From CAD to CNC featured image
Feb 23, 2020

From CAD to CNC

CAD is a computer-aided design. This involves the use of computers to aid in the creation, modification, analysis, function, or application of design.

Through CAD software, companies and individuals increase their productivity in design creation and the quality of their designs. CAD software creates a database for the manufacturing of the computer-aided design.

Why Users Begin with CAD Software

Computer-aided-design programs are no walk in the park. They are a bit like learning a foreign language. CAD programs are not as simple as Microsoft Word or Excel. But, if you’re involved in graphic design or part of the manufacturing sector, computer-aided-design software is crucial. Most CAD applications now have the ability to create three-dimensional designs. At the very least, you have to be able to create two-dimensional designs. Why start with CAD? It is the first step in manufacturing. From there you can go on to CAM and CNC machining.

Many CAD software programs allow novices to select designs from the CAD software template. As you become more adept, you can adapt and embellish existing CAD designs and eventually go on to create original designs.

Good CAD software like SAi EnRoute lets you grow as your skills improve. However, beginners will feel comfortable using EnRoute as well.

cnc machining

What is a CNC Machine?

A computer numerical control machine (CNC) is a high-precision carving tool. A CNC machine makes repeated accurate movements. These movements are exact and identical because the orders come from the computer-generated code. This code is generated from a computer-aided design (CAD) that is sent to the CNC machine where the CAD software instructions are converted to electrical signals.

For a demonstration of CNC machining click on this video:

Here’s how it works: The CNC machine reads G Code. The design is created by a technician or graphic artist using computer-aided-design software. However, it is not in the form the computer numerical control (CNC) machine understands. When the CAD instructions arrive at the CNC machine, they are converted to a language the machine can understand. The instructions tell the machine how to move, what spindle speed to use, and what cutting tool to use.

The cutting tool then makes the cuts the CAD software generated. CNC machines can cut through a variety of different materials including metal, wood and vinyl.

Leftover material or scraps are called chips. They are most often recycled. CNC machining reduced production time and material waste. Through the use of CAD and CNC machines, businesses can be competitive in their manufacturing field.

Specific Areas Aided by CAD/CNC Machining

Computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing software are used in almost every manufacturing process today.

When you think of manufacturing, you may tend to associate it which the automotive industry. Indeed it is used they're not only to create concept cars, but also in the everyday car manufacturing plant. Watch this video to see CNC machining at work in the automotive industry:

CAD and CNC machining are also used to create and manufacture products in other manufacturing sectors. View CNC machining at work here.

from cad to cnc machining

The creation of technical, medical and dental instruments and products relies on computer-aided design and CNC machining.

Software programs facilitate several manufacturing processes. While CNC machines work primarily with metal, other materials like aluminum, plastic, and wood may be used as raw materials for such products as:

  • chairs
  • ornaments
  • signs
  • plaques
  • aviation and auto parts
  • smartphone components
  • cooking utensils
  • kitchen appliances
  • medical instruments
  • dental appliances

Here is an example of CAD/CAM assisted manufacturing in action.

Why Choose EnRoute CAD?

from cad to cnc

SAi EnRoute CAD software has been a tried and trusted program in the industry for many years. It is reliable, cost-competitive, and offers several payment options so that small and large businesses can select the payment option which best suits their needs.

Support is vital as new software is introduced to manufacturing staff. SAi support personnel are only a phone call or a click of your mouse away. One on One training is available as well and can be customized to whatever the user needs.

To be competitive, every manufacturing plant must have a CAD system that streamlines their manufacturing operations. SAi EnRoute CAD design software provides a user-friendly product that has enough breadth to be used by anyone from beginning novice to highly experienced and skilled professional.

  • SAi EnRoute CAD software assists manufacturers in improving their machining capabilities. For example, when a manufacturer takes up a complex 3-axis machining task, they rely on the combination CAD and CNC machining software to create a tool path for machining projects such as molding. The CNC machining system automates the process and makes it easier for manufacturers to complete the project in time.
  • SAi EnRoute CAD software allows manufacturers to receive CAD files directly from their customers. This avoids miscommunication between client and manufacturer and speeds up the manufacturing process. Once manufacturers receive CAD files from the client, they can then set up the machining tool path.
  • SAi EnRoute software has the capability to perform simulations. Thus, before a product is produced you can see what the finished product will look like. If alterations are required, these can be done with SAi EnRoute software before the machining of the final product.
  • SAi CAD software’s simulation feature reduces material waste since both the client and the manufacturer can visually inspect the product before the final process of machining occurs.
  • SAi CAD software improves machine productivity. The system provides high-speed machine tool paths. This reduces tool and machine wear. High-speed tool paths facilitate improved cutting quality and accuracy by at least 50%.
  • SAi software allows manufacturers to avoid errors, execute final projects easily, and deliver products to the client with a short turnaround time.

Check out SAi informative videos and CAD software products here.