CAD have enjoyed much appreciation in the industry because of several reasons including improved design quality, increased productivity, establishment of data base for manufacturing, creation of standards for design and doing away of inaccuracies brought about by hand-copying of several drafting as well as drawings' inconsistency (Introduction to CAD, 2008).
CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing) refers to the effective employment of the computer technology for manufacturing planning and control. CAM is concerned with manufacturing engineering processes including planning and scheduling of manufacturing processes, machining operations, control of quality of production processes and products as well as Numerical Control (NC) part programming. Computer-aided manufacturing is usually integrated with Computer Aided Design in CAD/CAM systems.
This allows movement of information from design section to product production planning with no need of entering the data manually on the part geometry(Introduction to CAD, 2008). CAM develops the information stored by CAD into information which is used as instructions for running and controlling production operations, machining, materials and equipment handling, product inspection and automatic testing.
The rationale for CAD/CAM comes out to justify improvements based on technology as far as manufacturing is concerned. This approach grows as a result of the need to make improvements on quality, productivity and product competitiveness. Other major reasons include: Better quality of the produced goods, better communication, higher production level, manufacturing common database, lowered prototype costs of construction and quicker customers' response(Introduction to CAD, 2008).
The necessary hardware part for a CAD/CAM system includes components such as a digital computer, workstation, plotters and output put devices as well as storage devices. The system, in addition to this encompasses an interface communication which usually enables data transmission to other systems of the computer. This enhances computer integration benefits(Katuhiko, 2009). The interface between the user in the CAD system and the computer system is the workstation. It is designed in a manner that it has, together with its features creates a significant manipulation to the productivity, convenience and the user's output quality of work (Introduction to CAD, 2008). A digital computer that possesses high-speed central processing unit (CPU) must be included in the work station. The system also requires an efficient logic/arithmetic section. A hard disk is the commonly used secondary storage device in CAD/CAM system but sometimes a floppy diskette or both are employed(Katuhiko, 2009).
In the CAD/CAM system, traditional input output devices are employed in transformation of data from a storage device or a human being to the computer system. This then allows the CAD functions to be carried out. An existing drawing can be inputted by use of two fundamental methods namely digitizing the drawing or modeling the particular object on a certain drawing. A CRT display is the standard output medium for the CAD/CAM system. The CRT display comes in two main forms