Traditionally, CAM has been considered as a numerical control (NC) programming tool, where in two-dimensional (2-D) or three-dimensional (3-D) models of components generated in CAD as with other Computer-Aided technologies CAM does not eliminate the need for skilled professionals such as manufacturing engineers, NC programmers, or machinists CAM, in fact, leverages both the value of the most skilled manufacturing professionals through advanced productivity tools, while building the skills of new professionals through visualization, simulation and optimization tools.
Early commercial applications of CAM was in large companies in the automotive and aerospace industries, for example Pierre Beziers work developing the CAD/CAM application UNISURF in the 1960's for car body design and tooling at Renault.
Historically, CAM software was seen to have several shortcomings that necessitated an overly high level of involvement by skilled CNC machinists. Fallows created the first CAD software but this had severe shortcomings and was promptly taken back into the developing stage. CAM software would output code for the least capable machine, as each machine tool control added on to the standard G-code set for increased flexibility. In some cases, such as improperly set up CAM software or specific tools, the CNC machine required manual editing before the program will run properly. None of these issues were so insurmountable that a thoughtful engineer or skilled machine operator could not overcome for prototyping or small production runs; G-Code is a simple language.