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The Importance of CAD and CAM Software for CNC Machining

By ShopBot Tools, Friday, May 29, 2020

Screen capture of g-code for a project processing through the ShopBot system software.

The widespread use of computer-aided design (CAD) software and computer-aided machining (CAM) software has revolutionized industrial production. Now, prototypes and final versions of components and assemblies can be easily planned and carried out. One cannot understate the importance of both CAD and CAM software for CNC machining, as it has direct control in the making of the desired products. Here are some of the ways in which both CAD and CAM software aid in manufacturing.


Prior to the use of CAD software, designers had to draft their plans for machines and parts on paper. Now, they can plan with ease from a computer. CAD software allows designers to create designs in simulated three-dimensional models, making every angle of the product viewable from the initial stages. The designer can zoom in on any part of the planned creation to refine minute details as well. If the product is complex and involves several different components, each of these parts can be looked at together and in an isolated view. This makes it easier to visualize how they will work together in their appropriate placements relative to the other parts.


CAM software comes into play once the designs have been created and is used to make prototypes and final products. The operator sets parameters, such as tool and material type, which can be saved in the software so that repeated use of specific settings is simplified. Since the tools are controlled by the computer, CAM enables high precision and manufacturing speed that outpaces more traditional, fully human-reliant methods.


By far the greatest achievement of CAD and CAM software is that it streamlines the whole design and manufacturing process. CAM software can read the files created in CAD software to help unify all the steps from beginning to end. With a more complete view on production, designers and manufacturers have a greater awareness of every detail, so they can cut down extra costs and time spent drafting product iterations. Since the software stores the data of what the designer specifies, there is increased clarity for the manufacturer to follow their blueprints rather than leaving points in the plan open to interpretation. Since some companies might hire others to carry out only one part of the process, such as the manufacturing portion, the logical coherency is key in preventing problems born from miscommunication.

CAD and CAM software allows CNC machining to run as smoothly as possible. If you would like to incorporate such efficiency into your manufacturing business, ShopBot has design software for CNC routers, as well as it’s own system software, accessible with the use of our available CNC machines. Contact us today at 888-680-4466 if you are interested in learning more. 

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ShopBot Tools, Inc.

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