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The term CAD/CAM is a shortening of Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Computer-Aided Manufacture (CAM). The term CAD/NC (Numerical Control) is equivalent in some industries. Most CAD/CAM software was developed for product development and to design and manufacture of components and molds. They are also increasingly used by architects. CAD/CAM software uses CAD drawing tools to describe geometries used by the CAM portion of the program to define a toolpath that will direct the motion of a machine tool to machine the exact shape that was drawn.

Examples of CAD/CAM software are SolidWorks[1], INVENTOR[2], CATiA [3] and AutoCAD[4]. Furthermore, examples of CAM software are SolidCAM[5] and CAMWorks[6].

3D CAD/CAM software provides the ability to control CNC machinery from 2.5 axis, 3 axis and multi axis CNC machines.

Expert CAD/CAM systems were developed around 1988 [7].