CAD or Computer Aided Design software was presented in the late 1960’s to quicken engineering drawing process. CAD is used mainly in engineering drawing and construction architecture.Computer-aided design is one of the many tools used by engineers and designers. CAD work aids the manufacturing process by transferring detailed information about a product in an automated form that can be universally interpreted by trained personnel. It can be used to produce either two-dimensional or three-dimensional diagrams. The use of CAD software tools allow the object to be observed from any angle, even from the inside looking out. From aerospace, electronics to manufacturing, CAD is used in all industry verticals. Since CAD work encourages creativity and speeds up productivity, it is becoming more and more useful as an important tool for visualisation before actually implementing a manufacturing process.

CAD work is currently widely used for industrial products, animated movies and other applications. A special printer or plotter is usually required for printing professional design renderings. CAD programs use either vector-based graphics or raster graphics that show how an object will look. CAD is also used for the precise creation of photo simulations that are often required in the preparation of Environmental Impact Reports, in which computer-aided designs of intended buildings are place over into photographs of existing environments. Potential obstruction of view corridors and shadow studies are also frequently investigated through the use of CAD.

Types of CAD Software

2 Dimensional CAD (2D CAD)

Developed in the early 70s, 2D CAD is the innovator of CAD software. At that time, major automobile, aerospace and other engineering companies developed in-house tools to mechanize repetitive drafting requirements. 2D CAD depend on on basic geometric shapes like lines, rectangles, circles, etc. to produce flat drawings. These types of softwares have been first developed way back in 1970’s. AutoDesk is one of the revolutionary companies that has played a important role in developing CAD software.

3 Dimensional CAD (3D CAD)

3D CAD is a step up from the 2D CAD software of pasts. As the processing power of computers increased and the graphic display capabilities improved, 3D CAD has become aincreasingly popular design tool. 3D CAD allows creation of 3D images that are accurate. These images are called 3D models and can be viewed and rotated in any direction – X, Y or Z. 3D CAD tools were announced in 1980’s by a partnership between IBM-Dassults. The rapid advancement of 3D software today has helped quick turnaround in product design giving birth to the concept for product lifecycle management (PLM).

3D CAD divided further to

Wire-frame models – Though not that much popular anymore but they create skeleton like models with lines and arcs.

Surface models – unlike wire frames, these models are created by joining 3D surfaces.

And are quite realistic

Solid models – they are considered to be the most useful CAD models with additional properties like weight, volume and density, just like actual physical objects .

CAD software enables

Proficiency in the quality of design
Rise in the Engineer’s productivity
Improve record keeping through better documentation and communication.