CAD is computer-aided design

CAD is an abbreviation for computer-aided design. This means that CAD software lets you dynamically calculate components, graphically simulate motion or quickly create drawings – which is a huge advantage for architects, draftsmen, dental technicians or even development departments in the industry. Construction times can be significantly reduced, and part lists automatically generated thanks to CAD. Changes to construction can also be carried out quickly with CAD, and without much effort. Spatial imaging is now also possible in CAD technology.

CAD is a part of CAE (computer aided engineering). CAE also includes the terms CAP (computer aided planning), meaning production planning and material flow planning. CAM (computer aided manufacturing) provides for the receipt of goods, transport and disposal. CAQ (computer aided quality assurance) is the term for checking, inspection and prototyping.

CAD is used in many branches and shortens production cycles

A big advantage of the CAD is that, in contrast to traditional drawing boards, you are independent from the location. Data that has been generated once in the CAD system can be transmitted via the internet/dial-up, and can overcome any distance. This allows distant development and construction teams to have the option to collaborate virtually. A further plus point: small changes can be quickly incorporated and you will once again have a visually perfect ‘paper original’, or you can add or take out information from the structure of the drawing. Further advantages, if you need more features with additional software, include drawing management, automatic generation of invoices, transfer of geometry data for programming or a computational program.

New 3D systems make it possible to generate three-dimensional objects, which can then be projected into two-dimensional views and further edited. The features of this mainly modular software range from conventional three-dimensional representations to photorealistic and presentation enabled rendering engines.

Within the product development processes, CAD-generated data forms the basis for many associated system components. In this context, rapid prototyping systems are instructed to produce or check the appropriate models on three-dimensional data. CAD systems can be connected with CAM or CAQ in complex networks, which can reduce the actual product development time significantly.

Depending on the software requirements and comfort you will need a computer for a CAD workstation. If you will need to work intensively in the system, systems with two graphics cards or a dual head graphics card will be an advantage.

CAD offers design functionalities such as analysis, calculation and development, but features for documentation as well, like manufacturing drawings, assembly drawings, overview drawings, parts lists, function plans and schematics. In recent years, CAD has been enhanced, and used for things such as simulations in event technology.

You can find more information on CAD on Wikipedia: