Graphics Programs Reference
Manufacturing Advantages - Production Engineering Benefits
• 3D CAD files can quickly be imported to drive Computer Aided Manufacturing
(CAM) production software. In turn, CAM drives machine tools and other capital equip-
ment through computer-numerical-control (CNC) . CNC manufacturing processes in-
cluded multi-axis milling, turning, sheet metal work (such as brake presses and punches)
and high speed machining.
• CAD/CAM software enables you to check tool paths before any material is cut. The
ability to run a simulation and so verify the complete machining process in a virtual en-
vironment is critical for keeping waste and scrap to a minimum. This may be crucial on
some jobs, such as those using expensive alloys, large material-intensive components, or
for those with complex geometry. Other verification advantages that result from less scrap
include less energy consumption and reduced tool wear.
• CAD/CAM simulations also enable you to identify how long the production run time
will take. Clearly this is useful for scheduling, as well as the planning of throughput, ma-
terial supply and delivery.
• Tooling and die suppliers can accurately and relatively quickly prepare with CAD data
for moulded, casted or pressed parts.
• Tooling, die, mould and component suppliers can be simultaneously sent CAD data from
anywhere in the world, both for quotes and for the production of parts.
• As the CAD model is the source of the manufacturing data, the design intent is preserved
and the dimensional accuracy is retained. In contrast, converting data into 2D drawings
and then back into machining code, inherently introduces the risk of making mistakes.
• For some often lucrative contracts, the ability to handle 3D CAD data is a prerequisite.
Prime manufacturers and their tier 1 suppliers sometimes mandate this for smaller manu-
facturers further down the supply chain.
• 3D CAD enables the automatic generation of bills of materials , giving the option of
quotations for outsourcing.