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What Does it Mean? The Final Few Acronyms
Wednesday, July 8, 2015

While there are countless scientific and engineering-related acronyms that are used in different industries and a number of fields, there are a select few that pertain to precisely what we do at Greenlight Optics. As you may have read the meaning behind other acronyms since we began this series of posts in March, their time has come to an end. These last choice acronyms relate directly to what our team works on at Greenlight Optics, so they happen to be well known among our team.

·      CAD
In order to design the various articles we create at Greenlight Optics, this acronym is highly important. What’s so crucial about something that looks like a person forget to spell the latter half of ‘caddie?’ In order to design and develop the prototypes of the systems we produce, we need this acronym — or should we be saying computer system? CAD stands for computer-aided design and is none other than a computer system used for designing. As straightforward as that is, this computer system can do many things. CAD is used to create the design, modify it, analyze it, or can even optimize it to operate, function, or just be better. Computer-aided design isn’t just used by us for diamond turning, fabrication, CNC machining, or molding; it is used in several industries that refer to this computer system by its acronym of CAD. They include electronic systems (though, it tends to go by electronic design automation or EDA in that industry), mechanical design automation, and technical design. Among all of these industries, CAD can be used to design tools, machinery, and to design and draft buildings for architectural and constructional settings in order to offer multiple viewpoints and show the internal organization of different layouts or setups.

·      CAM
Not a shortened version of ‘camera,’ this acronym actually has something in common with the other one we’ve elaborated on in this post. CAM technically isn’t a computer system, but rather, it’s computer software that is also used during manufacturing process to create articles and workpieces. Optical products and optical systems require a great deal of technologies and machinery for design, development, manufacturing, and operating. CAM helps with many of the applications we work on at Greenlight Optics, particularly during the course of manufacturing. CAM uses computer software to control machine tools and other machinery or technology to not only speed up the manufacturing process, but also to make it more efficient. Other added benefits of using computer-aided manufacturing for optical systems means waste is minimized and so is energy consumption. How does CAM relate to CAD? Well, after an optical product or optical system undergoes computer-aided design, it subsequently goes through computer-aided manufacturing. Oftentimes, many version of CAM software use a form of numerical control to manufacture a product or a workpiece. While computer-aided manufacturing software has helped further manufacturing within several industries, there is one thing it doesn’t have: CAM software cannot reason like a human can, so it sometimes takes an engineer or machinist writing down code or notes for manufacturing completion.

The definitions of what these acronyms stand for and what they’re used for seem to give a direct answer of “what do they mean,” don’t they? These two specific acronyms are computer-aided systems/software that the Greenlight Optics team uses day-in and day-out when working on optical systems.



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