June 2, 2017

RIP, Lars Selen

It's with heavy hearts that we at SmartCAMcnc share the news that Lars Anton Selen passed away May 18, 2017, at age 82.

See the announcement here: http://malabi.net/

When we endeavored to bring SmartCAM back from "mothballing", Lars was our biggest supporter. For 12½ years, Malibi Southwest was the only Authorized SmartCAM Training Center, headed by its one employee: Lars. We are very thankful for his dedication to serving the SmartCAM user-base, but even more for his dear friendship to us. 

To say "he will be missed" would be a gross understatement. He was a great man, father and spouse, truly one of a kind, and we will never forget him. 

Tailwinds, my friend.

Hugh Caldwell, VP Sales & Marketing

From Brad Hoitt, SmartCAM account manager, and friend of Lars: 

My Buddy Lars

Within a week of working at SmartCAMcnc I had a reason to call Lars, and immediately considered him my friend, and we quickly became very close friends, the kind with whom I could share some of my deepest secrets. 

From the beginning I strongly identified with Lars’ sense of humor. He allowed me to do impersonations of his Swedish accent that made him laugh (a little). While doing an impersonation of him on one occasion he stopped me and said: “Brad, let me stop you. To understand why I talk this way, you must first realize that I was born in Chicago, raised in Sweden, re-introduced to English in Ireland, lived in Canada for too long, introduced to English in Scotland, before moving to the States for good.” Perfect.

Lars didn’t just have answer for everything, he usually had a quotable answer. I’d like nothing more than to share his quotes with you (I wrote most of them down), but most are a little too colorful for this venue. Here is one I like: "You can always spot the Canadian: he's the one that says 'Thank You!' to the ATM."

A few other interesting things about my buddy Lars:
  • Lars had all the time and respect in the world for people he felt were grateful
  • Lars had zero patience for folks that were ungrateful
  • Lars might have been the only US Citizen from Sweden that was a card carrying member of the NRA…that never owned a gun.
  • Did I mention he had a saying for everything?

A quick story about Lars that makes me smile every time I think about it.

Years ago a woman named Sally called me. She managed a small stamping outfit in Portland; she couldn’t get her communication set up. Her company had an old version of SmartCAM (without a maintenance agreement). Eventually I admitted that I was no good at that sort of thing and hinted that I was more helpful to people that are doing business with us. Almost as an afterthought, I gave her Lars’ phone number, said goodbye and hung up. 

Sally called Lars and they had a brief conversation. The next morning UPS dropped a box off on Sally’s desk. Inside there was a funky handmade cable with hand written instructions. 

Sally plugged in that cable, followed the directions and the communication was up and running. Lars had made the cable himself, mailed it to her and charged her nothing. That morning, Sally called to thank me, even though I really hadn’t done anything. 

I called Lars and like a master to his pupil he explained “Sally is one in a million. She cares about her community, she’s active in the PTA for her kid, and she helps a lot of other kids, too. We must take good care of people like Sally.”

Lars showed me how to pay attention to the people like Sally. Lars made me a better man. 

I miss my buddy Lars. 

Brad Hoitt


  1. I met Lars in about 2001?. The Aerospace Company that I worked for in a mountain town in Arizona bought Predator Communications from Shop Floor Automation. Apparently Lars was a contractor for them...

    With my communications/programming experience, I was selected to work with Lars. We ran cables, set up boxes, and Lars configured maybe 10 of the 60+ machines. He trained me to configure the rest.

    We were both long time SmartCam power users, so we had a lot to talk about...

    After he left, he became a mentor to me. I am now a independent contractor, programming with SmartCam, and doing Solidworks stuff..

    I miss the fact that I can not get an answer to my questions. I also thought that he would fight his way through this thing, and I am very bummed out that he lost his battle.

    We all agree that he was "one of a kind" and his knowledge of his beloved software could have been made into a book for SC users....

    Mark Chambers, Prescott, AZ, markengineeringllc.com

  2. I met Lars about 10 years ago, when he came to Hastings Ne. to train me how to use Smartcam Advanced Turning and to help set up code generators for two of our machines. We hit it off and developed a great friendship.

    Over the next few years he became a mentor to me, and was always available to answer any questions that I had. He was very dedicated and believed in the Smartcam products.

    There is one instance that stands out above all others that showed his dedication not only to Smartcam but also to me. We had a three hour conversation on a Sunday afternoon working out a tool path problem that I had that on the surface looked to be very easy. After three hours and many attempts using various methods we finally were able to get the issue resolved.

    I will also miss the fact that I will no longer be able to send him an email or give him a call regarding an issue that I am having or just to chat for a bit.

    I will sure miss that funny little laugh and that Swedish, Canadian and American accent all rolled into one.

    Edward Krontz, Dutton-Lainson Company Hastings, Nebraska

  3. Thanks Brad Hoitt for introducing me to Lars. He was one of the most intelligent and personable people I have ever met. I had only known Lars for a short time but it seemed as if we had been friends for ever. His love for CAD was only outdone by his love for life. You will be missed my friend.

    Skip Griese, Hamilton, Ontario

  4. The world has lost another great Teacher. We need men like him in this world today. I appreciate the time I shared with him in Arizona during SC training. He truly was an inspiration to me professionally and most of all personally. The quotes he came up with were always received with a "What the ?". Then after a little bit of story telling, I found the point. A light came on in my head. He made learning SC for me a breeze. Still keeping my skills sharp by working on homework he supplied me for my training. He truly will be missed. I can never forget the teachers I have learned from in this industry. He was a smart man in the industry, proud to be taught by one of the best.
    Sincere thoughts and prayers to the Selen Family
    Rest In Peace, Lars.
    Marc Burnett- Flow International Corp. Kent, Washington

  5. Lars will be missed. What a great teacher and inspiration he was.

    When I had training with him he let me take his computer to the hotel room at night to test the code generator changes we were making each day.

    I only met him in the last two years but I feel like I've known him for a very long time.

    The knowledge Lars had... If I could only have half of it I would be doing ok. What a tremendous person you were Lars!!!

    Tailwinds and Godspeed my friend,
    I will greatly miss you.
    Angie Streinz
    Evergreen Packaging

  6. Wow this hits the heart so hard. I met Lars years ago at a gentleman's club we hit it off right away and kept in touch via email or text. Lars had the biggest heart we would have lunch a least one a month I'd hear his stories he'd hear mines we laughed so much. Once he told me he had cancer he told me I'm going to beat this I said you will your strong just sucks to know it didn't happen. Lars you will be deeply missed,Hugs and Kisses in heaven.