ProtoTRAK Articles


The ProtoTRAK CNC …it doesn’t get any easier

When Southwestern Industries created their ProtoTRAK CNC they realized real power lies in simplicity. On a prototrak there is no need to fuss around with complicated programming procedures. When you bypass this all-to-common technical hurdle, you get your chips cutting sooner and that first part in your hand quickly. A prototrak will always make that first part faster, which is exactly why it is so ideally suited to low volume machining applications. A CNC ideal for but not limited to Prototype Machinists, Fabricators, Tool-makers, Model-makers, Engineers, Inventors, Mold-makers, Maintenance and Support shops… people who need ease and flexibility but don’t make 1000’s of a single part.

So how do they do it so well?  Their control is intuitive, conversational, and most importantly simple.  As you scroll through on-screen menus, options are presented in a logical and straightforward fashion.  The most widely used features are listed first, and as you drill down through menus more features


A customer that hits home

Riding a dirt bike in the California desert is something I’ve grown to love.  It’s not just the freedom or pure exhilaration of it, but as an Engineer at heart I’d say the technology on motorcycles these days pulled me in like a moth drawn to light.  Brute horsepower that will rip your arms off if not respected, advanced suspension that floats over the harshest terrain, and protective gear that makes for an protective exoskeleton truly fit for battle.  But, sadly there’s often a downside to having so much fun.  I learned this very much the hard way when following a tumble suffered a severely torn ligament in my right knee.

Enter our customer DJO Global, a local booming manufacturer of medical rehabilitation products.  To aid in my safe recovery the hospital had coincidentally fitted me with a knee brace from their DONJOY product line.  Through the entire multi-month recovery process,


The TRAK Generation Gap – Part 1

Buying something new can be confusing.  This is especially the case when we’re talking about technology as it often moves forward at a break-neck pace.  Luckily for us all the core “value added” behind SWI’s CNC offerings hasn’t changed too much over the years. For those of you out there looking to pick up a used ProtoTRAK this is a great thing as it equates to a ton of bang-for-the-buck in the older products.

The goal of this piece is to highlight major differences between models to simplify your used ProtoTRAK experience.  Such highlights are underlined.  The following is by no means a complete list of every feature or change over the years, and some deviations in software or hardware among models are bound to be out there, so please keep that in mind as you read on.  When in doubt ask about a specific feature or CNC ability.

FYI:  The service/support section

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