Still Going Strong

This year, CNC Software Inc. is celebrating Mastercam's 30th anniversary. It's been quite a journey for this progressive company.


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While visiting CNC Software, I took a quick spin on one of two Segways that are available for employees to use on the grounds.

When three brothers created their CAM software for the Apple IIe in 1983, perhaps they didn’t foresee the growth that was ahead for their company. But 30 years later, Mark and Brian Summers carry on Mastercam’s success story at CNC Software Inc.’s 53,000-square-foot headquarters and training facility on 26 acres in Tolland, Conn., with the philosophy of providing exceptional service and support while meeting the users’ needs to solve simple to complex design and machining problems.

While still in its infancy, the software was moved to the PC platform. Even during the days of two-dimensional CAM, it was one of the first micro-based CAM packages to include CAD capabilities. Today, the software has more than 150,000 installations worldwide in mold making, automotive, aerospace and consumer industries.

The company attributes much of its recent success in software development to the Scrum philosophy, which it adopted a couple of years ago. This approach involves breaking down a project into smaller, manageable tasks. Small, yet agile teams work together in two-week “sprints” to complete specific tasks in a project. Each group meets daily in a common area to discuss the previous day’s accomplishments and the coming day’s goals. The result is more attention to detail, quicker reaction to potential problems, and more accurate forecasting of new product release dates.

CNC Software takes a similar creative approach when addressing other business matters as well, such as employee satisfaction and the company’s ecological footprint. The Tolland facility utilizes both a geothermal heating and cooling system and a ground-mounted solar array for green power generation, while implementing a number of other energy saving techniques. Employees also can enjoy walking trails on the grounds, an outdoor patio, a vegetable garden and an in-house gym with exercise equipment and a basketball and racquetball court.

This year’s 30th anniversary celebration is a proud time for the company’s founders as well as all of its employees.