The High Tech Society

What is Cad Cam And What Does it Do?


What is Cad Cam And What Does It Do?

Cad Cam or Computer Aided Manufacture and Design is the process of using computer guidance to quickly put a model, prototype, or idea into production. Previously, the technology was mainly useful in woodwork, signage, plastics, and printing, but with today’s technologies, it is also incredibly useful with 3D printing and CNC milling, allowing it to be useful in dentistry, manufacture, and more.

Milling is the traditional way to use cad cam

How It Works

Cad Cam typically involves the use of a software program where the user can create or upload a 3D model. They then use the program to create a model with exact dimensions and specifications, and then the computer controls a machine to manufacture one or more copies of the model. In CNC milling, the process is subtractive, and the machine will mill out a specific shape. Milling is useful for plastics, resins, and metals, and is often used for creating small items such as dental crowns, bolts and nuts, and tools. 3D printing is a newer technology that allows for faster manufacture, and due to its flexibility, is useful for creating a wide variety of small and large objects. However, 3D printing is mostly limited to plastic like materials and resins, meaning that it is not suitable for every type of project.

Cad – Computer aided design is useful in a number of industries and is currently used by most modern architects and engineers to create digital blueprints or designs of things that are either already built, or models of things yet to be built. Cad software allows for perfect 3D rendering of models, allows 3D view, and allows the designer to input size, weight, and mass specifications directly into the design model. In most cases, Cad designs are input using a drawing digitizing tablet and a stylus.

Cam – Computer aided manufacture is used in everything from hobby to industry, and doesn’t necessarily require that the user be a designer. In fact, many Cam operators simply import existing designs and use those to build items. Others design and work with their own ideas, but not all. Cam requires the use of manufacture software, and a machine such as a 3D printer or mill, and materials.

Why Cad Cam

Cad Cam with a 3D Printer

Cad Cam with a 3D Printer

Cad Cam software allows any artist, engineer, or designer to create a model and then quickly put it into manufacture using only a machine and a computer. The result is not only faster production and prototyping, but also lowered costs, especially when used with some production methods like 3D printing. Using Cad Cam can mean moving from a digital model to a prototype within a few hours or less, especially with the use of 3D printing. For example, a dentist could create a digital model of the patients tooth by scanning it, create a replica model in their cad cam software, and then quickly and easily use a 3D printer to have a replacement crown before the appointment was over, or in time for an appointment the next day. Because Cad Cam is also easy to automate, it can also be used to set up 24/7 production with which to quickly and easily produce multiples of the same object. In some cases, Cad Cam is also useful for making replicas of a prototype, because it is easy to digitize the original, and then zoom in to create a highly detailed replica using a cad cam machine.