- What is CAD?
CAD stands for computer aided design. Autocad is an example
of a cad program. A cad program lets you draw a picture
(lines, arcs and circles) of the item that you want to machine (cut
out) on your cnc router.
Q - What
CAM stands for computer aided manufacturing. Once you design
an object in a cad program, then you can bring that object into
the cam program. In the cam program, you specify the type
of tool (router bit) that you are going to use. You then identify
the lines, arcs and circles that you want to machine and which side
of the line that you want the tool to be on. The cam program
can then output a file of instructions (tool path file) for your
machine controller. Rams-Software is a good example
of a cam program.
Q - What is
a machine Controller?
A - On
small machines like the ones that Campbell Automation & Control
has developed, the machine controller is a PC software program that
resides in a PC that is connected to your cnc router through
a parallel port. CNCPRO by Yeager Automation (www.yeagerautomation.com)
is an example of a cnc controller. The purpose of the cnc
controller is to take the output (tool path) from your CAM program
and coordinated the movement of your machine (cnc router).
What is a Post?
Post is a term used with your CAM program. Different machine
controller can have different characteristics and requirements.
For your controller, every Cam program that you plan to use should
have a post for your cnc router controller.
What is step and direction?
Step and direction is a term used with your machine
controller. The controller will output discrete steps to your stepper
or servo drivers. The direction signal is used to determine the
direction that the motors will turn.
What is a Stepper motor or Servo motor driver?
A - A
driver is a special interface box (Amplifier) that receives the
step and direction signals and outputs the proper signals to the
stepper motors or servo motors. A good example is the new
Gecko drivers made by Gecko Drives. www.geckodrives.com
people inspire the rest"
2005 Bob Campbell Designs
Last updated on 5/5/05