Computer-aided manufacturing can be defined as the usage of computer-controlled machinery for automating a manufacturing process. It is utilized in numerous sectors to bolster the manufacturing, with reduced the cost and labor.
There are three components required for the functioning of a CAM system.
• Software for instructing the machine on how to make a product by producing toolpaths.
• Machinery that can convert the raw material into a final product.
• The next is post-processing which transforms toolpaths into more understandable language machines.
CAM software develops a model for machining by applying several actions. It includes ensuring that there are several geometry errors in the model that will affect the manufacturing process. As well as, it creates a toolpath for the model, that includes a set of coordinates that the machine has to follow for the machining process.
It includes setting the machine parameters, such as cutting voltage, pierces height, cut, and others. CAM involves configuring nesting in which CAM decides the best orientation for maximizing the machine’s efficiency.
After the preparation of the model for machining, all the information is sent to the machine for the physically manufacturing of the parts. It requires talking in the machine’s language. It requires converting the machine’s information into a language known as G-Code. It includes the set of instructions for controlling the machine’s actions, such as coolants, feed rate, speed, and others.
The computer-aided manufacturing software is highly utilized in the aerospace and defense sector, shipbuilding, automobile, machine tools, railway and construction, and other sectors. This software enables high-performance cutting as well as high-speed cutting functions with reduced machining and programming time.
CNC Machines at a Glance
All the modern manufacturing centers run on numerous Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines for the production of engineered parts. The CNC machine programming for performing several actions is known as CNC machining.
Before the advent of the CNC machines, manufacturing centers were run by Machinist veterans. Later, things such as computers touch, and automation emerged. Presently, the only human intervention needed for operating a CNC machine is to load a program, insert the raw material, and then unload the finished product.
CNC routers are capable of cutting parts and carving out types of shapes with the help of high-spinning components. For instance, a CNC router is utilized for woodworking so that the plywood could be cut into the cabinet parts. It has the capability of managing the complex decorative engraving on the door panel. CNC routers are equipped with 3-axis cutting capabilities that allow movement along the X, Y, and Z axes.
Water, Plasma, and Laser Cutters
Water, plasma, and laser cutters utilize precise lasers, plasma torches, and high-pressure water for performing an engraved finish. The manual engraving techniques can take months in completing. But, by utilizing these machines, the same work could be completed in a few hours or days. Plasma cutters are easy to use for cutting electrically conductive materials such as metals.
Therefore, computer-aided manufacturing software is highly demanded due to reduced time, and manual labor in the manufacturing of various equipment.