Computer-aided manufacturing

Computer - aided manufacturing (CAM, dt computer aided manufacturing ) refers to the use of a body independent of the CNC machine software for the creation of the NC code. In contrast to the creation of the NC code in the workshop (WOP ) is created with the CAM system, the NC program already in the AV. CAM is an essential part of computer integrated manufacturing (CIM Computer Integrated Manufacturing).


In place of conventional drawings, the NC program to be created for the part to be created directly on the basis of the manufactured computer CAD data. The necessary instructions for the CNC machine and the instructions for the operator will no longer need to be printed, but will be passed electronically to the production.


Because no geometry data must be copied from a drawing, no error can thereby be made. While working on the CAM system, the CNC machine remains productive. When CAM programming can sit in the office instead of standing in the workshop. Regardless of which CNC machine to create a program, the software used for this is always the same to operate. Own capabilities and experience can be stored in the CAM system, so that repetitive tasks can be solved faster and more secure. If only an error in the NC program, you DO NOT have to correct it back to the AV to the CAM system. For this, a shop floor editor ( EdgeCAM ) is used which ensures that it is the production in the second and 3.Schicht can continue. The CAM system can except with the CAD also exchange information with other applications (eg with the tool management and the PPS system ). With a CAM system NC programs can be created for free-form surfaces (eg for hood ). The created NC program can be checked with the CAM system quickly and in advance on collisions and other errors. The list of required tools can be created in advance. When using a tool management references can be passed directly to the presetting device for measurement of the tools. Subsequent changes in the design can be quickly identified and taken from the CAD. With a CAM system also work plans ( EdgeCAM ) can be created, which, along with photos or movies, tools, cycle times of the component and clamping situations with added into the production, which simplifies the setup and execution of the order and accelerated.

Note value

The CAM system requires a custom post processor for each CNC machine. If no CAD data exists, you have to catch even the geometry of the desired finished part yet. The cutting performance of the CNC machine is significantly increased by NC programs that have been created using a CAM system when that calculate the optimal toolpath avoid air cuts and optimally adjust the tool geometry in the provided editing job (eg wavy roughing of EdgeCAM ). Through new related to the machine environment simulations, a high safety factor is given. The work in the workshop is less demanding, thus also less interesting. In older CNC machines with no network connection, the computer-created NC programs must be passed with a special DNC software to the CNC machine. The CAM system costs additional money and the handling must be trained, but save the current operating clear time that the operator no longer has to program locally. The but is probably biggest drawback is that CAM systems with the more neutral code before the post-processor simulate, but not the original NC code after the post processing. So, to be really safe, you should run the simulation in a specific simulation system.


In the CAM system the geometry data for the blank, precast and jig from the CAD are read. Occasionally, it is necessary that the geometry changes or new geometry (models) must be created. The material and the CNC machine are selected from tables so that the CAM system knows the boundary conditions and it may propose appropriate movements and average values.

The tools required for processing are taken from the tool management or captured in CAM.

The operations required for the machining of the part are determined sequentially. This is selected in the graphic, the geometry to be machined and the tool you want. The proposed by the CAM system parameters for the processing to be adjusted manually. The operations already defined can be simulated with the control.

If all operations are set, the machine-specific NC program is generated and stored with the post-processor. The instructions for the operator and the tool list can be printed or saved. The operations defined in the CAM are stored together with all parameters as "source code" in the CAM internal format.

In addition to the respective order-based processing of data archiving and standardization is a task field of CAM.

  • EdgeCAM ( commercial)
  • CAMWorks ( commercial)
  • CATIA ( commercial)
  • ProfiCAM COSCOM ( commercial)
  • CEREC ( part of a commercial product )
  • Cimatron Cimatron of ( commercial)
  • Esprit ( commercial)
  • Mastercam ( commercial)
  • NX (Siemens ) ( commercial)
  • Pro / ENGINEER ( commercial)
  • Tebis ( commercial)
  • WorkNC ( commercial)
  • SurfCAM ( commercial)
  • TopSolid ( commercial)
  • Vectorcam ( commercial)
  • Delcam ( commercial)
  • OneCNC ( commercial)
  • MazaCAM ( commercial)