How to celebrate a 30th birthday: Like Tebis, scan your guests and mill them in aluminium

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Tebis gave all its guests a special souvenir – an aluminium copy of their face

I jetted out to Munich for a couple of days last week to attend Tebis’ 30th anniversary open house.

From 14 to 15 May Tebis, a software company that develops CAD/CAM systems for tool, die and mould manufacturing, opened its doors to partners, customers and press.

Throughout its two buildings space was dedicated to exhibition, demonstration and conference areas as well as training, consulting and even a ‘Tebis Museum’.
The aim was to showcase how Tebis has grown from being a CAD/CAM software provider, having started in the living room of its CEO Bernhard Rindfleisch in 1984, to becoming a 130-strong team in Munich with a further 100 employees in subsidiaries all over the world that provides a full service to clients including consulting, software, implementation and support.

Admittedly, not being all that familiar with Tebis, it was an interesting two days that taught me a lot about this company and what it offers (look out for a review of the event in a forthcoming issue of the magazine). However, what immediately caught my eye when I opened the programme for this anniversary event was an offer to “recreate your smiling face – live”.

This recreation of my face took place at four different process stations. At the first station I had to sit very still with my eyes closed while a GOM 3D scanner, which is attached to a Kuka robot, got up close and personal as it scanned my face.

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My face then immediately appeared on the computer where the data was processed and sent to the next process station.

At this station you can see how the operator created the milling program for the machine.

This information then gets sent to the milling machine. However, what’s fascinating here is that 16 different faces can be milled at once. In manufacturing terms, this means that single-part manufacturing is possible due to advances in NC automation.

An hour and 20 minutes-ish later and my shiny aluminium face was ready to pick up.

I think you can kind of recognise that it’s me although my brother-in-law said I look a bit like this guy.

Before leaving the event, I had a quick look at the Tebis Museum where I spotted this beauty – the first machine that Tebis’ founder used to create the software. What struck me is how quickly technology moves on as this was just 30 years ago.

Incredible, really. Or am I just getting old?


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