The Major Differences Between CAM and CAD

There are many abbreviations used these days to describe all sorts of technology. When it comes to the manufacturing industry, two you’ll likely here are CAM and CAD. While they may sound interchangeable at first glance, these are actually two very different concepts. We’re going to look at the differences between both of these below in today’s short article. 

What Is CAM?

CAM is short for computer-aided manufacturing. This is the central element you’ll find in many production facilities around the globe. The whole concept behind CAM is to automatically turn, cut, mill, heat cut, engrave, print, and route solid materials during the production phase. Once a design for a product is constructed, computers read the design to check whether the product can be made and by which process. They’ll also determine how much time it’s going to take to complete the product. To wrap up this definition, CAM is going to refer to the planning, controlling and managing of the operation of manufacturing facilities. 

What Is CAD?

CAD stands for computer-aided design. This is the type of computer that creates mathematical models based on what the person controlling the computer inputs. CAD is used to generate accurately scaled models for production. During the designing process, 3D models are made of all the parts for the finished product. This way the user can verify the parts will assemble easily together and be able to view the intended models from virtually any angle of the blueprint. You’ll want to think of CAD as a combination of design software and a computer.

What Are The Differences Between The Two?

Now, since you have some background on what both CAM and CAD are, it’s time to take a look at the major differences between the two. This will help you to further understand how these manufacturing components differ and how they work together to formulate a finished product. Let’s jump right in below.

CAD Designs – CAM Manufacturers

CAD is the first stage in the manufacturing process. It uses computers to design the finished product. During this design phase, the product’s geometric models will be produced. From there, they’ll be analyzed, manipulated, and refined. CAM is the actual process of manufacturing the finished product. CAM is used by production workers, manufacturing engineers, and assisting managers to automate specific parts of the production process.

CAD Computer Code – CAM Physical Production

CAD uses highly complex computer code to translate the design, interface, analysis algorthim, drafting, detailing, and definition of the geometic model that is to be created into a format that can be read by CAM. CAM, on the other hand, involves numerical control programs, inspections, process planning, packaging, and assembly of the product. The use of CAD comes prior to the use of CAM.

CAM Production – CAD Design

The CAM component of the manufacturing system is meant to assist in the coordination and control of the physical production process. This includes the materials, equipment, and labor that are needed to produce the final product. Contrarily, CAD requires analysis and design conceptulation of the product before it’s every produced.

Why Invest In CAD?

If you own or work at a production facility, CAD should be an essential part of your process. It’s clear that it will help you to streamline product design. Here are the top advantages that you’ll gain from implementing a CAD system at your facility.

  • Uses fully electronic blueprints so they can be stored, shared, or even printed remotely from any enabled device.
  • Allows a user to examine a 3D model up close before making the product, which could be costly.
  • Scaling or re-scaling a model can be a breeze with CAD.
  • Allows for quicker drafting of designs due to automatic capabilities of technology.
  • Allows for blueprints to be directly sent to CAM for production.

Why Invest In CAM?

It’s no surprise that machines can complete tasks faster than humans can. They can also complete tasks without the hiccup of human error. Here are the top reasons you should really consider installing a CAM system at your production facility.

  • The manufacturing process requires hardly any supervision.
  • Less labor intensive manufacturing, which saves on production costs.
  • Machines are extremely accurate and not prone to human error.
  • CAM runs continuously for as long as needed.
Follow Us

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *