Engineering CAD Software
Published August 19th, 2016 by

How CAD Tools Impact Modern Engineering Firms

How CAD Tools Impact Modern Engineering FirmsThe principles of modern engineering practices involve the understanding and development of technological processes and its products. It aims to transform natural and scientific resources into more purposeful and innovative solutions, which are relevant to human needs.

Modern engineering firms seek to explore ways in order to apply the disciplines of both science and technology in optimizing methods and professions, with the aid of computer applications. Engineering firms operate within the facets of modern science and mathematics, which goes beyond numerals and traditional scientific methods, but also on its technical and practical applications.

Modern engineering firms involve three major methods: technical design, systems engineering, and research operations.

Technical design in modern engineering firms aims to solve problems, or introduce new approaches or perspectives to existing products. It is one of the fundamentals involved in inventions,  which should be supported with scientific evidences out of applied methodologies. Technical design doesn’t just deal with aesthetics; but with form, function, optimization and improvement. All throughout, tools and approaches in modern technical design utilize the computer technology for greater efficiency and accuracy.

Systems and research operations on the other hand, deal more on analytical methods and applications which includes systematic processes, information technology, environmental implications, computer aided design and computer aided manufacturing integration, and robotics.

Most engineering firms utilize its own research and development facility, where studies and testings are conducted that aims to create more innovations within a specialized industry in practice. Modern engineering firms usually have, but not limited to, divisions that include civil, mechanical and electrical engineering.

Modern engineering firms operate on both scientific development and marketability. They are businesses themselves as well, and must thrive by applying marketing strategies that work for them.

Both modern and traditional engineering firms specialize in performing engineering work for either property developers, schools, hospitals, government agencies, and industrial and construction firms. They may also deploy architects and engineers as private practitioners or consultants.

Engineering Industry Standards

According to the website, engineering standards pertain to documents that contain the technical characteristics and details which should be applied and met by the engineering industries over their products, systems and processes, within its scope.

Basically, engineering standards cover safety standards, minimum performance requirements and legal government obligations and violation sanctions which are implemented to make sure that all industry practices of engineering firms are consistent and repeatable. Being an engineering industry standard compliant company meant that you are under a regulatory body that guarantees the integration capability of its methods and equipments with other industry compliant processes or tools.

Engineering industry standards are formalized through publicly released technical documentations. These specify technical criteria, practices, processes and methods in relation to engineering. Its content is prepared and agreed upon by a professional engineering group or a committee, who were selected meticulously according to extensive experience and high level standing in the field of engineering.

Engineering firms observe different types of standards, which are relevant to engineering practices and processes such as:

  1. IEEE Standards in Education and Standards Association
  2. ASTM International, which is a global standard for publications that scientists and engineers use for their laboratories and offices.
  3. American National Standards Institute or ANSI, which boost the market competitiveness of US businesses, where engineering equipments conform as a standard for quality and safety.
  4. IEEE 802, deals with standards over local area networks and metropolitan area networks.
  5. ASCE 7-05, which deals with the standards for structural design.

Modern engineering firms not only observe the principles of modern engineering practices but are also industry compliants as well, in order to push further the advancements in areas of design and structure in the field of engineering.

Computer Aided Processes

Modern engineering processes utilize the computer technology in order to optimize its execution, and improve on its output products and services. Computer based processes are actually more efficient and faster to implement, enabling a more productive environment which not only involved the production, building or manufacturing aspects, but also the professionals and laborers who are part of it. Computer aided processes are not only innovative solutions, but academic and industry standard compliants as well.

In the field of engineering, one of the areas that benefit from computer aided processes is the design field. Computer Aided Design, or CAD, is a method used by architects, engineers, draftsmen or artists to make technical drawings of high precision and details using a computer or other similar devices.

Traditionally, technical drawings are done using a variety of physical tools such as T-square, French curves, compass, technical pens, big drawing papers and a specialized drawing table. Engineering designs and drawings are more complex to render from freehand or artistic drawings. Engineering designs also need more accurate measurements and spatial perspective, which translates to more time and effort in order to accomplish. It can be more tedious when there is a need for revisions, which makes it more time consuming because it requires the design to be drawn from scratch again.

This dilemma in executing technical drawings is solved by using a Computer Aided Design Software, or CAD tool.

Computer Aided Design Tools

Engineering CAD tools are computer programs, which contains all the necessary tools and equipments needed to execute a design, in just one platform. A CAD software is beneficial not just in promoting efficiency in creating, but also in editing, scaling, saving, accessing, and sharing of technical designs and drawings.

Using computer aided design tools brings a lot of benefits and advantages for engineering firms, in creating highly innovative designs for their products or for their clients. The increase in productivity of their designers becomes revenue and client confidence increases too.

CAD is usually applied in the following industrial sectors:

  1. Mechanical

CAD is usually integrated with the processes of CAM, or Computer Aided Manufacturing. Its coupling arose from the idea of merging the two processes for continuity, which enables the whole manufacturing process to be executed faster, less expensive and more convenient.

  1. Architectural

CAD is used for a more realistic rendition of structures, which can provide a preview of the actual output before execution.

  1. Electronics Engineering

CAD/CAM processes are usually deployed in mass production of electronic components such as microprocessors and other consumer electronics.

  1. Apparel

A need for a more efficient process of rendering designs and turning it into patterns for production lead into using an engineering CAD software in the apparel industry.

Time Impact

Overall, using top engineering CAD tools increase the productivity of both its user and the business he or she is working for. The market competition puts emphasis on products that are low in cost production without compromising quality. Since the designing and the manufacturing process is more productive and efficient, this can make products reach the market ahead of its competitors.

Another aspect of time impact in using CAD tools is by significantly reducing the lead times prior to manufacturing. Pre production stages include design and drawings, preparing reports for assembly and parts, creating specification sheets, and preparing the bill of materials. Using a CAD system, all of these processes can be executed faster, reducing the lead time compared when using traditional design system.

Cost Impact

CAD tools can also give cost savings from using paper based designs, which also encourages the wasteful practice for paper and other resources. This aspect is beneficial to both the design and its corresponding documentation.

Cost savings aren’t always attributed to money, but also to the time and energy executed when using a computer aided design software. With all the tools and equipment needed to execute a design or technical drawing, an architect or an engineer can have plenty of time to make several versions of a specific design for the client to choose from. This can reduce the time for follow up meetings that discuss revisions.

Quality Impact

3D design renditions are intelligent design perspectives that aren’t just intended for viewing, but also as a way of testing stress factors and tolerances of structures prior to building it in actual. This can contribute significant savings over time, effort, money and potentially dangerous consequences. It also allows designers to consider safety and quality of outputs with their designs, which will have a clearer perspective when rendered in 3D. Advances in 3D printing technology can also have a more realistic prototype to observe for better results.

In a 2015 current CAD trends and awareness survey, 3D modelling hailed as the most used CAD process for a business at 77%. It also achieved the same percentage concerning usage, which is increased from 64% in 2014.

Present day CAD-CAM systems are an efficient collaboration of related processes, which significantly improve the manufacturing process as a whole. Higher quality outputs are achieved because of the time and cost savings from using computer aided processes. Programming can also be integrated with CAD-CAM systems, which make more precise and accurate executions of designs at a faster rate, without compromising the quality achieved by using CAD.

The advances in the field of engineering is being lead by the use of computer aided methods. Modern engineering firms benefit from innovation, cost and process efficiency and user productivity by using computer based technologies like CAD. Expect more innovative solutions in the coming years, as studies and continues in the field of engineering.

See these engineering CAD tool reviews offered by for more information about the actual business cases where CAD tools have significantly impact into.

John Tovar

John specializes in the creation and planning of business-centric mobile applications and mobile website design and development.

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