If you’re at all familiar with fabrication, you’ll know that a lot of processes are digitised.
It’s important to us that our customers know how things work. That way, you’re more in touch with what we do, how we do it, and how our services can help your business.
So in this blog, we’re taking a simple look at CAD / CAM – computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing – how we use them, and the benefits they offer.
What’s CAD / CAM software used for?
As the names suggest, CAD and CAM are used to aid design and manufacturing processes.
We use integrated CAD / CAM software to design products, components and tools, and to programme the machines that turn these digitised designs into physical items.
Our CAD software means we can take hand-drawn ideas and translate them into a digital image. From there, we can identify any potential problems with the design and solve them in virtual space.
CAM applications usually come later in the process – when a design has been perfected and it’s time to turn it into reality. Using our CNC machining services, for example.
CAM software takes data from the models and assemblies created by CAD software, and uses it to generate tool paths for CNC machines.
Put simply, it works out how the CNC machines can make the thing that’s been designed, whether it’s a simple extruded length or a complex component part.
The benefits of CAD / CAM
It’s hard to outline the benefits of CAD / CAM when this kind of application has been so transformative to the manufacturing industry.
But some of the key benefits of CAD / CAM when it comes to what we do here at Edmo:
- FLEXIBILTY: we can work with a wide range of input from our customers, including hand-drawn images, line drawings, and 3D models, which we can reverse engineer.
- PRODUCTIVITY: CAD / CAM applications can be programmed offline, without needing to interrupt workflow.
- REPEATABILITY: CNC machining delivers extremely precise results over even the longest production runs, ensuring continued quality and early indications of any problems.
- EASY ADJUSTMENTS: if we, or our customers, need to make any changes to an item, we can implement those changes in virtual space via CAD / CAM applications.
- ACCURATE AND COMPETITIVE COSTS: CAD / CAM software gives us accurate data for costings, and reduces the likelihood of production errors and material wastage.
- SPEED: CNC machining means far faster processing times, while CAD shortens projects by eliminating the need for many prototypes and test runs.
How Edmo uses CAD / CAM
Ultimately, we use CAD / CAM to save time and money.
More specifically, we use SolidWorks CAD and solid modelling software to:
- Create detailed 2D and 3D representations our customers’ products
- Simulate the actual machining of a product, preventing mistakes in real-time manufacturing
- Test mating parts to ensure an accurate fit
- Identifying and resolve any problems before production begins
- Produce highly accurate components over and over again
- Speed up production
- Replicate code, making it quick and easy to produce similar items
We monitor processing times carefully, analysing and cross checking data against our initial costings to make sure we’re achieving a competitive price. We can also upload models into the software and provide accurate quotes for manufacture.
So that’s it, in a nutshell – a basic introduction to CAD / CAM, and how we use it to offer our customers a better deal.