As technology has evolved and found more and more uses in various industries, one of the most useful and effective results has been the creation and implementation of computer-aided design, better known to most people as CAD. Specialized software that aids designers in creating, modifying, and analyzing designs of everything from homes and cars to spaceships and artificial limbs, it can be used to increase not only productivity, but also design quality, since the software can allow designers to pinpoint even the slightest imperfections and make whatever corrections they deem necessary. If you want to know more about computer-aided design, here are six fascinating facts regarding the way CAD works.
1- Digital Product Development
While many people think CAD software does everything by itself, the fact is it works in conjunction with other similar types of software in what is referred to as Digital Product Development, or DPD. In this situation, CAD is integrated with other processes such as computer-aided manufacturing, computer-aided engineering, and photorealistic rendering and motion simulation to assist engineers with various tasks. As an example, CAD is used to create environmental impact reports, where its designs are superimposed on photographs to present a clear visual image of how potential buildings will look in a particular area. More details about this can be found here.
2- No Special Hardware is Required for CAD
Even though the CAD software is very sophisticated, no special hardware is needed to run most types of CAD software. However, since these systems do deal extensively with tasks that involve complex computations and graphics, high amounts of RAM are recommended, as are multiple high-speed CPU and state-of-the-art graphics cards.
3- Easy Editing and Sharing
When using CAD software, one of the biggest benefits designers and engineers like about it is the ability to easily edit and share data. As CAD software has been perfected over the years, the ability to edit and share data has been made much easier, which in turn makes the production process flow more smoothly. As a result, companies can often save money, since errors can be detected and edited during the pre-production process. In addition, files created through CAD can be saved and stored more easily and securely, since it interfaces with cloud technology.
4- Digital Prototyping
While a key part of the digital product development process, CAD software also uses many components of what is known as digital prototyping within various industries. By having this capability, CAD software can generate models after a physical prototype of a product has been scanned. Once this is done, a unique combination of various ergonomics, aesthetics, and other features can be incorporated into the design of a product, enabling engineers to know what will work best in an item before the final product is completed.
5- CAD Software Requires Extensive Data
For a designer or engineer to use the full capacity of CAD software, the program must be given extensive amounts of data. While this can be time-consuming, once done it will give the software’s user almost limitless capabilities in terms of design and analysis. As an example, since CAD is used extensively in civil engineering and construction projects, numerous parameters and constraints can be programmed into the system, resulting in detailed analysis of size, shape, and other related properties. Along with this, engineers can use this data to analyze such areas as stress, strain, effects of temperature extremes, electrical properties, and yield and tensile strength.
6- CAD and Virtual Reality
While initially virtual reality was thought to be limited to video games, it has found more and more uses in various industrial applications. As an example, CAD software known as 4D BIM is used by construction companies to create digital images of buildings well before the first bit of concrete is ever poured. In doing so, engineers can use virtual reality technology to conduct a simulated walk-through of a building, testing out various ideas and theories before the structure is actually built. With this capability, companies can save extensive time and money, since most problems can be detected at this stage and corrected, leading to fewer cost overruns and missed deadlines on project completions.