, where programs are tested. Mark's daughter Meghan West is the chief operating officer, responsible for marketing, quality control, and interaction with customers.
The company markets through resellers, with 50 percent of sales in the U.S. and the remainder in 50 countries. The company has 135 employees, including about 30 software designers are at work tweaking the program, which sells for between $5,000 and $12,000. The company also operates an internship program for area college students, and Mastercam is taught at local high schools including A.I. Prince Technical High School in Hartford.
Boeing is the company's biggest customer, and Ford, Chrysler and General Motors also purchase programs they use to make auto components. The company has just started selling its 17th version of Mastercam.
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