Aided Manufacturing (CAM) is an automation process that directly
converts the product drawing or the object into the code design enabling
the machine to manufacture the product. CAM is used in various machines
like a lathes or milling machines for product manufacturing purposes.
It allows the computer work instructions to communicate directly to the manufacturing
machines. In the early 1950's, the technology evolved from the Computer Numerical
Control (CNC) machines. Those were directed by a set of coded instructions in
a punched paper tape. Now single computer with the CAM controlled computer system
can control the entire process performed by robotic milling machines, lathes,
welding machines and other various tools. It moves the product to various machines
within the system by allowing each step to get completed during the manufacturing
The CAM system is used in various applications like lathes, welding machines
and many milling machines. The major applications that are performed using the
CAM system are wood turning, metal working, metal spinning and glass working.
The applications of this system are also used in producing the solids of rotation,
plane surfaces, and screw threads or helices.
Three dimensional solids can be manufactured by using the ornamental lathes with
more complexity. The CAM systems are used in manufacturing the objects on the
lathe includes candlestick holders, table legs, bowls, baseball bats, crankshafts
and camshafts. Diamond turning is one of the processes that are performed using
the CNC lathe systems in manufacturing diamond-tipped cutting materials. High-quality
aspheric optical elements are manufactured from glass, crystals, metals, acrylic
and other various materials. Other major application of the CAM system is the
robotic milling machines.
CAM systems offer a wide range of applications in areas like mechanical engineering,
electrical engineering, industrial engineering and aerospace engineering. A few
of the applications that are used in the mechanical engineering area are thermodynamics,
fluid dynamics, solid mechanics, kinematics, and robotics. The major applications
in the electrical engineering are electricity, electromagnetism and electronics.
Ergonomics, quality engineering and operations research are few applications
in the industrial engineering. The major applications in aerospace engineering
are aerodynamics, propulsion, materials science, and aero elasticity.