CAD software is used to design the product
First, a CAD software program is used. CAD stands for computer aided design. A user will typically input the size and shape of their product in measurements, as well as its intended purpose. For example, they might enter 6″ x 3″ x 2″. This means that the dimensions are six inches long by three inches wide by two inches deep. The user will then input the desired shape. A common type of shape is a rectangle (of course, there are other shapes such as circles and triangles). In these cases, the user will input a rectangle in order to form their product. The computer will then use information on its memory banks, and take a measurement for each feature that is being entered into the program (the measurements are not drawn to scale in this example). These measurements are stored as a 2D drawing file on the hard drive of the computer. This is the part of the CAD software that works with the “file management system” that is installed on a computer. The file management system allows the user to open and edit files. When this step is complete, the user will input all the features of their product again. The feature information (dimensions, etc.) from step two above will now be input into this new file using measurements. If a drawing for their product were needed, it would be added to their file as well. These files are saved as a file format, which is a type of graphic that can be read by a computer. This method of imaging is called “raster scans.”
CAM software converts the CAD designs into manufacturing-friendly files
After the 2D drawing file is complete, a technology called Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) is used to convert the CAD file into a file that can be used for manufacturing. This involves items such as cutting tools, drilling machines and saws. The CAM software does not actually manufacture anything, but gives information to the manufacturing equipment on how to do so. The process is also known as programming or tool path generation.
CAM software has been used to design items such as computer circuit boards, furniture, jewelry and handicraft items. It can also be used to create parts for machines such as those found in factories.
CAM systems use the computer-aided design (CAD) program to create a 2D drawing file. The program may be designed to generate the CAD geometry directly or require that the user provides it with details about the solid model with corresponding dimensions and tolerances. CAM systems are often used in conjunction with a word processor or other application to create the necessary data that is needed for the manufacturing process. The CAM system requires the user to enter data about how the parts of a machine or product should be shaped and how many of each item should be created.
The metal sheets are then bent and welded together to create the desired shape
The metal sheets are then bent and welded together, which is known as forming. Forming is a process that tends to be more difficult than punching because of the large forces that are involved. The sheet metal can be made into more complex shapes using computer numerical control (CNC) machines. Using a CNC machine, the sheet metal is made into thin sheets that are much thinner than it would normally be without the computer numerical control (CNC) machine. It is then cut into sections of the correct size, called a punch. This is done using a laser. In fact, it can be done on one side of the material at a time, which is known as selective laser sintering (SLS). This process creates metal sheets that are many times thinner than they would normally be. It also creates metal parts that are very light in weight, because the plastic used to create them is much lighter than steel. This means that the machines can be made smaller and lighter in weight. For example, there is no need to use steel in the CNC machine bed because the machine bed weighed so much. This also means that less material is used overall and material cost could be reduced by 50%. In fact, many companies have already switched to this type of manufacturing process instead of using punching methods.