The realm of design has undergone a remarkable transformation, transitioning from the days of pen and paper to the modern paradise of computer systems, all thanks to the revolutionary power of Computer-Aided Design (CAD).
Designers early on used various shades of pencils on paper with the assistance of the drawing board. This process was tedious, time-consuming, and painstakingly slow.
The introduction of computer systems, which eased processes in various sectors and industries, did not leave the design sector behind.
Computer-aided design is the use of computer systems to aid in the creation of designs. Manufacturers require CAD in the manufacturing process to expedite production flow, utilizing it in various capacities depending on the intended result, CAD software type, and user skill level.
Moreover, professionals use CAD in conjunction with various tools, including Computer Aided Manufacturing, Computer Numerical Control Machines, Product Data Management, and others.
Types of CAD
1. 2D CAD
Two-dimensional Computer-Aided Design (2D CAD) focuses on the length and width of the design process on a flat surface or CAD without depth.
Furthermore, it focuses on points, lines, and circles, depending on the shapes.
2. 3D CAD
Three-dimensional CAD focuses on the length, width, and depth of a shape. It brings life to the object. Shapes like cylinders and prisms give an overview of what 3D CAD looks like.
In retrospect, 3D CAD models are ideal for crafting product prototypes.
Who makes use of CAD?
Students and professionals in various fields of endeavour use CAD for a variety of purposes, including:
2. Interior Designers
3. Exterior Designers
5. Product Designers
6. Industrial Designers
7. Animation Illustrators
8. Urban & Regional Planners
9. Graphics Designers
10. CAD Drafter
Examples of CAD software
Various fields utilise different CAD software, including engineering, architecture, interior and exterior design, software development, construction, and more.These CAD software includes;
Usually, this CAD software is mostly used by engineers and architects to design 3D models of products, buildings, simulations, and others.
Mostly used by mechanical and electrical engineers to design prototypes of mechanical and electrical systems.
3. Altium Designer
This CAD software is used by electronics engineers in the design of Printed Circuit Boards (PCB)
MicroStation enables engineers, architects, and GIS professionals to draft designs for infrastructures.
With a focus on mechanical designs, IronCAD is used to produce 2D and 3D designs of product models.
This CAD software is mostly used in the production of 2D designs.
Formerly originating from the popular Corel draw software which was used in design and printing; CorelCAD is an upgrade to this, creating more sophisticated designs and prints.
Used by several professionals to design and analyze elaborate engineering systems.
9. Fusion 360
This CAD software was created by Autodesk for use by mechanical engineers, and designers to produce motion animation, electrical circuits and others.
ArchiCAD was developed by Graphisoft and is effective for large projects with effective management of design processes.
Presently a rave among interior designers and architects, SketchUp is used by designers to give your homes and offices a breathtaking look.
12. Rhinoceros 3D
Also known as Rhino 3D, this CAD software is used in the design of jewellery, automobiles, furniture and naval design.
13. Autodesk Inventor
CAD software gaining popularity in product design simulation, and mechanical design and is mostly used by seasoned professionals due to its interface.
An easy-to-use CAD software used for designing 3D graphics for games.
Created by Autodesk, Revit is used by architects, engineers, builders, and fabricators to create more sophisticated designs which can’t be done on AutoCAD. Useful for industrial products.
Benefits of CAD
1. Saves cost for the organisation.
2. Create high-quality designs that have versatile applications.
3. Efficient workflow/design process.
4. Improved communication with the use of designs.
5. Incorporate more details in the design.
6. Encourages the use of digital files thereby improving record keeping.
7. Useful for the design of industrial products.
As an engineer, architect, or designer, the knowledge of at least one CAD software is a must to experience growth in your field. Furthermore, Computer-Aided Design is here to stay in the design processes of various sectors of our economy, with tremendous growth, upgrades and the launch of new CAD software in several sectors In other words, embracing CAD is essential for professional development.