Systems & Software

CAD, CAM and Related Software
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CAM Software is used to generate machining programs corresponding to part designs. Short for “computer-aided manufacturing,” CAM creates these programs for CNC machine tools including machining centers, lathes and EDM machines. Sometimes, machining programs can be written and input manually, right at the machine’s control. However, if the workpiece geometry is at all complex, or if the machined features are numerous, then generally CAM software is essential for generating the program both accurately and quickly. In general, CAM development has proceeded along two different tracks. Geometry-based CAM systems used in die/mold machining and other applications focus on complex milled geometries. Algorithms provide specific and efficient ways for machining complex geometries with both high precision and long tool life. By contrast, feature-based CAM systems are generally used in the production machining of geometrically simpler components. These latter CAM systems are often engineered to automate otherwise repetitive programming tasks such as assigning similar tools to similar features.

Featured Zone Content

Retired Yet Inspired to Learn Machining


A retired engineer with no prior machining experience is learning how to be a machinist. His quickly increasing skillset demonstrates how new machining technology is becoming more capable and easier to pick up and apply.

A Smooth Transition to Five-Axis Machining


A mold manufacturer that specializes in precision, thin-walled container molds chose an integrated approach to establishing an effective five-axis “3 + 2” machining process.

QFS Keeps Its Customers Moving With Integrated CAD/CAM


Quickly updating tool paths to remachine die surfaces enables this shop to provide short runs of prototype formed sheet metal parts. This fast response to engineering changes and design adjustments helps its customers adhere to tightly scheduled vehicle launch programs. QFS relies on integrated CAD and CAM software to make this happen. In this case, the software of choice are PowerShape and PowerMill from Delcam.



flank fracture

Sophisticated Software for Solid Gear Design

By: Lawrence S. Gould
Whether your computer platform is standalone or part of a suite, desktop or on the cloud, there’s a gear design package developed specifically to meet your needs.

CAD/CAM Software Supports Simulation of Custom-Shaped Tools

By: Edited by Jedd Cole
Version 28 of BobCAD-CAM’s flagship software is said to be compatible with all custom and specialty milling and turning tool shapes for CNC simulations.

Dynamic Balance Machine complex part

New CNC Equipment, CAM Software Bring Shop to a Fast Start

By: Edited by Emily Probst
The startup Dynamic Balance Machine invested in advanced CNC machines and Mastercam software from CNC Software Inc. to more quickly rough out material and reduce cycle times.

Native CAD File Translators Updated

By: Edited by Jedd Cole
SmartCAMcnc has updated several SmartCAM v2015 native data translator modules: SolidWorks Connection, PTC Pro/Engineer and PTC Creo Connection.

Software Update Includes Tool to Ease Job Cost Calculation

By: Edited by Jedd Cole
Hypertherm has released version 11.1 of its ProNest 2015 CAD/CAM software featuring a quoting tool that can calculate per-part and total job costs, among other updates.


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