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Computer-aided manufacturing

Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) commonly refers to the use of numerical control (NC) computer software applications to create detailed instructions (G-code) that drive computer numerical control (CNC) machine tools for manufacturing parts.

What is computer-aided manufacturing?

A broader definition of computer-aided manufacturing can include computer applications to define a manufacturing plan for tooling design, computer-aided design (CAD) model preparation, NC programming, coordinate measuring machine (CMM) inspection programming, machine tool simulation and postprocessing. The plan is then transferred to the shop floor using direct numerical control (DNC) or PLM-driven shop floor connectivity solutions. The complete plan is used in production for CNC machining, tool management and CMM quality inspection.

Related products: NX CAM


Understand the benefits

The benefits of computer-aided manufacturing include a properly defined manufacturing plan that delivers expected results in production.

Utilization improvements

CAM systems can maximize utilizing a full range of production equipment, including high-speed, 5-axis, multi-function and turning machines, electrical discharge machining (EDM) and CMM inspection equipment.

Data resources

Advanced CAM systems with product lifecycle management (PLM) integration can provide manufacturing planning and production personnel with data and process management to ensure the use of correct data and standard resources.

System integration

CAM and PLM systems can be integrated with DNC systems to deliver and manage files to CNC machines on the shop floor.

Why is computer-aided manufacturing necessary?

Computer-aided manufacturing plays a crucial role in modern manufacturing, accelerating operations and delivering components with unmatched precision and consistency. It is designed to optimize efficiency, minimize material wastage, and reduce energy consumption, aligning with the industry's growing focus on sustainability. By seamlessly integrating advanced technologies such as Computer-aided design (CAD), Product Lifecycle management (PLM), and Manufacturing execution system (MES), CAM empowers manufacturers to streamline their operations, helping to streamline workflows and enhance collaboration between departments. This enables them to bring products to market faster while maintaining the highest standards of quality. 

Choosing the best computer-aided manufacturing solution  

Finding the right computer-aided manufacturing solution can be challenging, given the diverse range of applications it needs to support. To help navigate this decision, consider the following key factors:  

CAD-CAM Compatibility: Evaluate the software's capacity to seamlessly import CAD files without data loss using data translators, connecting your entire design and manufacturing process through a single platform. This enables quick and easy file importation by directly communicating the models and assemblies from the CAD component. 

Programming Automation: Look for CAM software offering fully automated CNC feature recognition to streamline programming tasks and reduce manual programming. 

Ease of Use: Opt for CAM software that prioritizes user-friendliness in machining operations. Look for features that facilitate easy job setups, swift machining operations, and quick generation of toolpaths. A user-friendly interface enhances efficiency and reduces the learning curve for operators. 

Learn more

NX CAM Postprocessing and Simulation

Generate validated, production-ready programs for your CNC machine tools using cloud-based toolpath postprocessing and integrated machining simulation.

Resources - NX Tooling and fixture design

Design tooling and fixtures using advanced automation and process simulation.

Solid Edge CAM Pro

Solid Edge computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) solutions help manufacturers build world-class products using a wide range of manufacturing processes.