Check out our CAD-CAM technology used in our central fabrication services.
CAD-CAM software plays an integral role in the central fabrication process. Whether you are manufacturing prosthetic or orthotic devices, one of the most important aspects is to get the fit right so that users can wear them comfortably. Fortunately, advanced technologies have made it possible to get more accurate prototypes, which lead to devices that fit much better.
Read on to learn more about CAD-CAM and why it plays an important role in orthotic, prosthetic fabrication.
What is CAD-CAM?
Before anything else, what is CAD-CAM? CAD-CAM stands for computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM). As its name suggests, this software uses digital media to help you design prototypes and manufacture finished products with a CNC machine.
Generally, the manufacturing process starts with CAD, covering the design aspect. It allows you to draw and design 2D and 3D prototypes with geometrical shapes and patterns. More advanced CAD software will enable you to test your model in real-world environments to check for issues or potential defects before production.
Once you have your final design, you can process the data through the CAM software to program the manufacturing process. Overall, you can perform various digital operations on your model (including optimization and tool selection), before it goes into actual production.
How CAD-CAM Software Is Used in Central Fabrication
Now that you better understand what CAD-CAM is, you might be wondering how this is relevant to central fabrication work. Overall, CAD-CAM software has long been a standard in manufacturing automation.
Central fabrication is used to fabricate prosthetic and orthotic devices accurately based on patients’ measurements and anatomical requirements. Here is a quick overview of how the process works:
Fabrication starts with traditional techniques like getting patient measurements manually or casting with plaster or fiberglass. However, one of the more advanced processes in the industry involves 3D scanners—devices that you can scan to the patient’s residual limb to capture measurements and get 3D surface immediately on your device.
Once you have the measurements to work with, you can use CAD-CAM to create a computer model of the prosthetic or orthotic device to be made. You can view the 3D representation under different conditions, then modify or adjust other parts before manufacturing.
One of the main perks of using CAD-CAM is that the software packages often come with built-in templates that help streamline the design process. While you enter the patient’s measurements or import any scanning data, the CAD-CAM system will already work to fit the template to the patient’s anatomy.
In modifying the digital scan into a functioning socket, you must consider which areas can bear weight and which areas cannot. It can be hard to pinpoint these regions, so the software can help mark them for your reference. You still need to make other edits to get a custom fit, but starting with templates can save you significant time and effort.
While some software already comes with templates, it would still be better to design your own to ensure that they match your manufacturing processes. As a tip, you can create standard templates per limb, such as the above knee, below the knee, upper extremity, and lower extremity, so you have a good starting point for these types of devices.
Benefits of CAD-CAM Software in Central Fabrication
What is CAD-CAM for central fabrication? CAD-CAM systems are technological software that allows you to design and develop your prosthetics or orthotics through the computer. By modifying each of the parts digitally, you can avoid costly mistakes and problems later in the production process.
Specifically, these are the key benefits of using CAD-CAM in central fabrication work:
● Get an accurate digital representation of the patient’s residual limb
● Make modifications easily to transform the digital model into a prosthetic or orthotic socket
● Simplify data inputs and product documentation
● Store data from previous designs
Get High-Quality Prosthetics and Orthotics with Grace’s CAD-CAM Software
Looking for a company to provide you with high-quality prosthetics and orthotics? Give Grace Prosthetic Fabrication a call today at 1-800-940-5347 to learn more about CAD-CAM. Our industry-leading software and technologies ensure that we always get patients’ optimal fit and comfort.