Difference Between CAD and CAM


CAD and CAM are important tools in designing and manufacturing. Before the advent of computers and especially PC in the eighties, draftsmen performed important role in designing in companies. But computers changed the scenario completely. Their affordability and versatility allowed engineers to do drafting on their own. Today hand drafting for designing has become obsolete and the days of compasses and protractors are virtually over. CAD and CAM are important terms in the field of design and manufacture and refer to Computer Aided Design and Computer Aided Manufacture respectively.


CAD is the use of computers for designing in simple language. It is also known as CADD, which stands for computer aided design and drafting. In CAD, a wide range of computer based tools are used to assist engineers, architects and other design professionals in their design activities.

Originally CAD referred to computer aided drafting as it was a replacement of traditional drafting board. But today it is called designing to reflect the fact that much more can be done with the help of computers besides just drafting. CAD is usually employed when simple drafting is not able to do the job such as in design of automobiles, airplanes, ships and other industrial designs.


CAM is the use of computer based tools that assist engineers, tool and die makers and CNC machinists in the manufacture and prototyping of product components. While CAD has many functions that do not necessarily involve CAM, the same cannot be said about CAM, and in general, CAM is heavily dependent upon CAD.

Difference between CAD and CAM

CAD and CAM are both part of an over all important process that is referred to as computer aided engineering (CAE). CADS and CAM have similar advantages and they render items in 2D or 3D. Both CAD and CAM help in quick processing and production of any design that is conceptualized by a scientist. Most of the CAM machines have inbuilt CAD software.

The major difference between CAD and CAM lies in the end user. While CAM software is mostly used by an engineer, CAM is used by a trained machinist. These machinists are highly skilled and are equivalent to a computer engineer.


• CAD refers to Computer Aided Design, while CAM stands for Computer Aided Manufacture.

• CAD and CAM have revolutionized the way things are designed and manufactured.

• CAD and CAM are heavily dependent upon each other.