CAM

By: Ivan Irons

CAM stands for Computer Aided? Manufacturing.? CAM was originated at virtually the same time as CAD, which we already learned about.Sometimes CAM applications are integrated with CAD applications, but not all the time.? This is called CAD/CAM software.? Generally CAM is a type of stand-alone software that you will have to buy.? Like CAD, many of these software manufacturers have free or trial periods so you can evaluate them.

Here are some examples of CAM software:SurfCAMRhinoCAMArtCAMEdgeCAMAlphaCAMSheetCAM

Using CAM SoftwareWhen you are using CAM you will need to know the type of CNC machine you will be using, the tooling you will be using, and the feeds and speeds of the? machining process you will utilize.

You will input these variables into your CAM software and it will create a program.? You will then use this program to control your machine's motion.The output of CAM software is G-Code.? G-Codes are simple text commands used to instruct your CNC machine.? Usually you'll need to know some basics about G-Code, but generally you don't have to be an expert at it.? If you really like CNC, you will naturally start picking up how to read G-Code.? If you get goodFree Reprint Articles, you can even hardcode some of your G-Code.

Here is an example of some G-Code:N00 G20N01 G00 Z0.25(HORIZONTAL ROUGHING)N03 M08N04 SPINDLE ON SPEED 1000 FORWARDN05 G90 G00 X1.601 Y1.867N06 Z0.375 N07 G01 Z0.35 F10N08 X1.588 Y1.752 Z0.308 F10N09 X1.614 Y1.544 Z0.231N10 X1.682 Y1.352 Z0.157

The G-Code above is a piece of a program I wrote to machine out a simple part.? It is not the entire program.? You can see on each line the G-code instructs the machine to move in a certain way.

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