CAM translates a CAD design into commands, typically G-CODE, which describe the path that should be taken by the cutting head of a mill or lathe or the deposition head of a 3D printer to produce the desired part. These commands are then sent to a CNC system which runs the machine.
This software is often divided into seperate groups for subtractive systems (mills, lathes, etc...) and additive systems (3D printers, etc...) but the basic work and result are the same. The differences primarily deal with the ease and ability to change tool size mid job, and describing paths which result in the most polished result. To differentiate these systems, subtractive systems are called CAM, and additive are called "slicers".
Pick and Place, automated placement of components. +
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<A HREF="http://www.massmind.org/techref/app/cams.htm"> Computer Aided Manufacture</A>
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