CAD- CAE- CAM Fundamentals

Computer-Aided Design (CAD)
Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE)
Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM)

CAD – CAE – CAM is really a comprehensive “art to part” manufacturing design and documentation software and computer numeric driven machine system.   The CAD system’s capabilities range from high resolution 2D surface scanning to full mechanical 3D assembly, virtual parametric solid and surface modeling.  CAE is the use of the CAD model or part data to perform predictive analysis or finite element analysis (FEA) and thermodynamic analysis of how a part or assembly will perform under load or environmental stresses or conditions.  Finite Element predictive analysis and mold flow simulation tools can be called upon to qualify and help improve part quality and perfomance while helping to reduce costly prototyping and development time.  CAM software and manufacturing equipment use the CAD and CAE data to program or create fully automated robotic and CNC (Computer Numerical Controlled) Machining & Manufacturing Production cells.  (Like a FORD(R) Manufacturing Plant)  We use state of the art, parametric CAD systems which allow our Clients, Designers, Engineers and Manufacturers to make concurrent changes as needed.  Additionally, using the CAD data, machining time and manual labor can be optimized and ” just in time” resources allocated to expedite and streamline the development process.   The value of investing in a dynamic CAD is “Speed to Market” and avoiding costly (ECO’s) Engineering Change Orders and tooling changes.  3D CAD modeling, CAE analysis tools and CAM – manufacturing combined with Rapid Prototyping are now standard practice in new product development.


Parametric Modeling

Parametric modeling refers to CAD program capability or a geometric computer modeling tree, based on additive or subtractive descriptive geometry where volumes, surfaces and relationships can be dynamically changed in any plane or axis, during any point in the build process.  These flexible or virtual parametric modeling tools or changability is based on the CAD build or the user- defined constraints and values to determine the size, volume, shape, and behavior characteristics of the model or part assembly.  A product design – CAD file part or assembly including OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) components can be modeled based on complex mechanical assembly features which can be parmetrically changed and the reproduced  based on the updated geometry or parameter, including generating fully associative engineering drawings with geometic tolerancing and revision control information.


The primary parametric CAD programs we use are; ProEngineer or (ProE®) Parametric Technology Corporation (Needham, MA, USA) and SolidWorks® (3D/CAD –CAE modeling) a subsidiary of Dassault Systèmes, S. A.  These two software packages (ProE and SolidWorks) are two of the most widely used advanced computer-aided design programs available, allowing WhiteLight Design’s Industrial Designers and CAD Engineers to model or sculpt your product into infinite components to create an entire assembly, view, explode and verify it in the virtual environment.   These programs allow you to view your product from any perspective or magnification.

CAE Computer-Aided Engineering

CAE, Computer-Aided Engineering is the use of the generated CAD modeling data for supporting manufactured part development  and predictive analysis tasks that can simulate how a part will behave during the manufacturing process or when force or heat is applied.   CAE tools can analyze the performance of components and assemblies, and provide 3D & 4D motion simulation, analysis, and optimization of products and manufacturing tooling.   This software canreduce costly engineering errors.


Manuf_RobotSheetmetalCAM, Computer-Aided Manufacturing

CAM, Computer-Aided Manufacturing is the use of computer-based software tools that assist engineers and machinists in running manufacturing equipment for prototyping and productuion components. CAM is a programming tool that allows you to make physical 3D models using complimentary the computer-aided design (CAD) data.   CAM- CNC machines allow for more dynamic styling and air stream or organic, sweeping curves and complex surface geometries.   Prototypes are only limited by the cutting capabilities of the multi-axis, multi-tool, milling centers and access to the machined features.  Designing and engineering a product for cost effective manufacturing is the driving force behind CAD-CAM.

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