It’s unlikely that new designs can be assembled with all off the shelf parts. Those that can’t be purchased, will have to be fabricated, machined, or otherwise made custom, to order. That's where some engineers start scratching their heads. How do you go from design, to production? There’s no shortage of methods to produce something, but at the core of any modern process is CNC -- computer numerical control. To communicate the design to the CNC, there’s a high likelihood that CAM software is used. CAM, or computer aided manufacturing, makes the toolpaths that cut the stock.

In the same way you wouldn’t expect the architect to swing a hammer, or plumb a toilet, there’s usually a handoff from one skillset to another. And while the house construction is the common end goal, the as-designed is not the same as the as-built. The same goes for mechanical designs. Even the best engineers might omit important design-for-manufacturability considerations. This is why it’s important to get the same design tool, with the same history, in front of the CNC programmer. With that seamless handoff, changes can be made with ease, and CAM rework can be minimized. That's why you’ll find a wide array of CAM offerings in the Onshape app store.

Click here to learn what the Onshape app store has to offer, when it comes to CAM.