With all the hype about needing to learn how to use CAD software to become more efficient, you certainly can’t help but wonder if it’s time you start looking around for a CAD course. But before you make any decision, it would be best if you learn the basic facts about this software and how it can possibly benefit your work life.
According to techtarget.com, an online IT encyclopedia resource, CAD stands for Computer Aided Design. It is software that has quickly become popular among professionals whose jobs require a degree of designing or drafting. CAD is often used by engineers, architects and interior decorators. The software allows the individual to create the design on a computer as opposed to creating a manual drawing. The visual representation it produces is more accurate and easily modified if needed. The different type of CAD range from ones with basic 2D features to more advanced 3D and 4D technology.
CAD has a lot of features that make designing or drafting a lot easier. For example, if you were to build a rowboat, you would need to create a design of it first. While creating a drawing would certainly let you plan the size, color and other features. However, you will not be able to determine whether that boat would float once it’s built. If you use an engineering CAD tool, you can do an analysis of your design and simulate how it will perform when it is completed. The software will allow you to make the changes needed to make sure it will float even before you start building your rowboat.
Some features available in CAD include:
- Solid Modeling – This is the advanced geometric modeling method. Traditional geometric modeling is available in both 2D and 3D. The solid modeling works with the 3D version. It allows you to see the surfaces so the design is more solid.
- Design Documentation – Blueprints are more than just drawings. These include vital information that will needed for the build. Engineering CAD software can produce documentation such as Bill of Materials
- Library of Necessary Components – When creating a design or blueprint, there are various elements and components that would need to be included. CAD software for engineering already has these components ready and available for you to use and integrate into the design.
- Design Validation and Verification – A previously discussed in this article, 3D CAD Engineering software allows you to analyze the performance of whatever you are designing. This is done through the software’s validation and verification features. It looks at factors such as materials to check if it is a structurally sound design.
- Automated Design Assembly – Allows you to put the different parts of the structure together without any guesswork necessary. The 3D model that will be created from the different parts gives you an accurate representation of the end product.
- Design Simulation – This feature will let you create a virtual prototype to test how the structure will perform or what it will look like when completed.
Free CAD tools often have fewer features than ones that are purchased. For example, 3D modeling may not be available for some free downloads. These are usually basic and trial versions created by developers to show you how useful CAD is.
Benefits of CAD
The features described above bring a host of benefits that make the designing and drafting process a lot simpler.
Drawing to scale is an integral part in drafting and designing. When doing it manually, you will have to determine the scaled measurements prior to actually starting the design. It is needed to be able to compare the measurements of all the elements that will be integrated into the drawing.
CAD software used in engineering already does the scaling for you. The only thing you will need to determine is what measurements you will be using and then start designing on a scale of 1:1. This is one of the main benefits that entice professionals to use the software.
The success of the project begins with an accurate design and 3D CAD engineering software can deliver on this. You can ensure that the dimensions are correct so the space is used appropriately. An architect for example can plan for the size of the rooms and whether the foundations will be able to support the different design elements.
Engineers who are working on machine projects or automotive designs can create the design and analyze whether the parts will fit together and produce the desired results. It makes the drafting stage as accurate as possible to ensure that there are no issues when the project is built.
In addition, an accurate design also minimizes costly errors. With manual drafting, the risk f having inaccurate measurements is high. These are at times not caught during the planning phase. As a result, there may be costly construction delays and revisions. Engineering CAD software can reduce these risks.
- Increased Efficiency
Regardless of how much training received or how skilled an individual is, creating and revising a manual drawing still takes time. There’s the process of scaling and all the different perspectives that need to be paid close attention to. In addition, documentation of the design such as numbering and Bill of materials also add to the time frame of completing it.
With so many elements to focus on, the number of projects that a professional can work on is limited. Because of the improved accuracy and simplified processes, CAD software used in engineering can help increased production.
10 Things You Need to Know About CAD
Becoming an expert in CAD involves a few elements. You will need to find the best engineering CAD tools that will fit your needs as well as get training on how to use it. While the internet is a goldmine of information, you may need to get formal training to be able to maximize the tool to its full potential. Prior to getting the software or finding a course to enroll in, here are 10 things you need to know about CAD first.
- There are different types of CAD. Software developers offer different versions of this tool. Additional features are available in more advanced software. Reviews of engineering CAD tools can help you determine which one you can benefit from the most.
- You can create a 2D drafting drawing more efficiently on CAD. This can be provided to the other people who will be involved in the construction of the project. This drawing includes all the necessary details to ensure that your design can be implemented without any problems.
- You can use 3D CAD engineering CAD software to create a virtual model of your design so you can visualize the end product. If you’re designing a room, the model can create a visual representation of the space you will be working in. The 3D model can take the place of a prototype and reduce the costs of planning your project.
- CAD software output can be exported to other programs such as Adobe Photoshop that have rendering capabilities.
- You can reuse design components on CAD as the software keeps a library of these for future use. This makes it easier to create new projects as you will not always need to start from scratch.
- CAD does not only allow you to get a visual representation of your design it can also show structural durability by doing an analysis. External factors can be used in these analyses to make it more dependable and accurate.
- CAD software offer an interface that makes it easier for users to navigate through the tools needed such as drawing and modify tools. In addition, the labels used are self explanatory so you can easily determine what the tool does. For example, the tool needed to draw a line is called a “line tool”
- Collaborative designing becomes more manageable with CAD. You can divide the project into sections so that you and your entire team can work simultaneously without needing to wait for the others to finish. You can guarantee that the dimensions will be similar by ensuring the scale and measurements are standard for all files.
- While CAD can help you work faster, it can also be a huge factor in ensuring the project is completed sooner. Designs are often reviewed by clients and the local planning and building offices. So revisions are quite inevitable. And because the designs are saved in CAD, you can easily make changes on the sections and elements that need it. There’s no need to start fresh as the software can make the alterations without any problems.
- CAD software can be used for different industries. The same software used for architectural designs can also be used to create automotive projects.
While transitioning to CAD can be a sizeable investment, you can take advantage of the best free engineering CAD software offered by various developers. These are often trial or free versions of software that they sell. These versions can give you a glimpse of how CAD can improve your work output before making that investment. Check out the list of engineering CAD software on CrowdReviews.com so you can start finding the perfect one for you.
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