An early commercial applications of CAM was in large companies in the automotive and aerospace industries for example Pierre Beziers work developing the CAD/CAM application UNISURF in the 60's forcar body design and tooling at Renault.
Historically, CAM software was seen to have several shortcomings that necessitated an overly high level of involvement by skilled CNC machinists. Fallowscreated the first CAM software but this had severe shortcomings and was promptly taken back into the developing stage. CAM software would output code for the least capable machine, aseach machine tool control added on to the standard G-code set for increased flexibility. In some cases, such as improperly set up CAM software or specific tools, the CNC machine required manual editingbefore the program will run properly. None of these issues were so insurmountable that a thoughtful engineer or skilled machine operator could not overcome for prototyping or small production runs;G-Code is a simple language. In high production or high precision shops, a different set of problems were encountered where an experienced CNC machinist must both hand-code programs and run CAM software.Integration of CAD with other components of CAD/CAM/CAE Product lifecycle management (PLM) environment requires an effective CAD data exchange. Usually it had been necessary to force the CADoperator to export the data in one of the common data formats, such as IGES or STL, that are supported by a wide variety of software. The output from the CAM software is usually a simple text file of G-code,sometimes many thousands of commands long, that is then transferred to a machine tool using a direct numerical control (DNC) program.
CAM packages could not, and still cannot, reason as a machinistcan. They could not optimize toolpaths to the extent required of mass production. Users would select the type of tool, machining process and paths to be used. While an engineer may have a working...
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