This article describes the basic functions that should be included when considering the relationship of computer-aided design (CAD)/computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) and machining. These include design, analysis, drafting, process planning, part programming, program verification, part machining, and inspection. The article provides information on hardware, data base, interfaces, and benefits of integrating machining with the CAD/CAM system of a manufacturing plant. It also provides an overview of direct, computer and, distributed numerical control, which are devoid of a number of problems inherent in conventional numerical control.
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