Instead of converting or importing a CAD file, or some other data format like STEP or IGES, an integrated CAD/CAM platform executes CAM operations on the CAD file, thereby offering full single-window, bi-directional associability between the CAD system and CAM application.
FREMONT, CA: In many companies, manufacturing and product design groups usually operate as autonomous functions. Whether it involves machine parts, developing fixtures and jigs or making molds, manufacturing machinists, designers, and production employees typically do not get involved in the growth of a product until the design is delivered for fabrication by a design engineer.
The product development evolution from design to manufacturing is almost a handoff of 3D design and tooling information and linked 2D drawings. As designers and manufacturing engineers employ different tools for handling design information—one makes use of CAD software to outline the product, and the other utilizes a CAM application to create machine molds and tool paths. The handoff has characteristically not been clean, needing data imports, conversions, and translations.
Furthermore, once the handoff is completed, a virtual wall in terms of communication goes up between manufacturing and design. This lack of communication is the fundamental issue that an integrated CAD or CAM platform solves. Nonetheless, the potential positive consequences of the solution are much more extensive.
The Integration of CAD and CAM
An integrated CAD/CAM solution helps unite the design through the manufacturing process. An integrated CAD/CAM is a CAM solution that employs a CAD system as its front-end geometry engine.
Instead of converting or importing a CAD file, or some other data format like STEP or IGES, an integrated CAD/CAM platform executes CAM operations on the CAD file, thereby offering full single-window, bi-directional associability between the CAD system and CAM application. This technological advancement provides many advantages that can help boost productivity, control expenses, and determine manufacturability problems.
It is helpful to distinguish the workflow processes to recognize the potential gains of an integrated CAD/CAM platform. The processes linked to the conventional, sequential, non-integrated strategy to design through manufacturing versus the concurrent, mutual workflow method made possible by a blended CAD/CAM platform.