CAD-CAM are one of the fundamental subjects of mechanical engineering.
Computer-aided design (CAD) is the use of computer programs to develop 2D or 3D graphical representations of physical objects. CAD software may be specialized for designing physical products in a wide range of industries, where the software performs calculations for finding an optimum shape and size for a variety of product and industrial design applications.
Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) generally refers to the use of numerical control (NC) computer software applications to develop detailed instructions (G-code) that drive computer numerical control (CNC) machine tools for manufacturing parts.
In a variety of industries, manufacturers depend on the capabilities of CAM to produce high-quality parts. There are different types of CNC machines that are used in manufacturing. Tha brands of major machine include Haas, Mori Seiki, Hurco, Fadal, Bridgeport, Fanuc to mention.
A broader definition of CAM can include the use of computer applications for the following:
Define a manufacturing plan for tooling designing
CAD model preparation
Inspection programming of Coordinate measuring machine (CMM)
Machine tool simulation
Benefits of CAD
Along with lowering the cost of product development there is increased productivity, improved product quality and faster time-to-market.
- CAD software offers greater accuracy, hence errors are reduced.
- CAD system provides easier and more robust documentation of the design which includes geometries and dimensions, bills of materials….
- Easy re-use of design data and best practices.
Benefits of CAM
Benefits include a properly defined manufacturing plan that delivers expected results in production.
- CAM systems can maximize utilization of a full range of production equipment, including electrical discharge machining (EDM), high speed, 5-axis, multi-function and turning machines, and CMM inspection equipment.
- CAM systems can aid in creating, verifying, and optimizing NC programs for optimum machining productivity.
- Advanced CAM systems with PLM i.e.product life-cycle management integration can provide manufacturing planning and production person with data and process management to ensure use of correct data and standard resources.
- CAM and PLM systems can be integrated with DNC systems for delivery and management of files to CNC machines on the shop .
CAD Software: Some applications
Fibersim is the choice for you to engineer durable, innovative and lightweight products and parts made of advanced composite materials.
NX provides the industry’s broadest suite of integrated and fully associative CAD/CAM/CAE applications.
Solid Edge address all aspects of the product development processes like 3D design, simulation, manufacturing, design management and more. Solid Edge combines the speed and simplicity of direct modeling with the flexibility and control of parametric design.
Syncrofit is used in designing and manufacturing complex parts and large aerostructures.
CAM Software: Some applications
NX CAM and CAM Express allow NC programmers to increase the value of their investments in the latest, efficient and most capable machine tools.
NX Tooling and Fixture Design provides a set of automated applications for mold and die design, fixture design and other tooling processes built on the basics of industry knowledge and best practices.
The following software components are used by CAD/CAM software developers as the foundation for their applications:
D-Cubed Components helps in parametric sketching, part and assembly design, motion simulation, collision detection, clearance measurement and hidden line visualization.
Parasolid is a 3D geometric modeling component software, that enable users of Parasolid-based products to create complex parts and assemblies. It is used as the geometry engine in hundreds of various CAD, CAM and CAE applications.
The subjects revolving around CAD/CAM Toolpath are vast as there are many styles of toolpath that are used in a variety of machining circumstances. Anyways you typically will have Hole Drilling, 2D Tool-paths and 3D toolpaths that are available for use by programmers. These tool-paths include, profiling, pocketing, facing, engraving, 3d contouring and others.