Mar 11, 2011

Sandy Livingstone, Founder of Alphacam CAD/CAM Software Passes Away

Sandy Livingstone has died aged 70.

After graduating from Glasgow University with a first class honours degree in mechanical engineering in 1961, Sandy started work designing parts for rocket engines with Bristol Siddeley in Coventry, subsequently getting a job as a full-time lecturer at what became Lanchester Polytechnic and then Coventry University.

Leaving the Polytechnic in the early 1980s he set up Licom Systems, working out of a bedroom at his home in Coventry. Originally Licom’s business was creating, selling and installing computer software for engineering applications, eventually concentrating on CAD/CAM software for programming CNC machine tools.

As a dealer for an American CAD/CAM system called Ultrapath, Sandy took the bold step of developing a brand new system called APS, the first version of which was released in 1989. Then, with a new name; Alphacam for Windows was released in July 1995.

Utilised in many manufacturing sectors, APS and then Alphacam, made a very strong impact in the wood market due in part to its ease of use and strong relationships with CNC machine tool manufacturers.

As business grew Sandy travelled the world from Argentina to Japan and by 1997 he had established subsidiary Licom companies in Italy, USA, Germany, Holland, Taiwan and Japan with distributors and dealers in all other major countries.

Licom’s CAD/CAM software was acknowledged to be in the top three such systems world-wide, and in 1993 was given a Design Council award for being amongst the best.

In 2001 Licom was bought by a larger group - Planit. Sandy was retained as a consultant and non-executive director, spending a few days a week at his desk. After three years of semi-retirement, he fully retired in 2004. The semi-retirement allowed him to adapt to, and enjoy, the slower pace of retired life and lack of deadlines.