Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM)

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Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM)

Post  wowcom on Mon Apr 28, 2008 9:50 pm

Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) refers to the use of computersystems for the control of robotics and tools during the product manufacture. Integrating CAM with CAD systems provides quicker and more efficient manufacturing processes. This method is applied in different areas. In CNC manufacturing the CAM system is used to simplify the machining and designing process. In most cases the CAM system will work with a CAD design made in a 3D environment. The CNC programmer will just specify the machining operations and the CAM system will create the CNC program. This compatibility of CAD/CAM systems eliminates the need for redefining the work piece configuration to the CAM system. In other words: CAM software usually comes with a machine such as a lathe or chisel. The entire system tends to be extremely expensive. (A lathe and computer system with software will cost in excess of $1 million). CAD/CAM systems offer the advantages of increased programming accuracy, geometric conformance to design parameters, ability to make minor and often major changes to part configuration and programming metrics within the same system. CAD/CAM systems utilize either "wireframe" or "solids" for the part feature generation necessary for post-processing intermediate code files derived from cutter toolpaths into usable "nc" code readable by numerical control machines. Wireframe geometry can be either in two or three dimesional planes, while solids are in 3d. CAD/CAM is used widely across the world at schools and companies who design, innovate and manufacture new products.

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