Is CAD/CAM Technology a Challenge for Students?
Q1. Why it is important for mechanical students to know about fundamentals of CNC programming applications?
Unlike CAD, understanding CAM is Critical and Challenging. Cad is more widely used on virtual platform (Computers). Whereas CAM is more about converting the CAD model into reality, where u need to understand the behaviour of CNC machines and have a good knowledge of cutting tools. Any small error can result in collision of machine, breakage of tools, Job Wastage, Human accidents.
Q2. What is expected from a Fresher in an Industry with respect to CAD/ CAM?
The biggest expectation from a fresher in a CAD/CAM industry is that they are expected to have the basic knowledge on design concept fundamentals and CAM Fundamentals. Good knowledge on any CAD/CAM software tools is appreciable. A certification directly from CADCAM software developing companies will be an added advantage.
“CAD/CAM” has become a single catchall phrase for two very different processes; modeling and machining a part. Industries are looking for candidates who have knowledge on CAD & CAM, as the powerful integrated CAM software available in today’s CAD users.
Q3. Are Students ready for 5-Axis Machining?
Two decades back Industries where reluctant to move from manual programming to CNC programming and today most of the companies to stay ahead in competition moved from traditional method to conventional machining technique with the help of CAD/CAM technology. Gone are the days of manual programming and investment in the latest technology is a requirement to stay on the top and compete effectively.
Machinists think they don’t have 5-axis work. In reality every workshop has work that would benefit from a 5-axis machine, because a 5-axis machining center facilitates 5-sided machining. So, even if you don’t have simultaneous 5-axis work, such as impellers or turbines, the parts you are producing on your 3-axis machines will be more profitable when you use 5-sided machining on a 5-axis machining center.
Today technology has further grown and there is no more word called “complex machining” thanks to the technology which moves beyond 5-Axis. It’s always a key for students to understand the design of 5-Axis Machine and its working methodology. The 5-Axis machine has the ability to move a part or a tool on five different axes at the same time. 3-axis machining centres move a part in two directions (X and Y), and the tool moves up down (Z). 5-axis machining centres access two additional rotary axis. Today machining is possible from 2 Axis to 11 axis with the help of CNC programming software’s such as Mastercam combining with Robotmaster. With this combination machining up to 11 Axis is simple and the virtual simulation process helps the user to avoid costlier mistakes like machine collision, material damage, tool damages etc.
To adapt the fast changing technology industries are struggling to find suitable candidates. It’s high time for students to upgrade themselves on the latest technologies during their college days.
Q4. How students can get exposed to industrial challenges with respect to the advance manufacturing technologies?
By taking active participation in CAD/CAM contest organised by many Corporates, Ind Associations etc, which will give the students the exposure to real time industrial challenge.
World leading CAM Software Developing companies like CNC Software INC (MASTERCAM) conducts competitions at the International level every year in the name of “INNOVATOR OF THE FUTURE” (IOF)
For 2014 IOF competition, Mastercam and Optimax (builders of the optics behind the latest technologies in aerospace) have teamed up to challenge young engineers to design and machine a part associated with the NASA Curiosity Rover.
This competition is open to all young adult (aged 16-25) interested in a career in manufacturing that has access to Mastercam and a machine tool.
Apart from this SIMTEK training program for students is designed in such a way that they are exposed to advance manufacturing technologies by providing hands on practice on advanced CNC M/c and programming stations with the help of industrial collaboration.
Q5. What are the best ways to learn CAM application?
There are many interactive ways of learning CAM application
- Video Tutorials
- Authorised Training Centers
- E-learning Portals
- Manual Tutorials and Hand books
- Internship Program
- Customer Case Study