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Delcam Ltd
IndustryComputer-aided design, Computer-aided manufacturing
Founded1965 (as a team within Cambridge University Engineering Department)
1989 (as Delcam International)
Area served
Key people
Pete Baxter (Vice President)

Ed Lambourne (Technical Director)
Kulwant Singh (Finance Director)
Bart Simpson (Commercial Director)

Steve Hobbs (Development Director)
ProductsEngineering Software, Turnkey cells
ServicesMaintenance, Bespoke solutions

Delcam is a supplier of advanced CAD/CAM software for the manufacturing industry. [1] The company has grown steadily since being founded formally in 1977, after initial development work at Cambridge University, UK. [2] It is now a global developer of product design and manufacturing software, with subsidiaries and joint ventures in North America, South America, Europe and Asia with a total staff of over 800 people and local support provided from over 300 re-seller offices worldwide. It was listed on the London Stock Exchange until 6 February 2014, when it was acquired by Autodesk. [3] It now operates as a wholly owned, independently operated subsidiary of Autodesk.



Headquarters of Delcam Ltd. in Birmingham

In 1965, Donald Welbourn [4] saw the possibility of using computers to help pattern makers solve the problems of modelling difficult 3D shapes. He persuaded the Science Research Council to support research at the Cambridge University Engineering Department. Early sponsorship was provided by Ford and Control Data in Germany, whose customers included Volkswagen and Daimler-Benz. In 1974 the Delta Group seconded Ed Lambourne (now Technical Director at Delcam) to the Cambridge Team. After Lambourne returned to Delta, a Birmingham-based development centre was established in 1977.

In 1989, the company was bought from Delta Group in a buyout led by Managing Director Hugh Humphreys and Ed Lambourne. The company was renamed Delcam International in 1991 and moved to a new purpose-built office in Small Heath. In July 1997, Delcam Ltd was floated on the Alternative Investment Market to expand international operations and increase the investment development.

The company now have over 300 offices assisting 90,000 users worldwide with an annual turnover of over £100 million with the largest development team in the industry. [5] Clive Martell was chief executive from August 2009. [6] In February 2015, Pete Baxter, former vice president of sales and country manager for Autodesk in the UK, was appointed vice president. [7]

Key Dates[edit]

3D model of a mould from PowerSHAPE
Initial research at Cambridge University
Development taken over by Delta Group
Software sales start
Staff purchase company
New HQ, Birmingham, UK
Delcam floats on UK Market
Alcami Joins Delcam
EGS (FeatureCAM) joins Delcam
IMCS (PartMaker) joins Delcam
Crispin joins Delcam
25,000th Customer
30,000th Customer
35,000th Customer
40,000th Customer
45,000th Customer
Acquired by Autodesk
50,000th Customer
ArtCAM Announced End of development / End of support [8] The ArtCAM code was then licensed to the company Carvceo who re-branded the software and continue to develop and sell to previous ArtCAM customers [9]
upon request to comm. dep.: Autodesk did not continue to develop and supporting the (Footwear) software; beside Powershape


Advanced Manufacturing Solutions[edit]

Render of 3D model assembly on PowerSHAPE.
PowerSHAPE Logo.jpg
Robot scan using PowerINSPECT.

Is a 3D CAD (Computer-aided Design) solution that runs on Microsoft Windows which allows for the design of 3D complex models using surfaces, solids and triangles. The software allows for the import of 3D point cloud data to reverse engineer 3D models. [10] PowerSHAPE is used for a variety of applications including Modelling for manufacture, electrode design, mould and toolmaking. [11] The code of PowerSHAPE originates from the DUCT software.


A CAM solution for the programming of tool paths for 2 to 5 axis CNC Milling (Computer Numerical Control).

PowerINSPECT Logo.jpg

A CAD based inspection solution package for use with many types of inspection hardware, [12] including manual and CNC CMMs, portable arms, optical measuring devices and CNC machine tools (OMV). Developed for use on Microsoft Windows, the software is sold to a wide range of industries.

In 2004 Delcam won a Queen's award [13] [14] for innovation for PowerINSPECT and by 2008 PowerINSPECT was Delcam's second biggest selling product.

PowerMILL Robot Interface

A software package for the programming of machining robots with up to 8 axes.


A feature-based CAM solution for milling, turning, and wire EDM.


A CAM software for programming of turn-mill equipment bar-fed mills and Swiss-type lathes.

Delcam for SolidWorks

A CAM solution based on PowerMILL and FeatureCAM embedded into SolidWorks.

Delcam Exchange

A CAD data translator for reading and writing all commonly used CAD format files.

Delcam Electrode

An integrated software within PowerSHAPE for automatic generation of solid electrode models for EDM with optional tool path generation in PowerMILL.

Metrology Solutions[edit]

3D Rendered model from PowerSHAPE
On-Machine Verification

A package for measurement of complex parts directly on the machine tools.

Artistic CADCAM Solutions[edit]

ArtCAM JewelSmith

A specialist 3D design and manufacture solution for jewelers.

ArtCAM Pro

A complete solution for the design and manufacture of 2D Artwork & 3D Reliefs.

ArtCAM Insignia

Is for production-level layout and manufacture of 2D Artwork & 3D Reliefs.

ArtCAM Express

Is a low cost introductory design and machining solution.

After acquisition by Autodesk in 2014, Artcam brand was discontinued However the software is still in existence and licensed under another name - 'Carveco' [15]

Footwear Solutions[edit]


Is a web-based workflow management tool for tracking orders remotely.


Is a software package for the design of custom orthotic insoles.


Is a software package for the manufacture of custom orthotic insoles.

iQube Scanner

Is a foot, plaster cast and foambox scanner


Is a software package for 3D last modification and 3D last grading.


Is a software package for the 3D design of footwear.


Is software for 3D sole unit engineering and grading.

Engineer Pro

Is software for 2D pattern engineering and grading.


Is software for 2D pattern part nesting and cutting.


Is software for 2D pattern part nesting and cutting for projection cutting machines.


Is software for total footwear costing.


Is a technical documentation software package


Queen's Award for International Trade
Queen's Award for Innovation awarded for ArtCAM
Queen's Award for Innovation awarded for PowerINSPECT
Queen's Award for International Trade
Queen's Award for Innovation awarded for Dental CADCAM Software[16]
Queen's Award for International Trade[17]
Ringier Technology Innovation Award for 'Delcam for SolidWorks' from International Metalworking News[18]
MTA Manufacturing Industry Award for Best Supplier Partnership for its relationship with Coventry Engineering Group[19]
MWP Awards 2014 – Best CADCAM or Control System[20]
Asian Manufacturing Awards 2014 - Best CAM Systems Provider[21]

Graduate Programme[edit]

Delcam operates a development scheme for engineering and software graduates. The graduate programme consists of five 10-week rotations across different functions of the company. Functions include Professional Services, international support, marketing, ArtCAM, PowerINSPECT, and training. Graduates also have the opportunity to work at Delcam USA in Philadelphia or Salt Lake City. [22]


Delcam's logo incorporates a computer-modelled spider named Boris. This was produced as an experiment to render hairs in Delcam's CAD software in 1984. Upon seeing a machined version at a show, the Managing Director Hugh Humphreys decided to take it home and use it within the company's logo. [23]


  1. ^ "Delcam Rated World's Leading CAM Software Specialist for 12th Year". tct. 2 August 2012. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
  2. ^ Welbourn, Donald. "The Development of Computer Aided Design and Manufacture - CADCAM". Cambridge University Engineering Department. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  3. ^ "Autodesk Completes Acquisition of Delcam". Autodesk. Archived from the original on 16 April 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  4. ^ Achievements Archived 1 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine;
  5. ^ "Delcam Fact Sheet" (PDF). Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  6. ^ "Board Committee". Delcam website. Archived from the original on 3 April 2015. Retrieved 2015-03-08.
  7. ^ "Baxter takes Delcam vice president role". 4 February 2015. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Delcam's New PowerSHAPE CAD Enhances Direct Modelling and Reverse Engineering". CIMdata. Retrieved 29 October 2012.
  11. ^ Dean, Al. "PowerShape Pro 2013". Develop3D. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  12. ^ E4 Editorial Staff (15 January 2000). "Model it, make it, and inspect it". theENGINEER. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
  13. ^ "Delcam's Demonstrates PowerInspect Software, and Receives Queen's Award". NetComposites. 30 April 2004. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
  14. ^ "Delcam to Launch New PowerINSPECT with Free Birmingham Seminar". tct magazine. 6 July 2012. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
  15. ^
  16. ^ "The Queens Awards for Enterprise - Innovation Winners List" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 May 2010. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  17. ^ "Queens Award Winners 2011". Archived from the original on 14 November 2012. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  18. ^ "2012 Ringier Technology Innovation Awards" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 October 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-09.
  19. ^ Stirling, Will. "Delcam, NPL and B-Tek Precision take honours at MTA Awards 2012". Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  20. ^ Awards, MVP. "MWP Awards 2014 – Best CADCAM or Control System". Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 2015-03-16.
  21. ^ ManufacturingAsia, Awards. "Asian Manufacturing Awards 2014 - Best CAM Systems Provider". Archived from the original on 21 August 2014. Retrieved 2015-03-16.
  22. ^ About Delcam Graduate Programme
  23. ^ Boris' History; Delcam Website;

External links[edit]