Engineering CAD Software
Published August 17th, 2016 by

Computer Aided Design Applications in the Industry

Computer aided design, or CAD, is a method of executing drawings, designs and layout using a computer program instead of using drawing tools and paper. The first CAD systems utilize two-dimensional modelling, where drawing perspectives are varied by manipulating the lines and its angles. Following the subsequent progress in engineering CAD tools, three dimensional modelling systems are introduced, which gained popularity because of its intelligent representation of solid objects. Drawings rendered in 3D can give more accurate emphasis to details. Today, CAD tools have the capability to transform 2D drawings into its 3D version seamlessly, and vice versa.

Computer Aided Design Applications in the Industry

Initially, a CAD software aims to automate the tasks and processes that a user undergoes when designing. It uses the same principles, which are relative to the tools and measurements used in traditional drafting. Later on, an engineering CAD software eventually became a system itself, which also comprise the activities related in the design process such as documentation and collaboration with manufacturing.

Using CAD tools brings a lot of benefits to its users, and to the industries and businesses it is used in. These include:

  1. Reduced storage space requirement

When using traditional methods of design execution, it entails to have an adequate space to hold a decent sized drawing table; a number of drawing tools to use which depend on the complexity of the design, but should be always available within reach; and a huge storage space to hold blueprints and several revisions for different projects. One designer alone requires to have his own workstation and storage space, which may be a big deal when employing multiple number of users.

Using an electronic system, such as a computer aided design software, omits most of the physical elements in the traditional method. It instead utilizes the computer and a software program, wherein all the tools and the working platform is integrated into it. All project drawings are stored digitally in the same computer, the local business server, or in the internet via a cloud. This makes drawings easily accessible and enable users to be mobile and flexible with working in different places of working station. This kind of storage system also makes the drawings available for collaborative work, which can be easily shared or modified by multiple users.

  1. Ease of modification, scaling and revision

Since all processes in a CAD tool are done electronically, all details and specifications can be carried out while it is still on the process of creation, without the worry of making errors and starting to work all over again. CAD drawings are easily modified, and revisions are done with ease. A designer can even make multiple versions of his designs faster than when using traditional methods, so it can save him more time when presenting to clients that have constantly changing preferences. CAD drawings are also scalable, without compromising its quality.

A single design may be composed of multiple parts, which are designed individually and integrated with each other depending on the stage or phase of a certain project it will be used in. Instead of manually repeating the drawings, a CAD software can collect and store repeating parts, to be reused on other projects that need the same part specification. This removes the time consuming parts of a design stage, enabling the user to have more time on new designs instead.

  1. Faster design idea execution

The best engineering CAD tools include sets of editing tools which let the user play with colors, textures and materials, which can help him better visualize the output, therefore producing high quality and well-thought of designs.

To know more about specific and firsthand benefits, see these reviews of engineering CAD tools.

3D CAD Modelling

In a worldwide CAD trends survey conducted in 2015, 3D modelling emerged to be the aspect that gained the most percentage in terms of popularity and usage, garnering 77% of the votes on both. This just goes to show that 3D modelling compels most industries to adopt a CAD tool in order to reap and maximize the benefits of its innovation.

Designing in 3D formats nowadays benefit from more realistic renditions of tool properties, which make it a cost efficient alternative to prototypes. As we know, prototypes are as well tangible representations of the actual output that also needs extra time, effort and resources to make. In the case of CAD software, this is not the same as 3D models are created electronically.

Revisions in either 2D or 3D models doesn’t cost anything at all, making it significantly cheaper to use. Faster design execution is also done without sacrificing output quality.

There are also 3D modelling softwares powerful enough to make interactive and virtual reality simulations of the design output, to enable clients to have that “feel” prior to the actual product execution. This way, no detail will be overlooked, and clients are ensured to have a high quality output in the making.

Product Data Management (PDM)

CAD is an essential part of product data management (PDM), which is a tool used in industries that supports the entire life cycle of the product. This includes the product’s full configuration that pertains to its mechanical, electronic, and documentation properties. Basically, PDM is used to give information about a certain product about its design, operation and maintenance.

A product data management system is used to establish, manage and execute the workflows and processes that accompanies the product all throughout its life cycle. It automates the system, which helps in gathering all pertinent data and information needed to complete a certain product’s documentation. This includes designs and models, created by an another automated process, which is found in CAD tools.

PDM systems are utilized in different large scale industries which includes automotive, general mechanical manufacturing, oil and gas explorations, design and management consulting, food and beverage manufacturing, construction companies, the transportation sector, and even utilities.

CAD-CAM Integration

Computer aided manufacturing (CAM) involves the automation and streamlining of the manufacturing processes instead dealing each in isolation and turning over the outputs to the next stage manually.

In CAD systems, design execution is first done in its 2D form, then transformed into its 3D version prior to actual reproduction. This is done in order to conduct quality control over the final design, and make the necessary revisions prior to actual implementation. In some cases, a prototype is needed, but because a 3D model can be made interactive, this becomes unnecessary.

In CAM systems, it basically follows similar steps in CAD, but starts with the 3D model of the design of parts or the product itself to be manufactured. These 3D models are exported, and then converted into machine codes that will direct the path for cutting with accuracy and precision. The machine is set to run at an appropriate pace and necessary guarding in the assembly line. The finished products are then carried to the post processing department for further finishing or for packaging.

The integration of CAD and CAM systems makes it easier to execute a whole automated manufacturing process. It can also imply a more efficient use of time and resources in the long run.

CAD Engineering Applications

Engineering CAD tools are prevalent in most engineering disciplines, especially those industries that observe modern engineering practices. The efficiency of executing processes using CAD tools is much better than using the manual or traditional ones. Most engineering applications start with the design execution, which can give them a good starting ground when using an automated and computer aided solution. Engineering disciplines that include CAD tools are:

  1. Civil engineering

Structural designs in relation to stability, stress and resistance, engineering materials appropriation and other aspects that are part of civil works.

  1. Electrical engineering

Electrical schematic diagrams, parts specifications, hazards, and circuit simulations.

  1. Electronics engineering

Electronic schematic diagrams, electronic part specifications, circuit assembly and simulations and consumer electronics parts mass production.

  1. Telecommunications engineering

Telecommunication system diagrams and simulations, handoff/handshake routing paths, antenna configuration diagrams, power source diagram.

  1. Mechanical engineering

Makes use of the CAD-CAM systems, which automates the whole system involved in manufacturing operations. This can effectively integrate communication between the computer design and the machine in order to follow the design and apply it in actual.

  1. Automotive

The automotive industry is a subset of mechanical engineering, but rather focus on running a multi-faceted system in a single product. Engineers deal so much time in rendering functional designs that must have regard to energy efficiency, engine performance and road safety.

  1. Aerospace engineering

Vehicles used in aerospace are interconnected parts that are isolated in functions, but will be more purposeful when integrated with each other. Aerospace engineering is a specialized discipline which focuses on the principles of both science and engineering to make powerful aircrafts which can be used in a variety of purposes as a commercial transportation or for government use.

Design is critical when deployed in aerospace engineering, which entails a CAD software by default in order to guard the precision and accuracy of design details, as well as impose strict guidelines for safety and its observance of compliance standards.

  1. Ship building

As with aerospace engineering, ship engineering is also critical with its design implementations, such that it needs computer aided tools and standard compliant processes.

CADOther Applications

CAD are also valuable in the industrial and general design sector, which includes the following industries:

  1. Interior design

Executing interior designs in 3D formats will enable the user to gain a better perspective of its aesthetics and functionality in relation to space.

  1. Architectural design (Residential/Commercial)

Architects are one of the consumers of CAD software. It allows them to gain the advantages of using an electronic application in rendering their ideas for design, which can provide overall efficiency and productivity in this work.

  1. Modern Garments/Fashion

The apparel industry is one of the larger users of CAD tools, specifically CAD-CAM integration systems. The overall cost of deploying CAD-CAM in garments industry can be difficult to gauge, which will depend on the scale of how it is implemented. But the benefits are unprecedented, especially that it deals with tedious processes of pattern design, and fabric cutting and plotting.

Choose only from the best CAD tool providers by checking out these detailed reviews of engineering CAD tools here.

Trevor Price

Trevor Price helps small businesses leverage mobile technology to reach their audience and extend their capabilities in delivery, information, and tracking.

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