Friday, September 24, 2010

CAM in the cnc machine process

3D CAM Programing
CAM is short for Computer Aided Manufacturing. CAM is the third step in the CNC machining process. CAM tries to translate your designs into machine code. In the field of CNC machining, your designs must be understood by a machine.
The CAM stage in the CNC machining process makes this possible.

There are several steps in the CAM stage of the CNC machining process.
The first thing that you’ll have to determine is the kind of machine that you’ll use in your CNC machining process. Are you going to use a cutting machine or a smoothing machine? Identifying the tool that you’ll use is essential. You don’t want a steel driver poking a hole into an object that is tougher than it. You will ruin the tool and your final product.

3D CAM programing
You have to give specific instructions in the CAM stage of the CNC machining process and part of these instructions includes the type of machine or tool that will be used.

You have to give instructions to the CNC machine as precisely as possible. The CNC machining tools don’t know how to execute a given task if you don’t instruct it accurately.

It doesn’t know where parts are. If you put plywood into a machine, the machine will not know if it is starting to cut from the left edge or the right edge. You’ll have to specify it. Moreover, you must tell the CNC machine what it is holding. It doesn’t know if it is holding a steel board or a slab of wood. Locate the part with X Y Z coordinates. Let the machine know where the part is.

After instructions on what tool to use and where the object is, you’ll have to specify how fast the work will be done. Defining the speed is important in the CAM process.
Things like the spindle speed and how fast wheels should turn are important aspects of the CNC machining process. Aside from being accurate, identifying the speed of manufacturing is also useful for safety reasons. If you manufacture too slow then you’ll be inefficient. If you manufacture too fast then you might ruin the machine and the final products.

Simulating the CNC machining is also important. Several CAM software packages can simulate the production of an object virtually. There are a lot of CAM software packages available in the market today like the Rhino CAM, Master CAM, Sheet CAM, and Art CAM. Their prices can range from being free to being unusually expensive. The number of axis, X Y Z and so on, is an indicator of the price of CAM software in CNC machining. The more axes translates into more money spent.

Post processing is the final part of CAM. The final output of CAM in CNC machining is normally a G-Code file. G-Code is the language of CNC machining. It is the outcome of the post processing and the outcome of CAM. It is not dynamic but static. It is a specific set of instructions. For every CAD design or different CAM parameters, there is a unique G-Code. G Code tells the machine to do very specific things from turning on the machine to where objects are on the X Y Z coordinates.

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