The process of modeling physical structures and material qualities in two or three dimensions using specialized software on a computer is known as computer-aided design, or CAD. Nowadays, it has been very foremost in applied computer science for decades.
There is some important application for CAD, such as Metal fabrication, Carpentry, and 3D painting that uses in manufacturing.
There is also another one that is similar to CAD, that is CAGD (Computer-aided geometric design). In the CAGD, computer science is specifically focused on the creation of geometric shapes, which can use in applications, i.e., Animation and Graphics design, and are less used in 3D manufacturing.
You can also say CAD as CADD (Computer-aided design and drafting).
In modern times, many manufacturing processes have been self-acting with robots and software. The role of CAD in this process is very important. As a driver of purified manufacturing, CAD tools have updated over every year, and on changing of it, the best practices and standards have also updated.
Examples of CAD software
1. AutoCAD, 3ds Max, and Maya: Commercial CAD software titles produced by Autodesk.
2. Blender: An open-source CAD, animation, and image filtering application with an active community of customers.
3. SketchUp: A proprietary CAD application that runs in a web browser, previously developed by Google.
Who uses CAD?
A wide range of occupations employs computer-aided design. Numerous projects in the fields of architecture, the arts, and engineering significantly utilize CAD software. Use cases for CAD vary by sector and work duties. CAD tools are used in a variety of professions, such are as follows:
- City planners
- Graphic designers
- Animation illustrators
- Fashion designers
- Interior designers
- Exterior designers
- Game designers
- Product designers
- Industrial designers
The usage of CAD design tools can provide engineers and designers with a number of advantages over the conventional technical drawing and manual drafting, including:
1. Lower production costs for designs.
2. Quicker project completion thanks to an effective design and workflow approach.
3. Changes can be done without affecting other design elements, eliminating the need to redo a sketch entirely.
4. In the file, it built a higher quality design with documentation like Angles, measurements, presets etc.
5. Explicit designs, better legibility and facility of interpretation by collaborators because it is manual drawings that are not explicit or detailed.
6. If you are using digital files, then it will make collaborating with colleagues easier.
7. Software property can help in generative design, solid modeling, and other scientific functions.
Designers and engineers can use a variety of CAD tools. Some CAD tools, like those used in industrial design or architecture, are made to match particular use cases and industries. Various industries and project types can be supported by the usage of other CAD software products. Among the most popular CAD tools are: Designers and engineers can use a variety of CAD tools. Some CAD tools, like those used in industrial design or architecture, are made to match particular use cases and industries. Various industries and project types can be supported by the usage of other CAD software products. Among the most popular CAD tools are:
- MicroStation (offered by Bentley Systems)
- AutoCAD (offered by Autodesk)
- Solid Edge
- Altium Designer
Two dimensions CAD
The majority of us are familiar with 2D CAD models. These models are flat, two-dimensional drawings that show the general proportions, plans, and details required to duplicate or construct the object. These types of drawings can be seen in a wide range of fields, including fashion, interior design, civil engineering, architecture, automobile, cartography, and aerospace.
If you have ever set up a house, you likely don't want to forget how much money you spent on your floor plans. It's highly likely that the architect from whom you bought them used CAD to design them.
Similar to 2D CAD models, 3D CAD models are used for several purposes. Greater details about the different parts and assemblies of a real entity is provided by a three-dimensional CAD model. In other words, rather than only displaying an object's size and general shape, 3D models also demonstrate how it functions.
It has been discussed about how CAD is a visualizing tool that uses 2D drawings and 3D models, but how do you turn those visualizations into actual objects? Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) is useful in this situation. Numerical control software that encodes automated instructions for a specific machine is used by CAM to process the data.
- 3D printing,
- CNC routing, and
- Laser cutting and engraving.
CAD and CAM work better together because they allow users more control over the design and fabrication processes.
The hardware you need depends greatly on the type of material you plan to create. To set up a suitable workstation for your CAD requirements, you should be cautious of three key components:
1. Processor: Here, it's important to look at the processor's number of cores and threads because some CAD tools benefit from multiple cores while others can't handle them or don't require them.
2. Random-access memory (RAM): Most CAD programmers can benefit from random-access memory (RAM), which is one of its components. Better speed in multitasking tasks like rendering or running many programmers at once is ensured by having enough RAM.
3. Graphics processing unit (GPU): When discussing CAD, graphics cards are needed as they directly enable visualization. Nvidia and AMD are the two leading manufacturers of GPUs. Again, to make the best choice, you will need to look at the software requirements because most graphics cards will function, and not all programs demand a lot of graphics RAM.
Disadvantages of CAD
It's typically challenging to identify disadvantages with CAD because it has shown to be a problem solver in many professional fields. But there are restrictions:
1. Licensing: Expensive tools are usually only available through subscription-based or one-time purchases. If they are being used for educational purposes, that's the key exception.
2. Time: Using CAD or CAM requires time. A certain amount of overhead, such as training time, is required to properly create and carry out designs.
3. Hardware: To function at their best, CAD and CAM tools frequently need strong (and expensive) hardware.
CAD Drawing Examples
There is the following example of CAD drawings:
1. House Plan - Contemporary
2. Wiring Diagram
3. Fluid Power Example
4. Piping Instrument Diagram
5. Power Plant Diagram
6. Office Electrical Plan
7. Residential Landscape
8. Deck Design 2
The AutoCAD Era
Over the past few decades, one of the more traditional primary tools in CAD has changed. This is called AutoCAD.
In all drafting, engineering, and design fields, from jointers and rafters in carpentry to the cutting of plastics or other materials for client component runs, AutoCAD is very well-liked. Since its introduction in 1982, both large and small firms have incorporated AutoCAD and its features into their operational procedures.
Its ease of use is one of the primary justifications for use. In many instances, integrating into conventional bare-metal setups is relatively simple. AutoCAD is frequently mentioned by teachers and students as being simple to learn and a very useful talent for persons in a variety of industrial vocations and roles.
However, the cost structure of AutoCAD is the key factor driving individuals to search for alternatives. Many products, such as TinkerCAD and FreeCAD, provide some capability for users who value their money, but in general, users are sensitive to spending more for vendor license.
Experts point out that membership prices often run in the hundreds of dollars, which won't break the bank for a larger organization, and that the software itself was not that expensive compared to the cost of the initial hardware required to run AutoCAD.
However, small company customers may find it difficult to afford AutoCAD's costs. Experts also point out that, on average, businesses save far more money using AutoCAD techniques than they do with licensing.
Modern Computer-Aided Design Tools
Tools multiplied as the computer-aided design developed. Business customers now have a wide range of vendor-specific tools to pick from in addition to AutoCAD. Modern CNC electronic routers or woodworking machines, for instance, have made it possible for woodworking firms to become more specialized and capable, from cabinet manufacturers to producers of specialized commercial goods. In order to plane and deal with wood in other ways in a very detailed manner, the CNC arm of a contemporary CNC machine is equipped with various drills and tools. Software layers that include some open source components are used to regulate the creation and application of designs.
CAD has shown to be a very useful component of contemporary manufacturing and industrial processes across the board.