Computer-aided Design and Computer-aided Manufacturing Software (CAD/CAM) Information
Computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing software (CAD/CAM) is used in mechanical, electrical, and electronic design; simulation, drafting, and engineering; and design analysis and manufacturing. Typically, CAD software and CAM software runs on mainframe computers, general-purpose workstations, and personal computers (PCs). Computer operating systems (OS) include Microsoft Windows, UNIX, Solaris, and SunOS. Microsoft and Windows are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation, UNIX is a registered trademark of The Open Group, and Solaris and SunOS are trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. Computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing software (CAD/CAM) for specialized hardware or proprietary operating systems is also available.
Computer-aided design software (CAD) allows engineers, architects, and designers to create conceptual drawings for assessment and approval. There are several types of computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing software (CAD/CAM) that are listed as CAD programs. Often, capabilities differ by application. For example, two-dimensional CAD or 2D CAD software is suitable for drafting services and general-purpose applications. By contrast, three-dimensional CAD or 3D CAD software is well-suited for machine shops, product designers, reverse engineering, and complex surfacing. Suppliers of computer-aided design and computer-aided manufactured software (CAD/CAM) may provide specialized CAD software for specific applications. For example, architectural CAD software is used by architects, builders, facility managers, and construction companies. Landscape CAD software is used by landscape designers and architects, as well as by municipalities and environmental planners.
Specialized CAD products are used in the design of structural steel and concrete. CAD file viewers, CAD file converters, CAD file red lining, CAD symbols, and CAD libraries are also available. As with CAD programs, there are many types of computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing software (CAD/CAM) for high-volume production. Computer-aided manufacturing software (CAM) allows designers to import CAD files and control specific manufacturing equipment.
Mechanical engineers use CAM software to calculate tool paths and set up machining operations. Typically, these tool paths are stored in cutter location (CL) format and exported to a postprocessor for conversion to a numerically controlled (NC) program. With CAM software, most NC programs use text files and incorporate start and stop locations along a grid with X, Y, and Z axes. Computer numerically controlled (CNC) manufacturing uses a special programmer to specify the machining operations. In turn, the computer-aided manufacturing software (CAM) creates the CNC program. Machines such as lathes, routers, lasers, water jets and plasma tables often use two-dimensional models (2D CAM software). By contrast, most milling machines use three-dimensional models (3D CAM software). Computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing software (CAD/CAM) may also be used to prepare printed circuit board (PCB) and integrated circuit (IC) designs for manufacturing.Read user Insights about Computer-aided Design and Computer-aided Manufacturing Software (CAD/CAM)