What is CAD/CAM? What does it stand for? What is computer-aided manufacturing and what has it got to do with CAD software? Keep reading to find out.

What does CAD/CAM stand for?

CAD/CAM is a combination of two acronyms:

CAD

Computer Aided Design   or   Computer Aided Drafting

CAM

Computer-Aided Manufacturing or   Computer-Aided Modeling   or   Computer-Aided Machining

The most common is Computer-Aided Manufacturing.

What is Computer-Aided Manufacturing?

Computer-Aided Manufacturing simply means any type of manufacturing that is created with the “aid” of a computer. This can be anything from the act of using a computer to control a machine that manufactures parts, to the use of a computer to assist in the management of a manufacturing plant.

CAM includes manufacturing techniques such as additive manufacturing (3D printing), laser cutting and computer numerical control (CNC) machining.

CAD CAM 3d printing adative manufacturing
3D printing is a type of CAM

What is CAD/CAM?

CAD/CAM means literally: Computer-Aided Design & Computer-Aided Manufacturing. Both CAD and CAM are required to manufacture a part, it is unusual, although not impossible, to find one without the other. Generally, a part is first designed in a piece of CAD software and then sent to a CAM software package for manufacture.

What is CAM software?

CAM software is any software package that translates a CAD model into a language that the machine can understand. It tells the machine how to manufacture the part. Some software packages do both CAD and CAM.

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