Design Software Concepts

1There Are Two Jobs of Your Digital Fab Software: Creating Designs and Defining Toolpaths… or CAD and CAM

There are two different jobs that software does for you in getting a project ready for production on your ShopBot: 1) Software helps you create your design, turning it into something that is represented on a computer as a 2D drawing or 3D model; and 2) Software helps you use that design to define the motions the tool will make during the cutting or machining of your parts. This difference between designing and toolpathing are the basis for two types of software you may have heard of: CAD, computer-aided design; and CAM, computer-aided machining.

At one time, CAD and CAM software tended to be separate and you needed each type of software in order to complete your project. More recently, there has been an increase in software packages that combine both CAD and CAM functions as ours do. Still, within the software, there remains a clear demarcation between the CAD function of designing (or laying out your project) and the CAM function of planning how the cutting or machining will be done. You will need to learn how to do both. The software that comes with your ShopBot will help you.

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Each new ShopBot tool comes bundled with two powerful software programs to create CNC projects.

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