CAD/CAM | Computer-Aided Design And Manufacturing | Autodesk
Look at what is CAD, CAE, and CAM, and how they each differ. to do with conventional machine tools is programmable with CNC machines. CAM is Computer Aided Manufacturing. Much of this is converting the CAD files into forms that can be used to run the CNC machines. Should I learn CNC programming or learn some CAD/CAM program?. CNC, CAD (Computer-Aided Design), and CAM (Computer-Aided field, and 3D printers are already among the most important CNC tools.
For the time being, at least, the fully-automated factory floor is likely to have 3D printers working side-by-side with more traditional CNC machines, rather than replacing them entirely. Trace It Back Most descriptions of computer-controlled manufacturing systems focus on CAD and CAM — design and high-level programming — and treat factory-floor machine-tool control almost as an afterthought.
How They Work Mechanically, many CNC machines work like traditional machine tools, with the workpiece, the cutting tool, or both rotating rapidly, and with the overall motion of the workpiece or the cutting tool precisely controlled by mechanical means. In a CNC machine, however, these mechanical actions are controlled by stepper motors or other servo-type mechanisms, which are themselves controlled by software.
CNC Programming and Computer-Aided Manufacturing/Design
Besides mechanical cutting, milling, grinding, or drilling action, CNC machines can use flame, plasma, laser, electric discharge, or water-jet cutting, punches, knives, or even such specialized tools as embroidery needles. For all of these systems, however, the actions of the tool and the workpiece are controlled by means of commands written in a CNC programming language. CNC Programming Languages While there is no single programming language for all CNC tools many of which have strictly proprietary languagesG-code or the G programming language is the most widely used CNC programming languages, available in a variety of largely proprietary implementations.
Initially, G-code resembled a low-level programming language, such as assembly language; later versions, however, include control structures and other features more typical of a high-level language.
G and M G-code largely consists of two types of command: G codes and M codes.
G codes consist of the letter G designating the memory address where the command will be stored followed by a control number from 0 through G codes are traditionally called preparatory codes, because they tell the machine how it should move.
G01 is a typical G code; it tells the machine to move the cutting tool or workpiece in a line at a specific feed rate or distance.
Thus the design process using CAD involves transferring a designer's idea into a formal geometrical model. Efforts to develop computer-based "artificial intelligence" AI have not yet succeeded in penetrating beyond the mechanical—represented by geometrical rule-based modeling. Other limitations to CAD are being addressed by research and development in the field of expert systems.
This field is derived from research done in AI. One example of an expert system involves incorporating information about the nature of materials—their weight, tensile strength, flexibility, and so on—into CAD software. By including this and other information, the CAD system could then "know" what an expert engineer knows when that engineer creates a design.
The system could then mimic the engineer's thought pattern and actually "create" more of the design.
How CAD/CAM Programs Work
Expert systems might involve the implementation of more abstract principles, such as the nature of gravity and friction, or the function and relation of commonly used parts, such as levers or nuts and bolts. Such futuristic concepts, however, are all highly dependent on our abilities to analyze human decision processes and to translate these into mechanical equivalents if possible.
One of the key areas of development in CAD technologies is the simulation of performance. Among the most common types of simulation are testing for response to stress and modeling the process by which a part might be manufactured or the dynamic relationships among a system of parts. In stress tests, model surfaces are shown by a grid or mesh, that distort as the part comes under simulated physical or thermal stress. Dynamics tests function as a complement or substitute for building working prototypes.
The ease with which a part's specifications can be changed facilitates the development of optimal dynamic efficiencies, both as regards the functioning of a system of parts and the manufacture of any given part. Simulation is also used in electronic design automation, in which simulated flow of current through a circuit enables the rapid testing of various component configurations. The need for CAM and PLM tools by the manufacturing engineer, NC programmer or machinist is similar to the need for computer assistance by the pilot of modern aircraft systems.
The modern machinery cannot be properly used without this assistance.
Computer-aided manufacturing - Wikipedia
Today's CAM systems support the full range of machine tools including: In addition to programming cutting operations, modern CAM softwares can additionally drive non-cutting operations such as machine tool probing. Integration with PLM and the extended enterpriseLM to integrate manufacturing with enterprise operations from concept through field support of the finished product. These solutions are created to meet the full needs of manufacturing personnel including part planning, shop documentation, resource management and data management and exchange.
To prevent these solutions from detailed tool specific information a dedicated tool management Machining process[ edit ] Most machining progresses through many stages,  each of which is implemented by a variety of basic and sophisticated strategies, depending on the part design, material, and software available.
Roughing This process usually begins with raw stock, known as billetor a rough casting which a CNC machine cuts roughly to shape of the final model, ignoring the fine details. In milling, the result often gives the appearance of terraces or steps, because the strategy has taken multiple "steps" down the part as it removes material.