WHAT IS SOLIDBOX – TEAM MASTERCAM?
SolidBox – Team Mastercam is a turnkey hardware integrator for Mastercam end users. We sell servers, desktops, and laptops that are configured specifically for Mastercam. Our systems arrive with Mastercam software pre-installed.
WHO IS SOLIDBOX – TEAM MASTERCAM?
With the great success of SolidBox for SolidWorks Chris has acquired a team dedicated to provide the best computers for the CAM industry. Mike DeButts is an active Applications Engineer for one of the top Mastercam resellers in the world. Mike has had experience with all of the headaches dealing with computers crashing, slow performance, and computer aggravations.
One of the most asked questions from Mastercam users is; what kind of computer do I need to run Mastercam? Mastercam’s website offers the minimum requirements. But let’s be honest, the customer needs something that will run stable and strong without falling short of the different levels of usage. Team Mastercam has benchmarked computers catered for all levels of Mastercam users.
WHO IS SOLIDBOX?
SolidBox was founded by Christopher J. Castle, P.E.. Chris was awarded the “Elite Applications Engineer” award by SolidWorks Corporation in 2008. Both a long time SolidWorks user and computer guru, Chris founded SolidBox after many years of frustration with the hardware market. In early 2009, Mr. Castle partnered with Dell Computer and developed several benchmarks to qualify systems for his customers.
Chris’ inspiration for SolidBox came, ironically, from dealing with Apple computers. After 19 years of using home built machines, and every version of Windows that has ever existed, Chris’ frustration with PCs came to a climax after using SolidWorks on Windows Vista.
Chris finally took his friend’s advice and purchased an Apple desktop, then laptop, and then an iPhone. To his amazement, the Apple computers were remarkably stable. “Why can’t PCs be as stable as Macs” Chris asked.
As a well experienced SolidWorks user, Chris has always held stability paramount when looking at a potential machine. “I’m not concerned about how fast I can spin my model in SolidWorks. I just want to go an entire day, without the damn thing crashing twenty times…” Chris frequently laments.
The lack of stability in PCs pushed Chris to the edge. At one point Chris even considered abandoning SolidWorks and PCs all together. Luckily for Chris, an epiphany came during a visit to Apple store. He needed his computer repaired, and brought his machine to the Apple technician. Within a matter of minutes the technician had diagnosed the issue, replaced the faulty hardware, and had completely resolved the issue.
Eureka! The answer is standardized hardware…
Chris was on a mission. Chris started by listing the needs of three levels of user. He then worked closely with the Workstation team at Dell, and the Technical Support team at SolidWorks Corporation, to determine the most ideal conditions for SolidWorks. Specifically, Chris started with the minimum performance requirements recommended by SolidWorks. Chris then configured and purchased a “test system” from Dell to represent an “Entry” level system. Chris stripped the Windows OS to its core, installed the necessary Windows updates and .NET components, installed the certified Graphics Card drivers, and finally installed SolidWorks.
This prototype process started in Early-2008. The “Entry” level computer prototype ended up performing so well, it shocked Chris and his colleagues. The computer ended up scoring a SPECapc benchmark in the top 10 percentile. Chris repeated this test for “Mid” & “High” level equivalent systems. Again the results were astounding!
What was the secret? The secret was simple; install SolidWorks on a clean Windows OS on high quality standardized hardware, and finally use only those drivers that have been tested to work best.
Chris formalized the process and helped a SolidWorks VAR (Value Added Reseller) sell these configured systems to its customers. The program was very successful, so successful in fact, that Chris founded SolidBox to accommodate all the incoming orders.
“I love the fact that I open the box, plug the machine in, and I can start using SolidWorks.” – Brady, Austin Prototyping
Chris can’t quite believe how successful SolidBox has become in such a short period of time. Chris says, “It feels good knowing that we can provide a great product to our customers. Once they receive the product they know exactly how well their system can perform. From that moment the customer is focused on working in SolidWorks, not installing SolidWorks.”