The CAD/CAM Guide to Assembly Drawings


The CAD/CAM Guide to Assembly Drawings

If you’re an inventor, a designer, an engineer or a manufacturer, then it’s likely that you need assembly drawings.

An assembly drawing is necessary for any product, design or invention that has more than one part:  From computers to aircraft, lawnmowers to heavy machinery, skate boards to baby carriages – they all need assembly drawings.

Some assembly drawings are simple (think about the last piece of IKEA furniture you purchased and assembled).  Some assembly drawings are complex (like the motor for your automobile.)  Assembly drawings all have these things in common:

  • They list all the parts
  • They list all the sub-assemblies
  • They include a Bill of Materials that lists each part number, part name, and part quantity.

Some of these drawings provide instructions on how to assemble the product at a manufacturing level, while others may list part numbers for consumers to re-order parts. Instructions may include information such as how to fasten parts together, or what types of lubricant to use.

The Importance of Accuracy

How many times have you purchase something on line that you had to assemble?  And how many times were those assembly drawings show a bolt that wasn’t included, or described a fitting that didn’t “fit?”  We’ve all had that happen.  While it’s annoying, it’s not usually a matter of safety, nor does it cost huge sums of cash when the item doesn’t go work as it should.

But, an assembly drawing that represents a machine or component to be manufactured and used in industry, transportation, heavy construction, aerospace or other similar applications must be accurate!  Lives can be at stake.  Millions of dollars can be on the line.  The assembly drawing must represent the form, fit and function of a product.  It must verify how that product is put together.  And, often, it must be simulated in a virtual model and tested via FEA in order to determine that the end product will work as it should.

3D Models and Assembly Drawings

When you develop assembly drawings from 3D models, you link together a group of solid parts, bringing them together into a collection of joining components to create a single product.  This virtual arrangement allows the designer to examine interfaces between parts and to look for interferences.   By adding material, color, and lighting, the designer can also view the actual appearance.

An engineer or designer has the control of the 3D assembly and can see in vivid detail what two-dimensional drawings cannot show.  Different type of mechanical assembly drawings include outline drawing, erection drawings, assembly work drawings, assembly diagram, part assembly drawings and general assembly drawings.

CAD/CAM Services provides 3D drawings for assembly, casting, machining, and sheet-metal drawings to manufacturers, engineers, fabricators and consultants.  By ensuring that all 3D models and drawings that we produce meet industry standards and contain appropriate formats & layouts as required by our customers.


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Scan and R2V: Getting from Paper to EDM/PDM for Engineering


Scan and R2V: Getting from Paper To EDM/PDM for Engineering

Engineering competition is fierce and survival means adopting the latest technologies.  It means delivering the best product or service fast and at a fair price.  To maintain a competitive edge, a company must leverage its information assets, which includes a tremendous amount of engineering documents, some in CAD and some in paper format.  By some estimates, there may still be as many as eight billion paper engineering documents world-wide.

The need to capture, modify and distribute existing paper designs within today’s 2D and 3D CAD technology continues to be a requirement for success.  That’s why we still get calls for conversion of paper drawings, mylar, bluelines and other media into AutoCAD, Revit, Solidworks, Catia or some other CAD program.

Most engineering firms realize that regardless of how experienced they may be in operating their CAD software, scanning and converting from paper to CAD requires a different skill set.  This is especially true when the original drawing is old, damaged or misshapen.   In these cases, both scanning and conversion become a challenge and require expert care to extract accurate data.


The Importance of Integrating Paper Drawings with EDM/PDM and CAD

The #1 reason for converting paper to CAD and integrating with an engineering firm’s EDM/PDM system is labor savings in the revision cycle.  This labor savings, of course, translates to cost savings as well.

According to the manufacturers of GTX Software, other benefits include:

  • An increase in the value of CAD by eliminating its use for tedious redraw. CAD can now be used for productive design and analysis functions
  • A common electronic database
  • Reduced retrieval and print times for documents with a document management solution
  • Improved information flow with workflow and Email tools
  • Improved conformance to the ISO 9000 or OSHA regulations by instituting better document control procedures
  • Increased value of paper drawings through integration with CAD and EDM/PDM tools
  • Fewer lost, damaged and misfiled documents
  • Immediate availability of accurate information
  • Streamlining of the change process
  • Improvement in time to market
  • Increased quality

The Need for Accuracy in Conversion

Your EDM/PDM is only as valuable as the information contained in it, and that information needs to be accurate.  Unfortunately, when it comes to scanning paper drawings for inclusion in the EDM/PDM, many technicians don’t realize that the original drawing needs to be scanned in a particular way if they plan to convert it to CAD later.  Even if they do scan properly, they don’t have the knowledge or experience to properly convert the drawing.

While it’s true that most CAD software programs do offer some R2V conversion capabilities, if you’re not expert in the process, you’ll probably not get the conversion results you hoped for. Even for those who understand the process of R2V, their knowledge is often generalized, and what is missing the ability to determine what will work best for each individual scanned file. Each image is different and it’s very rare that two different images will respond with equal success to the same method of conversion. It takes experience to know which method, or combination of methods will work for each individual raster file.

That’s why we get calls from top-notch engineering firms…we have the knowledge and the experience to know which method — or methods — will work for each individual drawing. Sometimes it’s not just one method; it may be a combination of two or more methods used on one drawing.

Making Your EDM/PDM Work

Ensure the success of enabling your paper drawing archives in your EDM/PDM system.   Payback and user acceptance will go faster when you use an expert scanning and R2V conversion service as a first step toward implementation.  Whether you choose an incremental approach or a large-scale conversion, contact CAD/CAM Services first for a price quote.



Interview with a CAD/CAM Services Technician


Interview with a CAD/CAM Services Technician

I don’t usually get to spend a lot of time talking to our engineers and technicians who actually work with our customers. But, I recently made time to sit down with one of our best technicians to get his take on how well we’re doing meeting our clients needs.  Here are the questions I asked, and his unfiltered, unedited answers:

Who is our client?
Vendor, manufacturer and seller, who is working with assembling sheet metal structures, such as weapon cases, telephone booths, steelmaking furnaces, painting booths, workshops, garages, hangars etc.

What does our client have?

Solidworks, Inventor, Catia or AutoCAD assemblies. A Product Data Management system.

Drafting standards.

Example of a drawing.

What can we provide for our client?

Create a set of drawings for all the assemblies and details based on the drafting standards

Convert all assemblies and details into a library, which will contain all the models and drawings and create Bill of Materials for all the assemblies

What are the benefits?

Fast processing, quick result – we are working 24/7

Completed drawings are suitable for sending to manufacture and assembly

Everything is done in Catia and Solidworks, that is a manufacture standard for the majority of manufacturers

Detail Libraries provide major simplification to designing new similar assemblies, because standard parts could easily be used in following projects

Why do our clients choose us?

We have been working with sheet metal for more than 30 years, and are experienced in working with construction drawings, drafting, creating models for details and assemblies and libraries.

Our drafters and modelers provide qualified assistance and are able to help you with your projects.


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How CAD/CAM Services Uses SolidWorks 2017


How CAD/CAM Services Uses SolidWorks 2017

If you’re a regular reader of our blog, then you know our engineering staff here at CAD/CAM Services are big fans of SolidWorks.

Did you know that SOLIDWORKS 2017 is the 24th annual release of this great software product?  It delivers CAD (MCAD, ECAD), simulation, data management and collaboration tools that we use daily to provide finished jobs to our clients and customers.

We like SolidWorks, because they are so response to user feedback.  In fact, they tell us that 90 percent of their software enhancements are driven by user feedback, like ours. Thank you, SolidWorks! 

With more than 250 new features and enhancements in CAD alone and a total of 520 new enhancements spread across all products, SolidWorks keeps even seasoned users like our engineers pleasantly surprised at the improvements in day-to-day productivity.  Great for us in improving response time to our clients!

We especially like the core CAD enhancements such as variable Chamfer, super features that convert Chamfer to a Fillet for flexible modeling, advanced hole, enhancements to import mesh files, wrap feature, offset surface, and better placement of components while mating.  While we haven’t quite seen the delivery of 5X performance over SolidWorks 2016, it’s darn close (and we’re still getting comfortable with the new tools, so expect that to improve.)

Magnetic mates with speedpack enhancements makes it fast and easy to manage large modular assemblies, something that we work on a lot for the Aerospace Industry.

Our SolidWorks Applications

Over the past few years, our company has moved steadily into more 3D work and less 2D work (although to be absolutely accurate, we still get our fair share of 2D requests).  3D Data has many uses in our digital world and 3D models provide much more information than 2D drawings. Here is a list of some of the applications where we use SolidWorks:

  • Re-Engineering/Design
  • Inspection/Analysis
  • Replication/Reproduction
  • Visualization/Animation

Sometimes, we combine these 3D CAD applications with 3D Scanning.  By scanning an object or part that exists in the real world, you have the original “real” object and you have a virtual model that you can use for archiving, redesign, retrofitting and any number of other activities.  Today,  many industries prefer 3D data archival for parts, products and designs. Here are some of the industries we work with:  t:

  • Aerospace/Defense
  • Industrial Design
  • Facilities Management
  • Manufacturing
  • Architecture/Construction

CAD/CAM and SolidWorks 2017 move into the new year dedicated to working with existing clients and new clients to scan, convert and/or model their parts, products and designs.

By using SolidWorks, we help companies:

  • Add emerging technologies, into designs
  • Gain greater design insights that lead to breakthrough products
  • Turn new ideas into finished products in less time
  • Unlock any 3D model to work with SOLIDWORKS
  • Get design data under control

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CAD/CAM Drafting Help


As computer aided design and manufacturing improves year after year, there are many new technologies to take advantage of.  As a manufacturer, designer, architect or other professional, the best design differentiates your firm and product from everything else on the market.  For that reason, many more professionals are obtaining drafting help to acquire the most expert design possible.

Nowadays, not only are there many different design software firms, there are also different software categories.  Those include raster to vector, image enhancement, electronic document management, scanning, small format and 3D software.  Each category needs its own skilled professionals to take full advantage.

For example, designers dealing with medical clients have strict oversight and security demands in compliance with the federal HIPAA regulations.  For that reason, firms use software like AcceleDOCS which offers a suite of SaaS/Cloud medical solutions.  It provides world-class scanning, imaging, document management and search functionality for medical documents while retaining critical security controls.

Creating a solution for that integrates this system is challenging and requires professional expertise.  For that reason, CAD/CAM Services  provides expert drafting help.  The firm provides superior CAD conversion with a guarantee of quality.  In addition, the company offers a clear and concise analysis of the pros and cons of each potential software partner.  Not only that, CAD/CAM services provides the consulting services and on-going support should any further questions arise.

For more information and to get feedback on your project, please contact us.  Our friendly experts will provide a no-obligation assessment before any project quote.


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Drafting Help from CAD/CAM Services


Is your company in need of drafting help? If you have a concept of which you would like drawings made or your company needs assistance producing mechanical or manufacturing drawings from 3D to 2D formats then you and could possibly benefit from outsourcing your drafting needs to CAD/CAM Services Inc. We will use the flexibility of our parametric modeling to effectively manage the design or configuration changes which your products and customers need.

Our drawing and drafting services are performed by a team with an excellent understanding of design and manufacturing. Our mechanical engineers have an unparalleled knowledge of diverse industries and are eager to put their manufacturing and prototyping expertise to work for you. Allowing us to help you with your drafting, drawing or conversion requirements can significantly optimize your business model

All mechanical drawings need to be easy to edit, archive, search, reproduce and modify. This makes it easier to integrate them with parts and assemblies and lends flexibility and speed to the design process. They should also be easily modifiable and allow for revision control. We use CAD to accomplish these things for you. Our engineers offer seamless drafting services and deliver CAD drafting and design projects which improve the efficiency of the design processes of our clients.

Our expertise is in computer aided design and drafting. We use tools such as AutoCAD, Inventor, SolidWorks, Pro/Engineer, Unigraphics, SolidEdge, Visual LISP and VBA programming to meet your specific needs. Our mechanical engineers have operated across several domains, from Aerospace and Marine to Food processing and HVAC.

What sets us apart from our competitors is our project management. This is usually the “weak link” when it comes to outsourcing drawing and drafting services, but through diligent project planning, communication and regular reviews, we deliver the very highest quality drafting and design services to all of our clients and their respective customers.


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BIM, FM and Outsourcing – the Revolution for Design/Build


If BIM is the revolution in Design/Buils then what’s the technology behind the revolution?  Some may say it’s the software, some may say it’s the models, but we think it’s about people, process and collaboration.

From a CAD Service provider’s perspective, one of the most valuable additions that BIM offers is the ability to work more closely with the people who send us their CAD work.  While we may specialize in CAD conversion, the truth is that today, CAD conversion is no longer about someone sending us a file to convert, and more about collaborating with the design team to ensure that they have all the bits and pieces of information in their BIM model.

Invariably, as a design/build project progress, this means that we get to interact with a lot of different players on the team.  There’s no longer the hard-and-fast divide between architects and contractors, engineers and subcontractors and outsource service providers. BIM plays a significant role in promoting collaboration between all project stakeholders, improving efficiency and profitability for all concerned – including clients. However, not every contractor and subcontractor feels yet inclined to assume the responsibility for promoting and championing BIM. 

It’s even more true that not many CAD service providers are not brave enough to jump into the design-build foray known as BIM.  That may be because no one person on the team takes charge of the responsibility for BIM.  But, what we’ve learned is that as an outsource service, we’re in a unique position to interact with all the stakeholders.  Especially when we’re generating the 3D models, it’s imperative that we dive in feet-first and take responsibility for the BIM.

Outsource BIM to Aide the Architect and Owner

  • The Architect

Many, if not most Design/Build projects today include BIM.  Often, this is a requirement of the original RFP, so by the time the funding is in place and the design phase has begun, all stakeholders know that s decided that BIM will play a significant role at every stage of design and construction.

As the architect begins working on their design model, we may be called upon to draft various design versions based upon the initial architect concept.  This reduces the time the architect spends in minor revisions, while enabling her to focus fully on the design.

When complete, the architectural model is presented to the owner, who does a virtual walkthrough of the model, and often suggests changes and offers their thoughts on the architect’s vision of the finished project.  If we’ve been involved at the beginning, it’s quite fast and easy for us to do make the changes, which can be presented, sometimes the same day, back to the owner.

NOTE:   4D BIM involves time-related data, such as information about scheduling (including lead times, installation and build phases) being added to the model and 5D BIM is, principally, about the inclusion of information that helps facilitate accurate cost estimates.  As a rule, we, as a CAD outsource provider do not get involved in these issues.  Our area of expertise is in the CAD work related to generation of the BIM model and any 3D animation required for walk-throughs.

The success the BIM process, relies heavily on how well BIM models are set up from the get-go.   That’s where we, in collaboration with the architect, excel.

  • The Owner

When an owner commissions a building, he is primarily concerned with how it will serve his needs after the project’s completion. Although the owner and his Facilities Management (FM) teams are likely to be the biggest users of BIM models and the data they contain, they usually aren’t BIM experts.  While this is changing, primarily because of the U.S. Government’s push toward BIM in government-funded construction, it’s still an area where we’re frequently called upon for expertise in maintaining their FM data.

The overall purpose of utilizing BIM for FM is to enable building owners to leverage facility data throughout the building’s lifecycle to provide safe, healthy, effective and efficient work environments for their tenants. Ask yourself, “How long does it take to recreate a new tenant phone list or an employee space allocation guide?” BIM for FM makes these everyday tasks easy and helps to prolong the life of the building by monitoring building and building systems maintenance, repair, replacement and alterations.

Outsource services such as CAD CAM Services BIM Modeling and FM strike a balance between design, construction and building management. The cohesive information within the BIM can be used and displayed in a variety of different methods, from a simple spreadsheet to a fully integrated relational database containing efficient graphic representation of the structure(s).


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CAD CAM Design Using 3D Models


CAD CAM Design Using 3D Models

CAD CAM technology is used to design and to manufacture products.  While the CAD software is confined to design only, CAD CAM software not only designs, but also programs CNC manufacturing processes.   Today, the CAD design portion is often done using 3D models and assemblies.  3D models let designers try the design out virtually in order to ensure that it works before the CNC machine is programmed to create the initial prototype.

Being able to test designs in a virtual environment prior to building the first prototype saves both the time and the money that would have been spent to build multiple physical prototypes in the pre-3D model days in order to work out any problems inherent in the initial design. 

CAD CAM Software

Two example of CAD CAM software are:  Autodesk HSM Works and Inventor HSM software.  Both are integrated CAM solutions that work with Autodesk’s Inventor 3Dp CAD software as well as with Solidworks by Dessault Systemes, according to the Autodesk website.

By using CAD CAM software, engineers can more efficiently develop products and reduce costs.  These kinds of integrated tools accelerate time-to-market, control development costs, improve product quality and innovation, and help companies to compete successfully.

Challenges of Engineering for Manufacturing

Meeting the product development, equipment design, and systems engineering needs of manufacturers in all kinds of industries means meeting unique challenges in today’s ever-evolving and increasingly multifaceted global marketplace.   Many factors contribute to this, such as the increased cost of energy used in the manufacturing process, the greater world-wide focus on safety and environmental issues, and the increasing demand for products of all kinds in developing countries.  All of these factors combine to created competitive pressures on designers and engineers.

Regardless of the product being designed, developed and manufactured, competing successfully in the global market is necessary, and that means developing more complex products more quickly, more cost-effectively and with greater levels of collaboration, sometimes across countries or across continents.

How CAD CAM Software and 3D Models Help

Today’s market pressures mean that 2D design tools are no longer a viable option.  2D tools have too many limitations in efficiently using design data to address multiple functional requirements.   By using 3D CAD CAM software, like that by Autodesk or Dessault Systemes, engineers are able to meet challenges as they appear during every phase of development:  from concept and proposal through validation, production and implementation.  Using 3D design techniques enables use of the same model for concept development, design automation, simulation, and communication, as well as for prototype development and product manufacturing.

Managing, Documenting, and Communicating Design Data

As our global markets continue to evolve, every manufacturing company’s success will depend upon its ability to respond to demands quickly and effectively.   Fast, effective response is highly dependent on how well a company can organize, manage, and communicate its internal design data and expertise.   Often competitive time pressures require more collaborative development relationships, data reuse, modular design, and systems prefabrication. To complete their jobs effectively, engineers must have efficient data management, documentation creation, and design communication tools.  Often an outsource CAD CAM Service can provide the necessary expertise in this area, enabling the design engineers to focus on product development.  Additionally Using a 3rd party independent CAD CAM outsource to validate the designs prior to automating the manufacturing and production can help ensure that the manufacturing process goes smoothly.

Final Steps – Automating Manufacturing and Production

After using an independent CAD CAM 3D outsource to validate the designs, companies can leverage the 3D CAD data to automate their manufacturing and production. Because 3D design data is highly visual, engineers can communicate and collaborate more effectively with assembly and production personnel to balance cost, quality, and delivery.

Through the use of integrated CAM (computer-aided machining) software, engineers automate machining and manufacturing.   In addition to cutting time from the production process, 3D CAD CAM software can help companies to reduce the volume of scrap produced and rework required. Because the design has been validated and manufacturing relates directly to 3D CAD data, fewer questions and surprises will arise in manufacturing than when using 2D development methods.


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Do You Need Raster to Vector Conversion?


Do You Need Raster to Vector Conversion?

Eight Questions to Ask

Those of us who are in the business of CAD conversion regularly use terms like raster to vector conversion, or the shortened form, R2V.  But it was brought to my attention last week, that if you’re not in the CAD conversion business, you might not even know what raster to vector conversion is, or why you might need it.  So, we’ve compiled a list of eight questions that you can ask to determine if you need raster to vector conversion. 

But, before we get to the eight questions, let’s define just what raster to vector conversion is:

Raster to vector conversion is the process of converting a raster image to a vector image.  R2V can sometimes be done using an automatic R2V converter software; sometimes it needs to be done entirely by hand, as in tracing and re-drawing a raster image to recreate it in vector; and sometimes, probably most often, it is a mix of automatic an hand conversion.

1.  What is a raster image?

A raster image is an image that is made up of pixels which are little squares or dots, like the images you see on your computer monitor or TV screen.  Raster images are created when you scan a drawing, take a photograph with a digital camera or create an image in a raster-based software program such as Adobe Photoshop.

Raster images can be saved as various sorts of file including BMP, CALS, GIF, IMG, JPEG, PCX, PDF, PNG and TIFF.

2.  What is a vector image?

A vector image is an image made up of vectors (lines) which are mathematically defined entities drawn between coordinates.  Vector images are created by CAD programs and other vector-based software programs such as Adobe Illustrator.

Vector image file types include DXF, DWG, DGN, HPGL, SVG, EMF, WMF and PDF (which can contain raster images, vector images or both).

3.  Why convert raster images to vector images?

Some software applications require vector images in order to work accurately with the images. The following questions provide some examples.

4.  Do you have scanned AEC drawings that you need to import into your CAD system?

If you’ve scanned old AEC drawings in order to bring the digital files into a CAD program, you need R2V conversion.  While you will probably be able to load a raster image into your CAD program and view it, you will not be able to make any changes to it without converting it to vector.

5.  Do you want to cut a scanned image using a CNC machine? 

Just like CAD programs, CNC programs will work only with vector files.  This means that you must either redraw the scanned (raster) image manually or get a raster to vector conversion service to convert it for you.

6.  Do you have files such as JPEGs, BMP, TIFF, IMG, GEM, CIT, GIF, but you need EPS, PDF (which can contain raster and vector) DXF, DWG, DGN, HPGL, SVG, EMF, WMF?

The first group of file types are raster files.  The second group are vector files.  You can’t just open a raster file and click “save as” to turn it into a vector file.  The only way to get a vector version of a raster file is by going through the process, whether automatic or by hand, of raster to vector conversion.

7.  Do you have satellite imagery that needs to be brought into a GIS (Geographic Information System)?

Satellite imagery, by its very nature is a raster file.  It is, after all, just very large photograph.

When I thinking about satellite imagery, it’s important to remember that almost every pixel in a detailed satellite image of an urban area could contain unique information.  For instance, a single tile in a web map typically has 256 x 256 = 65,536 pixels, and each zoom level has (2^zoom * 2^zoom) tiles.

A vector map, on the other hand is made up of polygons and lines. For example, a shape file detailing zoning boundaries of an entire city (potentially millions of Raster tiles) area might only have 65,000 Vector shapes.

The most obvious difference between raster fixed pixel maps and vector (coordinate maps) is that vector maps can scale with a higher degree of accuracy than pixels because vector data contains coordinate patterns (points, polygons, lines etc) that can be rendered relative to each other at different resolutions using simple formulas, while pixel resizing typically uses an algorithm to smooth out the pixels, and that results in image artifacts.

While both raster and vector data have their places in GIS, you will definitely need to go back and forth between the two.

8.  Do you have satellite imagery that needs to be brought into CAD?

Yes, it’s true, not all mapping applications are done in GIS…some are done in CAD.   For instance, AutoCAD Map adds GIS features to the base AutoCAD product and, as such, these features help define the difference between CAD and GIS.

The primary difference between CAD and GIS is topology. GIS has it, CAD doesn’t. In a CAD environment, the objects (lines, polylines, points, etc.) have no relationships between them. Topology brings these objects together into logical groups to form real world relationships.

CAD models represent things in the real world, but GIS models represent the world itself.  GIS adds attributes to each object, and those attributes position the object in the real world.  The attributes typically reside in a database that is associated with the image.

If you answered “yes” to any one of these five questions, then you need raster to vector conversion.


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Robotics Design Using CAD


Robotics Design Using CAD

From where we sit, it looks like Robotics have become an essential part in all industrial activities. The introduction of Robotics has made life easier. Robots are reprogrammable devices which are used to perform various day to day tasks. Robots can deliver outputs which are accurate, consistent, and less time consuming. They perform in any type of environment without any deviation from delivering desired outputs. Robots can even perform tasks which are very dangerous to humans with ease.

Designing of Robots has become a daunting task for designers. Customization of these robots is increasing at a brisk pace. Each customer has their own requirement. Also, designers have a tough task in addressing industries ranging from children’s toys to Robots used in  the medical field. The list of industries using robots is increasing at a brisk pace, which in turn increases the demand for the design of Robots.

We are familiar with CAD (Computer Aided Design), CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing) and CAE (Computer Aided Engineering). Introduction of CAD has brought a massive turnaround in the design part of Robotics. Using 3D CAD Software, a 3D model of a robot can be easily created with all its geometrical parameters. These 3D models can be easily customized based on the requirements or changes provided by the customer. CAD Design enables designers to see the 3D robotic model in various angles and check if they align with the geometric parameters provided. CAD allows the designer to make corrections with precision.

CAE is used for simulation of the design developed in CAD. CAE is basically used for verifying the design. CAM programs are used for Manufacturing. Using CNC or DNC codes CAM controls the robot.

Robotic Arm – A widely used Industrial Robot:

A robotic arm is the most commonly manufactured robot which is designed to perform any task such as welding, gripping and other industrial equipment plants. An industrial robotic arm resembles a human arm. The end part of the arm known as effector (Gripper) is designed to perform various tasks. Depending upon the nature of work the gripper is designed to perform that particular task.

Various Types of Robotic arms:

  1. Cartesian Robot: It has three joints. This robot is mainly used for performing tasks such as moving, painting, welding etc.,
  2. Articulated Robot: This type is used mainly performing various types of welding, spray painting, assembly operations.
  3. Spherical Robot: It performs tasks such as Fettling Machines, gas welding, arc welding, die-casting. It is also used for handling machine tools.
  4. Parallel Robot: The main use is for mobile platform handling cockpit flight simulators. Its arm has concurrent prismatic or rotary joints.
  5. Anthropomorphic Robot: This robot is designed in way to resemble human hand. It has got independent fingers and thumbs similar to that of a human hand.
  6. Cylindrical Robot: Mainly performs tasks such as spot welding, diecasting, handling at machine tools, gas welding and arc welding.
  7. SCARA Robot: Tasks such as handling machine tools, pick and place work, assembly operations are performed by this robot.

In robotic arms an important term one has to know is its Degrees of Freedom (DOF). Each DOF is a joint on the arm, a place where it can bend or rotate. Depending on the application of the robot, the DOF is provided during designing of the robotic arm.

3D Modeling of Robotic Arm using CAD:

The basic inputs required for 3D modeling of a robotic arm are:

  1. A design Drawing
  2. Analysis Data.

Output will be delivered in formats:

  1. .sldprt and .sldasm
  2. .iges
  3. .stp
  4. .dwg
  5. .pdf

Depending on the application of the robotic arm, changes can be made in its design.


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