What do CAD and CAM stand for?
The short answer is: CAD stands for computer-aided design and CAM stands for computer-aided manufacturing. If you are new to the world of CAD CAM, that may not mean very much to you. In this article you will learn the differences between CAD and CAM and find out what exactly they are used for.
What is the difference between CAD and CAM?
It’s easy to confuse the difference between CAD and CAM if you don’t properly define terms. As the names suggest, CAD is only for designing, and CAM is for manufacturing the project that was designed using CAD.
To make this as simple as possible, take this basic workflow as an example. Let’s say you have a CNC machine (the most common application of CAD CAM software) and you want to cut the shape of a dinosaur out of a piece of plywood.
First, you would use CAD software to design the exact shape of the dinosaur you want or upload a template of the dinosaur you like.
After your design is complete, the CAM function of your software takes over. At this point the CAM is taking your dinosaur design and turning it into data that your CNC machine can understand in order to cut it.
That output data is typically G-code, a programming language that your CNC machine will use to cut the exact shape of your dinosaur that was designed using your CAD software.
What is CAD/CAM Used For?
CAD CAM software is used for a variety of applications in manufacturing and fabrication; namely, with routers, plasma cutters, waterjet cutters, laser cutters, and knife cutters. They can be used to design and produce art, signs, furniture, tools, machine parts, weapons – you name it.
These programs were created as an improvement upon certain niche processes. They have significantly reduced the amount of time and human error as well as improved quality in manufacturing processes. That is great for industry professionals but it also makes CAD CAM software more accessible to anyone who has an interest in CNC machining. The machines and software are always getting faster, better, and safer which translates to savings in time and money for the user. CAD CAM software reduces waste of materials and improves speed and accuracy.
With a good CAD software to help you design and plan jobs, and an intuitive CAM software to control your CNC machine there’s no limit to what you can produce.
SAi EnRoute CAD/CAM Software
This can all get fairly confusing if you don’t have the proper software for the job. Designing in one program, exporting to another to send to your machine, sending it back to make edits, all of this is time consuming and can be error prone. With SAi EnRoute CAD CAM software you get an all-in-one user friendly program.
EnRoute is the go-to CNC software solution for everyday cutting, nested-based manufacturing, and creative design applications. Our CAD CAM design software provides a unique combination of 2D and 3D design and toolpath capabilities for CNC routers, lasers, plasma, waterjet and knife cutters.
EnRoute is screen to machine; meaning you can take your projects from design all the way through production within one, easy to use, program. You also get some unique features that make complex processes easier than ever, including 3D surface cutting and rapid texture. Additionally, EnRoute has powerful drawing and vectorization tools that make creating decorative and graphic parts simple. What’s more, you can see a cutting simulation to get a realistic view of what your finished product will look like with Instant Rendering in EnRoute, allowing you to ensure there are no mistakes when it’s time to send to your machine.
EnRoute comes with best in the industry customer service as well. Whether you’re a beginner using CAD CAM software for the first time or an experienced professional who just needs some troubleshooting, our technical support team is available by phone or email whenever you need them. SAi also has a large number of help and training options at your disposal. And that does not get any simpler than EnRoute’s On Demand Movies. Right click on any tool button in the CAD software and a short movie explaining that tool will play.
The best part about EnRoute CAD CAM software is that it’s affordable. SAi offers its products as a subscription, meaning you can get the most out of your CNC machine with no large upfront cost. A low monthly operating expense gets you every feature in EnRoute software to unlock the full productivity and revenue potential of your CNC machine.
SAi EnRoute CAD CAM technology will help turn your ideas into reality.
Learn more about EnRoute or start a free trial here.