Computer-aided design (CAD) is when computer technology is used to design objects that are either real or virtual. CAD often involves more than just shapes. Like when things are drawn by hand, the output of CAD often must show information like materials, processes and dimensions. CAD may be used to design shapes in 2D or curves, surfaces, and solid 3D objects. CAD is an important industrial art used in many industries, including cars and shipbuilding, industrial and architectural design and many more. CAD is also used to produce computer animation for special effects in movies and advertising. The power of computers means that even perfume bottles and shampoo dispensers are designed using CAD. Because of its huge importance, CAD has been a major help in the research of computer geometry and graphics. CAD could be used to design the mould for the pedalo.
Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) is using computer software to control machine tools and any machinery involved in the manufacture of different products. This is not the only definition for CAM, but it is the most common. CAM may also refer to the use of a computer to assist in all operations of a manufacturing plant, including planning, management, transportation and storage. Its purpose is to create a faster production process and components and tooling with more precise dimensions and material consistency, which in some cases, uses only the required amount of raw material therefore minimizing waste, while reducing energy consumption. CAM is the next computer-aided process after computer-aided design (CAD), as the model generated in CAD can be input into CAM software, which then controls the machine tool. CAM is used to create the mould for the pedalo but is not involved in the hand-lay-up process.
Computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM) is the manufacturing approach of using computers to control the entire production process. This integration allows that the processes to exchange information with each other and they are able to create and manage actions. Through this integration, manufacturing can be faster and have less errors, although the main advantage is the ability to create automated manufacturing processes. CIM relies on closed-loop-processes which are basically when the same process is repeated over and over, they are based on real-time input from sensors. CIM is also known as flexible design and manufacturing. It has revolutionised modern manufacturing methods in modern factories by allowing computers to entirely control the manufacture of a product.