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.



3D Systems to Acquire CAD/CAM Company Cimatron

By: Peter Zelinski
Additive manufacturing technology supplier acquires CNC machining software company in a move focused on “the entire value proposition for manufacturing.”

NC Optimization Software Improves Tool Life

By: Edited by Stephanie Monsanty
Third Wave Systems’ Production Module 7.0 NC optimization software is said to improve finished part quality.

Delcam PowerShape Pro CAD system

CAD Software Streamlines Modeling Tasks

By: Edited by Stephanie Monsanty
The 2015 release of Delcam’s PowerShape Pro CAD system includes improvements in direct modeling, surface modeling and reverse engineering, plus support for data from Creaform HandyScan handheld scanners.

G-Code Simulation Ensures Precise Machining of Large Parts

By: Edited by: Emily Probst
Elliott Group implemented Vericut machine simulation software from CGTech and eliminated scrapped parts due to programming errors. It also helped improve employee safety.

CAD/CAM Helps Aerospace Shop Machine Aluminum Guitars

By: Edited by: Emily Probst
Using CAD/CAM software from Matercam/CNC Software Inc. helped Wolfert’s Tool and Machine Co. develop and produce a single-billet aluminum guitar body.


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