CAD/CAM Systems - 3 Basic CAD
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WARNING: Machine tools present a safety hazard. Improper operation can result in severe injury. These topics are for non-laboratory study only and are not to be used in conjunction with the operation of any tool or machine described herein. Never use a machine tool without the supervision of a qualified instructor.
CAD, at its most basic, is a geometric modeling system used to produce two dimensional or three dimensional engineering drawings in a computer. CAD is the use of a computer to aid in the total design process. The design process involves identifying a need, generating possible solutions to meet that need, evaluating each solution to determine its merit, and developing a detail model so it can be built.
The computer can aid in most steps in this design process.

Currently, the primary use of CAD is in the three-dimensional models from which engineering drawings and CNC part programs are produced almost automatically. A drawing is developed in the computer aided design process, without the need to fabricate a prototype, so all the testing and analysis can be performed and a part program can be generated.

The major goals of CAD for manufacturing are to increase productivity and create a database for manufacturing

CAD helps the designer or drafts person to visualize a design on the computer screen. The designer can make changes and get immediate feedback on the results. Current CAD software also allows for analysis and testing of components before manufacturing the actual part.

This is a very important part of modern manufacturing expertise. The increased use of CAD- based engineering analysis tools such as "finite element analysis" has increased the quality of product world wide. The automobile industry can make cars that last longer, run cooler, and provide more power/economy due - in great part - to the ability of the design engineer to test models in a computer before making the first part. Aerospace, construction, medical, and all of the other design manufacturers have benefited as well. R.S.
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