Understanding the concept of Computer-Aided Design (CAD)

  • In an era where almost every aspect of our lives is being digitized, so is our concept of designing and manufacturing. Before technology took the world by storm with advancements by leaps and bounds, people mostly relied on a pencil and a piece of paper to give their ideas a visual representation.

    History of CAD

    In the early stages, when many technologists looked to debug programs using gates and switches in the very basic digital computer, they found out that they can make electrical shapes or objects out of the sequences. Furthermore, they later discovered that the same object can be replicated in terms of its properties and characteristics. This led to the development and progress in the domain of computer-aided designing. It took almost ten years of many disciplines of engineering development to give rise to SKETCHPAD in the libraries of MIT. More development came in the late 1960s in the fields of automation, aircraft, and industrial control, PCB designing, and 3D surface construction.

    What is CADD?

    CADD is Computer-aided design and drafting [2] and is the usage of different digital systems and computer programs that help and aid in the creation, development, analysis, implementation, or optimization of a design [1]. All of these functions may come together or separately depending upon how the designer wants to work. Although computer-aided designing might seem like this takes away a lot of effort or, simply put, donkeywork out of the equation, it brings along with it a lot of productivity and efficiency in work on an industrial level. This may also be used to draw curves or planes in 2D or 3D[3].

    Where is CAD used?

    Mostly, computer-aided designing is used in domains of engineering. This encompasses electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, biomedical engineering, architectural engineering, and many others. In electrical engineering, CAD is used to design electronic systems which is most commonly known as electronic design automation. Software that are available for EDA include Proteus, Eagle CAD, and many more. In mechanical engineering, for processes of MDA or mechanical engineering design, software such as AutoCAD, OrCAD, and many other are available that let users design even the smallest of smallest of objects. And so on, the applications of computer-aided design are versatile.

    What technology is CAD made of?

    Initially and originally, the first CAD software was made in the programming languages of Fortran, ALGOL. However, recent advancements have shown the shift towards more object-oriented programming methods. Most of the recent modules that enable users to design and visually see the results are programmed in a very well-known programming language, C.

    What software use CAD concepts?

    As mentioned before, CAD software allows engineers, designers, and architects to inspect, design, and control different design projects with a much friendly graphical user-interface. Where there are a lot of software that are limited to only a handful of companies and firms, there are a lot of commercially available software that are there for licenses and purchases. Some of them are:

    • Alibre Design
    • Autodesk AutoCAD
    • Dassault CATIA
    • Dassault SolidWorks
    • TurboCAD

    Many open source and freeware CAD software include:

    • 123D
    • FreeCAD
    • LibreCAD
    • QCAD
    • SolveSpace


    Narayan, K. Lalit (2008). Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing. New Delhi: Prentice Hall of India. P. 3. Retrieved October 28, 2017, from the web

    Duggal, Vijay (2000). Cadd Primer: A General Guide to Computer Aided Design and Drafting-Cadd, CAD. Mailmax Pub. Retrieved October 28, 2017, from the web

    Farin, Gerald; Hoschek, Josef; Kim, Myung-Soo (2002). Handbook of computer aided geometric design [electronic resource]. Elsevier. Retrieved October 28, 2017, from the web

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