What Are the Benefits of Integrated CAD/CAM Software?

Emily Suzuki April 27, 2022 2 min read

Learn about how Autodesk Fusion 360, a cloud-based, integrated CAD/CAM software, can transform your design process.

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Computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) offer, arguably, the best options for industrial engineers, and integrated cloud CAD/CAM software provide several improvements over separated CAD and CAM packages.

For instance, an industrial designer might struggle to download, transfer, and then reopen a CAD file in a CAM environment. Perhaps the two different software packages don’t collaborate well, or maybe the file is so large that it just takes a long time to transfer? 

Not with an integrated platform like Autodesk Fusion 360. There is no shortage of advantages to software with every tool in one place. In this article, we’ll explore just a few reasons why integrated CAD/CAM is the way to go.

What is integrated CAD/CAM software?

CAD software is a digital space to create 2D, concepts, 3D concepts and renders. CAD is also where industrial designers and engineers draft documentation, simulate real-world functionality and transfer data to CAM.

CAM software is a tool used to automate a manufacturing process. Automated manufacturing processes include 3D printing and computer numerical control (CNC) machining. CAM generates toolpaths from the CAD design, which are then used by the 3D printer or CNC machine. 

Integrated CAD/CAM combines the two tools into one software environment.

Advantages of Using Integrated CAD and CAM

Integrated CAD and CAM software provides a host of benefits over traditional, separated packages. These benefits include the following:

Faster File Transfer and Overall Computing

With integrated cloud CAD, industrial designers can reduce the amount of time spent downloading, transferring, and uploading large data files. When CAD and CAM are integrated, file transfers take only a few seconds. You can go from a 3D design to a set of toolpaths and directional workflows without needing to open another software. 

Reduced Operating Costs

Autodesk Fusion 360 is an all-in-one CAD/CAM software that’s customizable to your needs. You can choose from a variety of subscription packages, all of which are affordable. And you can even unlock more advanced capabilities with Fusion 360 Extensions. Whether you’re a large company or a small self-owned business, you can download a free trial and try it before you buy it.

Streamlined Workflows

Linear, one-way workflows are archaic and disadvantageous in today’s collaborative workplace. Integrated cloud CAD/CAM software boosts bi-directional workflows. Industrial designers and engineers can work on the same project, make revisions, edit parameters, and publish changes in real-time. Engineers are able to collaborate with ease and don’t have to worry about overwriting locally saved files.

Remote Accessibility

Working on a digital project in real-time from the comfort of your own home has become a widespread industry option in the last two years. Using Fusion 360, engineers can access their CAD or CAM projects remotely from their phone, laptop, or home computer — whenever they want. 

Shorter Learning Curves

Fusion 360 has a vast library of tutorials and other learning modules for engineers of any experience level. You can use Fusion 360 Extensions and various plug-ins to tailor functionality for any project. Go from 3D design to intuitive toolpaths with ease.

When it comes to Fusion 360, CAD and CAM coexist. Files exist on the cloud and thus no longer require lengthy transfers or incompatibility issues. It’s easier than ever before to design and manufacture products using Autodesk Fusion 360.

If you’re ready to experience seamless, integrated CAD/CAM, download Fusion 360 today:

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