Computer aided design and manufacturing software are also known as CAD-CAM software. CAD-CAM software is used in designing and manufacturing of precision machine parts or a system of parts with the help of computer software. Computer aided design or CAD is used to generate three dimension representation of models on a computer characterized by geometric boundaries. Once the part is visualized on Bob CAD software, designers can then run the model through a series of tests simulating real world scenarios and making changes to its design to suit its purpose and foresee and remove any issues arising during production beforehand. Computer Aided Manufacturing or CAM use the design data from the CAD software to control CNC or computer numeric control or DNC that is Direct Numerical control systems.
Since both use software to input geometric data, it becomes possible to seamlessly integrate the design and manufacturing processes to create high-quality system parts and components efficiently and in scale. Process integration between the CAD and CAM software has allowed design data from CAD to be carried into CAM resulting in enormous reductions in costs, ease in designing and manufacturing and a massive increase in the speed of production. CAD-CAM software had led to drastic reduction in the design time of parts, a process which used to be hand drafted before CAD came into the picture and took a long time in development. The design to manufacturing time in CAD-CAM software is a far shorter cycle than earlier systems due to the common formats of encoding geometric boundaries. This has opened up the possibilities for mass manufacturing of high-end products that require a high level of accuracy from design to engineering greatly expanding the scope of automated production processes. A CAD-CAM system provides for greater design control during the production process allowing total integration between design and manufacturing.
CAD software allows designers not just to visualize but to simulate its manufacturing process testing for constraints that may arise during manufacturing. The software can simulate for different angles and speeds of tools involved in the production of the part. Before CAD-CAM software the design could only be tested on the manufacturing floor, and any issues during the test run would be taken into consideration by designers who went back to the drawing board to create another version. The elimination of this time consuming back and forth process based on trial and error by accurate simulation has led to faster development cycles of products leading to an increase in productivity and far superior margins for manufacturing industries.
Using CAD software one can inspect a virtual model of the final product in 3D, something that was never possible with engineering drawings. Also changing design does not involve starting fresh on a new sheet of paper but the designer simply has to input different set of parameters for the required shape and design to be obtained.
An important aspect of CAD-CAM software is its ability to simulate different tests to understand effects of stress during the production process. The simulated physical or thermal stress distorts the 3D model allowing designers to create best pathways to production. The CAD-CAM software is also able to undertake dynamic testing of a system with many parts that replace the requirement of creating functioning prototypes. CAD-CAM software is the mainstay for manufacturing electronic parts, automotive designs and their manufacturing and where ever large scale production needs to be integrated with cutting edge design and create cost competitive yet high-quality final product.