What is CAD?

Computer Aided Design or CAD is a software solution to design a product. It is used to prepare the design and draft documentation of a new product. This program is the first step in designing and developing a product after its features have been determined. Once the idea is ready, computer programmers specialising in the CAD software prepare the detailed design draft of the product's dimensions, tolerances, processes and other specifications. They can prepare both two-dimensional and three-dimensional diagrams. The product image can be rotated in the CAD program to view it from different angles. Large CAD renderings require a large plotter or special printer to print the draft. This program is also referred as CADD or Computer Aided Design and Drafting. precision machining of a new part is possible only when accurate diagrams prepared in the CAD program are available.

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What Is CAM?

Computer Aided Manufacturing is the computer software solution to automate the machine used to manufacture a physical item. CAM is the software component used to generate the toolpaths. These details are needed by the CNC machine to know how to move the workpiece and how to remove its unwanted parts during the machining process. The machinery works as per the instructions set by the CAM programmer. Some post-processing may be needed but this process can also be handled by the CNC machinery. This process is used to make a finished part out of a raw material workpiece.

What Is CAD/CAM Used for?

CAD is used to produce detailed 2D and 3D drawings of a physical component that requires manufacturing or building. It is used to prepare the layout, design and draft of a product or structure. The data generated in this process can be used to analyse and simulate the functioning of a product. Professionals and companies involved in building new structures first prepare their structure's design in this program. It helps them visualise how the new structure will look like.

CAM is used to manufacture a part from a raw material. It involves use of robotics and automation. CAM data can also be integrated with material tracking, management and planning solutions. The design prepared in this program can be run in some simulation programs to see how the product will function in the real world. It helps automate the machining process involved in manufacturing a product.

Who Uses CAD/CAM?

Both these programs are used by the manufacturers, product developers, prototype developers and engineers. CAD program is also used by the architects to prepare the designs of the buildings and other structures. It is used extensively in the civil, mechanical, electrical and systems engineering fields. CAM program is used by the manufacturers to make parts, components and products.

What Are the Benefits of CAD/CAM?

The biggest benefit of these programs is that errors and miscalculations can be avoided in the final product. It helps save money because there is no need to make a physical prototype to make a product. The prototyping process itself can be improved with the help of these programs. The manufacturer saves time, energy and money. These programs reduce waste. Developers of a product can visualise the final product in 2D and 3D renderings. The data helps simulate and test the product's features and functions. It helps reduce product manufacturing costs substantially.