CAD-CAM (Computer Aided Design – Computer Aided Manufacturing) software is popularly used for drawing 2D & 3D shapes, things which will later get translated into a machine language such as G-Code. This numeric code is then sent to a milling machine or a lathe typically through an RS 232 Communications cable. CAD design software in today’s market is very much capable than some 10 years ago. Originally, drafting software was primarily 2 D till the 1980’s when solid modelling technology became available for personal computers. Complete assembly models can be constructed piece by piece as 3D models and assembled within the software interface. If one aspect of the model is altered, associated component models could be updated to properly reflect the change. Creating and editing solids and surfaces is much easier with a modern Parametric modelling solution.
Part shapes in CAD can be sketched using geometry concepts such as lines, points and circles, often to design 2d part shapes for machining. Basically CAD design software will permit the creation of surfaces; 3d helps that define the shape and can then be used in CAM for the CNC machine processing’s. Modern CAD software allows for the creation of parts that are used in 2, 3, 4 & 5 Axis CNC machining.
Again, the term “CAM” is used in manufacturing industry to define the Computer Aided Manufacturing or Machining process. This is after a CAD design has been completed and CAM programming is required to actually process the CAD model into a usable machine language (say G-code) that can be used by a CNC milling machine or a lathe for machining.
Post processing in CAD-CAM permits a Milling system to write tool path and NC programs for CNC Routers, Waterjets, Plasma, Burning and Laser machine tools. The language is often referred to as “G-Code”. Before a CAD model can be turned into this machine language, the CAM software must be programmed to calculate cutting paths in which the tools that are being used will take to remove excess material and produce a part.
The CAM software must determine where these tools will require cutting and at what cutting feeds and speeds. CAM software allows an operator to input tool data or select tools from a library within the software, manage and choose materials and create optimized “tool path” for machining the mentioned model for CAD part. The subjects revolving around CAD/CAM Tool path are vast as there are many styles of tool path that are utilised in many circumstances.
There are many different types on CNC machines that are used in manufacturing parts. The CAM software converts the machine tool path and all of the other information through Post Processor in order to develop an exact style of NC Code that the specific machine tool will understand.
We conclude for now. Hope the discussion was helpful.
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