CAD/CAM Definition & Meaning

Computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) is a combination of two terms CAD and CAM to describe the software that is used to design and manufacture prototypes, finished products, and product runs. It offers design through manufacturing and is most often used with a computer numerical control (CNC) machine, which is a motorized, maneuverable tool and platform that is controlled by a computer according to specific instructions. To better understand CAD/CAM, a breakdown of the individual terms is below.

CAD

CAD is a software tool used by engineers, architects, designers, and drafters to create digital 2D and 3D drawings to design a variety of items and spaces. Computer models are created and defined by geometrical patterns. CAD allows designers to test the objects by simulating real-world conditions. It can design anything from a simple shampoo bottle to a complex jet plane.

CAM

CAM uses geometrical design data to control automated machinery. These systems are associated with CNC or direct numerical control (DNC) systems, in which both can mechanically encode geometric data. The main purpose of CAM is to create a faster production process and allow components and tools to have precise dimensions and material consistency.

When CAD and CAM are combined, a CNC machine can translate CAD to manufacture workpieces with CAM.

Uses of CAD/CAM software

Aerospace

The aerospace industry manufactures machines and their parts such as satellites, aircrafts, and missiles. Because these are high-ticket items, CAD/CAM software plays an integral role in the design process. Before a product is built, the software is used to visualize and design every detail.

Dentistry

CAD/CAM is heavily used in dentistry to digitize dental structures and the oral cavity for the virtual design of both simple and complex prosthetic units.

Fashion design

CAD/CAM is used for mass production in fashion companies. The software determines the most efficient cut of fabrics and adjusts the pattern scale for different sizes. It can even be used to portray how the clothing will fit and move.

Automotive

CAD/CAM software is used to create 3D prototypes of new automotive body staples and to design components such as tires, engines, upholstery, and circuit boards.

Forensics

Forensic science uses CAD/CAM software to estimate ages and conduct injury analysis and postmortem identification. The software can provide 3D reconstruction of crime scene investigations.

Abby Dykes
Abby Dykes
Abby Dykes is a newly-graduated writer and editor for websites such as TechnologyAdvice.com, Webopedia.com, and Project-Management.com. When she’s not writing about technology, she enjoys giving too many treats to her dog and coaching part-time at her local gym.

Top Articles

Huge List Of Texting and Online Chat Abbreviations

From A3 to ZZZ we list 1,559 text message and online chat abbreviations to help you translate and understand today's texting lingo. Includes Top...

How To Create A Desktop Shortcut To A Website

This Webopedia guide will show you how to create a desktop shortcut to a website using Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer (IE). Creating a desktop...

The History Of Windows Operating Systems

Microsoft Windows is a family of operating systems. We look at the history of Microsoft's Windows operating systems (Windows OS) from 1985 to present...

Hotmail [Outlook] Email Accounts

  By Vangie Beal Hotmail is one of the first public webmail services that can be accessed from any web browser. Prior to Hotmail and its...

Cybersecurity Awareness Training Definition...

Cybersecurity awareness training informs employees of the attack surfaces and vectors in their...

Supply Chain Definition &...

A supply chain is a network between an organization and its suppliers to...

Relational Database Definition &...

A relational database stores and connects data in tables and columns, emphasizing the...