Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Integrating computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) with computer-aided design systems produces quicker and more efficient manufacturing processes. This methodology is applied in different manufacturing areas.
Things taken care of by CAM
- Verification of the data
- Panelization of the design to fit the raw material
- Ability to edit
- Ability to add manufacturing information
Data flow in mechanical engineering CAM
- First the information about a product is imported into the CAM system. Usually a 3D CAD model is imported.
- In mechanical engineering CAM is used to calculate toolpaths to cut material. Machining operations are calculated by using different functions that are offered by the CAM systems. The toolpath is usually written in CL data (Cutter Location data) format.
- Calculated toolpath is imported to the postprocessor which converts the CL data to the NC program for the specific machine.
- NC program is exported to the NC machine and the manufacturing proces can begin.
Areas of usage
- In mechanical engineering
- In electronic design automation, CAM tools prepare printed circuit board (PCB) and integrated circuit design data for manufacturing.
In CNC manufacturing the CAM system is used to simplify the machining and design 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.
- Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM)
- FMS (Flexible Manufacturing System)
- ICAM (Integrated Computer-Aided Manufacturing)
- "What is a CAM system?"– By Mike Lynch
- "What are the differences between manual, conversational, and CAM system programming?"
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