Difference Between CAD/CAM and 3D Printing

Difference Between CAD/CAM and 3D Printing

CAD is Computer Aided Designing. It covers 2D Drawings, 3D Models of Parts, Assemblies and even gigantic projects. Fit and Function Testing is possible once we have the CAD Data of whatever we're designing. A CAD model can also be considered as a virtual prototype.

CAD CAM and 3D Printing
CAD CAM and 3D Printing


CAM stands for Computer Aided Manufacturing. There are many manufacturing processes and there are many machines for each type of manufacturing process.

Computers have been integrated into those machines and they are called CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) machines. All CNC Machines work by subtracting the material from a raw block. For Example CNC Turning Centers, CNC Machining Centers (Milling + Drilling with Automatic Tool Changers). These CNC Machines require certain Computer Codes for operating. These are called CAM codes or CAM Programs. CNC Operators generate these CAM codes using the CAD model or if it's a simple shape, they can write the code themselves without having any CAD Model.

3D Printing is a process of making objects by adding up material (contrary to subtraction of material as in CNC Machining). We build only as much as we need.

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