CAD: Computer-Aided Design
Definition: Computer-Aided Design (CAD), also known as Computer-Aided Drafting, is the use of computer software and systems to design and create 2D and 3D virtual models of goods and products for the purposes of testing. It is also sometimes referred to as computer assisted drafting
Computer-Aided Design (CAD) is the use of computer technology for the design of objects, real or virtual. CAD often involves more than just shapes. As in the manual drafting of technical and engineering drawings, the output of CAD often must convey also symbolic information such as materials, processes, dimensions, and tolerances, according to application-specific conventions.
CAD may be used to design curves and figures in two-dimensional ("2D")
and solids in three-dimensional ("3D") objects.
CAD is mainly used for detailed engineering of 3D models and/or 2D drawings of physical components, but it is also used throughout the engineering process from conceptual design and layout of products, through strength and dynamic analysis of assemblies to definition of manufacturing methods of components. It can also be used to design objects.
Examples 3D Model Components Manufactured at PRD
C.A.M. (Computor Aided Manufacturing)
Definition: Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) is the use of computer software and hardware in the translation of computer-aided design models into manufacturing instructions for numerical controlled machine tools.
Understanding the Process
Computer-Aided Manufacturing takes this one step further by bridging the gap between the conceptual design and the manufacturing of the finished product. Whereas in the past it would be necessary for a design developed using CAD software to be manually converted into a drafted paper drawing detailing instructions for its manufacture, Computer-Aided Manufacturing software allows data from CAD software to be converted directly into a set of manufacturing instructions.
PRD Precision has CAM software
that converts 3D models generated
in CAD into a set of basic operating instructions written in G-Code.
G-code is a programming language
that can be understood by numerical controlled machine tools – and the G-code can instruct the machine tool to manufacture a small or large batch of components with perfect precision.
Benefits of Computer-Aided Manufacturing
In addition to lower running costs there are several additional benefits to using CAM software. By removing the need to translate CAD models into manufacturing instructions through paper drafts it enables manufactures to make quick alterations to the product design, feeding updated instructions to the machine tools and seeing instant results.
In addition, many CAM software packages have the ability to manage simple tasks such as the re-ordering of parts, further minimising human involvement. Though all numerical controlled machine tools have the ability to sense errors and automatically shut down, many can actually send a message to their human operators via mobile phones or e-mail, informing them of the problem and awaiting further instructions.
All in all, CAM software represents a continuation of the trend to make manufacturing entirely automated. While CAD removed the need to retain a team of drafters to design new products, CAM removes the need for skilled and unskilled factory workers. Although this is not an eventuality for PRD as the nature of our business does not dictate the elimination of human control in our process.
Co-ordinate Measuring Machine (CMM)
PRD has the capability to then further convert a 3D Model and set of manufacturing instructions to an in House Co-ordinate Measuring Machine (CMM) Measuring Machine with capabilities of producing dimensional reports with a high degree of accuracy between model and actual components.
Our in house coordinate measuring machine (CMM) is the device used in manufacturing and assembly processes to test a part or assembly against the design intent. By precisely recording the X, Y, and Z coordinates of the target, points are generated which can then be analyzed via regression algorithms for the construction of features. These points are collected by using a probe that is positioned manually by an operator or automatically via Direct Computer Control (DCC). DCC CMMs can be programmed to repeatedly measure identical parts, thus a CMM is a specialized form of industrial robot