Computer-aided Manufacturing (CAM) refers to the use of a machine software to create production workpieces on the basis of the computer produced Computer-aided Design (CAD) data. Previously we wrote about Cutting, Drilling, Casting and Molding Metals For DIY Projects. Except Injection method, all are fully mechanical and very primitive and thus lacks the process to use a computer is not possible in that way. Computer-aided Manufacturing (CAM) is independent of the CNC machine software to create the NC code. In contrast to the creation of the NC code in the workshop ( WOP ), the NC program already in the AV. Computer-aided Manufacturing (CAM) is an essential part of computer integrated manufacturing (CIM Computer Integrated Manufacturing).
Computer-aided Manufacturing (CAM) : Idea and Benefits
In place of conventional drawings, the NC program is created for the portion directly on the basis of the computer produced CAD data. The necessary instructions for the CNC machine and the instructions for the operator is passed electronically to the production.
In the Computer-aided Manufacturing (CAM) system, the geometry data for blank or finished parts and fixture from the CAD are read. Occasionally, it is necessary that the geometrical changes or new geometry (models) must be created separately. The material and the CNC machine are selected from tables so that the CAM system knows the boundary and conditions; and it may propose appropriate movements, average values etc. The tools required for machining are adopted or recognized in CAM so that the two way communication can take place.
The operations required for the machining of the parts are determined sequentially. This is selected in the graph to edit the geometry and the desired tool. Proposed process by the CAM system for machining parameters are adjusted manually. The operations already defined can be simulated to control production line. If all operations are set, the machine-specific NC program generates and stores with the post-processor. The instructions for the operator and the tool list can be printed or saved. The operations defined in the Computer-aided Manufacturing (CAM) are stored together with all parameters as “source code” in the CAM as internal format.
Computer-aided Manufacturing (CAM) : Advantages and Disadvantages
While working on the Computer-aided Manufacturing (CAM) system, CNC machine stays productive as we want. CAM programming can be done in the office, instead of standing in the workshop. Regardless of which CNC machine is used, the software used for this is always the same. Own capabilities and experience can be stored in the Computer-aided Manufacturing (CAM) system for recurring tasks to be solved faster and more securely. The CAM system can except with the CAD also exchange information with other applications (such as the management tool and the PPS system ). With a CAM system, NC programs can be created for free-form surfaces (eg for hood). The created NC program can be checked with the CAM system quickly and in advance on collisions and other errors. The list of required tools can be created in advance. When using a management tool, the target values ??can be passed directly to the presetting of tools for measurement. Subsequent changes in the design can be quickly identified and taken from the CAD.
Disadvantage is that, Computer-aided Manufacturing (CAM) system requires an adapted CNC machine. If no CAD data exists, you need to catch even the geometry of the desired finished part yet. The cutting performance of the CNC machine is significantly increased by NC programs that have been created using a CAM system when that calculate the optimal toolpath to avoid air cuts and adjust the tool geometry optimized in the provided editing job.
By new simulations based on the machine environment, a high safety factor is given. The work in the workshop is less demanding. In older CNC machines without network connection, the computer-generated NC programs must be passed with a special DNC software to the CNC machine. If there is mistake in NC program, you have to correct it back to the AV to the CAM system. Specific simulation system is almost always used before real production.