Product design and manufacturing processes have recently undergone some fairly dramatic transformations, for example 3D printing has been an absolute game changer. Who would have thought that people would be able to print out items in their own home that would normally need to be commissioned from an industrial manufacturer?
Although it’s been around for a lot longer now, another area that has been a huge transformation for manufacturing is the arrival of automated systems. Along with that came computer technology that will allow productivity to rise dramatically.
Computer aided manufacturing is something that can used in a number of different ways. For example lathes, milling machines and 3D printing are all areas that it can be used in to manufacture products once the product design process has been completed.
Product design has turned a corner with computer aided manufacturing. It means that instead of having to work machines manually, instructions can be communicated to the machine in order to tweak and perfect the product in addition to the number that you want produced.
Any changes that are made can be quickly sent to the machine and changes executed rapidly. All processes such as replacement of tools, scheduling and order placement can also be controlled with computer aided manufacturing.
This type of manufacturing is used most often in these industries:
- Mechanical engineering
- Furniture making
- Toy manufacturing – see video
How does it tie in with 3D Printing?
The tie in is that all 3D printing relies on computer aided manufacturing. It’s used to not only design the products but to specify details about the printing of them. CAD systems (computer aided design systems) can operate with the printer to manufacture objects to the specification of the manufacturer.