When a design is complete in CAD, it can then be loaded into CAM. This is traditionally done by exporting a CAD file and then importing it into CAM software. If you’re using a tool like Fusion 360, both CAD and CAM exist in the same world, so there’s no import/export required.
Once your CAD model is imported into CAM, the software starts preparing the model for machining. Machining is the controlled process of transforming raw material into a defined shape through actions like cutting, drilling, or boring.
Computer Aided Manufacturing software prepares a model for machining by working through several actions, including:
Checking if the model has any geometry errors that will impact the manufacturing process.
Creating a tool path for the model, a set of coordinates the machine will follow during the machining process.
Setting any required machine parameters, including cutting speed, voltage, cut/pierce height, etc.
Configuring nesting where the CAM system will decide the best orientation for a part to maximize machining efficiency.