I'm a complete noob to this but here's my take on it.
With something like Solidworks or Fusion360, and others I'm sure, the Cam can be part of the software. So you draw the model in the CAD side then slide it over into CAM and you get a gcode program that will be your toolpaths.
CAD is computer assisted drawing, CAM is computer assisted manufacturing.
They don't have to be the same software companies by any means. I use Alibre for CAD and MeshCAM. The CAD will export the model into one of many file formats like .stp, .igs, or .stl. The CAM then imports that and helps you make the tool paths.
Another term you'll hear is post. The CAM can have post processing choices for different kind of machine controllers. So if you're like me you choose Linux/EMC as your post and the gcode program you get will work for that control software. There's lots of different controllers out there, and some have some quirks to them. It just helps getting a program that's gonna work right out of the gate. I always end up doing a little manual editing though. Like I said noob.
I know you didn't ask, but here's what I found to be the best learning experience for CAD/CAM.
Cubify Invent CAD software is free for 14 days or buy it for $49. I ended up buying it because I was having so much fun figuring out models.
It's very limited in the file types it uses. It can't import someone else's file and only exports in .stl. But it's super cheap and there's an outstanding set of youtube videos for it. I did end up upgrading my CAD software later, but Invent was perfect to learn with. Well worth the money, or free if you get it done in 14 days.
Watch CubifyFan's 18 videos in order and you will be drawing parts in CAD, I promise. They're perfect little 10 minute or so videos that explain one topic at a time for total beginners.
Then get the free 15 day MeshCAM
He's gonna send you a series of training emails that explain how CAM works, again for beginners so it's very easy to understand. The training course if free and you can sign up on his website too. I appreciated the CAM before I even had a mill. Took some of the voodoo out of it and also helped me think in terms of how to get a tool to do what I want.
To buy it's $250, but that's pretty cheap for stand alone CAM.
Fusion360 right now is free for a year to hobbyists/startups. It's CAD/CAM together. Much more professional software than the other ones I listed, but for me it's been pretty frustrating to use. Been watching alot of youtube on it, and I like the CAM but the CAD is not so easy. For me anyway. I went back to using the CAD I knew. I don't think I'd recommend it for someone who's brand new. It's pro level and there's a lot of choices to make that aren't always intuitive.
Last but not least check out cnccookbook.com
Bob's site has a ton of articles that explain eveything about the process. It's a great resource.
I bought his Gwizard software for feeds and speeds, been very happy with it.
Sorry if it was long winded
Thank you. That was very helpful.
I am looking at MicroKenetics CNC Express(http://www.microkinetics.com/index.php?page=express/express) that has MillMaster software. Based on the screen shots and what I have read MillMaster seems very, for lack of a better term "simple". Am I going to want a more sophisticated CAD/CAM?It seems like it would be ok for very straight forward parts/paths but lack the details CAD programs provide.
Does anyone have any experience with either the machine or software? Or opinions? Keep in mind this a hobby level machine.