CAD (Computer Aided Design) is a term for a specific type of software. CAD software, in particular, is a program for creating diagrams, plans, and even objects. It allows one to make designs and thus to represent a 3D object in the form of a project.
Did you know that CAD software is used in a lot of trades? For the uninitiated, you may recognize more or less that CAD is a type of software used by architects. CAD is the digital version of the technical drawing. A kind of software, often used by architects or designers, CAD software was first created in the 1980s, and today CAD software is a favorite type of software used by many different professionals.
Technical drawing is a discipline that concerns many trades, from the architect to the mechanic through to the engineer. But by the way, you may wonder: “Computer-aided design, how does it work?” In fact, how many of us know precisely for what purposes and in which sectors this software is used?
CAD software is a form of computer-assisted multidisciplinary technical drawing software, widely used around the world. To summarize, it is a professional drawing program realized in vector mode (in the form of lines) in two or three dimensions (2D or 3D), not to be confused with a computer-generated image (CGI) which is something else. In fact, not many people know that CAD software was developed initially for mechanical engineers.
Many think that this is a software for architects who need to represent their drawings in a three-dimensional environment. However, CAD software has a lot of options to use standard components (or not) and to output a list of parts needed to manufacture an object. For example, you may define the number of screws and bolts, etc.
It is a very technical type of software, and it is not a drawing tool in the traditional sense of the word. To use a metaphor, it’s an electronic drawing board with all the tools of drawing: rulers, compasses, etc. The added value comes from the fact that this software does not require one to draw with a scale ratio, so we model using a scale that we define through the interface of the program. Also, a basic level of knowledge of these fast and efficient computer programs has, therefore, become necessary for any designer, draftsman, technician, or engineer.
If you want an object with specific dimensions, you merely type these values, and whatever the scale printed on the screen the data of the object are accessible. The advantage is that you can do almost anything, the disadvantage is that it is laborious. Computer Aided Design (CAD) therefore with the various software packages on the market allows the technician, the designer, and the engineer, in different disciplines, to design, draw, or consult plans or diagrams, modify them, print them or send them via email.
This software is a type of software that is used in many different trades. There are as many CAD programs as there are trades using drawing. The interest of the CAD software is primarily that of computing. That is to say, CAD software provides mainly a contribution of practicability in the management of documents, facilitating the editing of data transfer, archiving, reproduction, changes, etc.
The architect, the mechanic, but also the electrician and the surveyor now have tools facilitating the creation of a plan, a diagram, with business-oriented controls, adapted databases, and further catalogs of components provided by the manufacturers. Although often confused, CAD software and 3D modeling software are two technologies that are very different from each other. On the one hand, CAD software makes it possible to create real numerical simulations in which the objects created have characteristics that make it possible to test their behavior. On the other hand, 3D modeling software makes it possible to produce 3D models in a precise and easy way.
Computer-aided design is done in vector mode. A graphics tablet may also be used, which itself includes a grid. The stylus, therefore, allows you to draw directly, as on a sheet. On the other hand, a tablet is more suited to regular drawing than for technical design since it is less precise.
You may also use a mouse, and each click will then represent a point. Therefore, it is then possible to create the vectors which join these points. That is to say, the operator assigns coordinates, in a two or three-dimensional plane, to points and vectors.
For me, in this area, when we talk about CAD, that is to say, Computer Aided Design, this is done mostly on specific CAD software. Remember, the drawing is not an end in itself. We must first create dimensional networks (that is to say the dimensions of the objects are calculated where they will go, what materials will be used, what diameters they will have) before they can be represented on a drawing.
In practice, it is possible to draw a technical drawing for electrical engineering with electrical CAD software in several ways. Each entity, that is to say, each element of the representation has its properties that can be modified easily and independently of each other. Thus, the object can be visualized and presented to a team or a client.
However, to design a CAD drawing quickly and efficiently (an error can be fatal), it is essential to master some tools. Therefore, specific computers must be used. The ease of modification, the precision, and the possibility of animating the image make a CAD drawing tool a must. Remember, the mastery of industrial design is an excellent asset, in professional life, for anyone who has to conceive from a technical point of view and therefore for anyone who works in engineering.
Whatever the stage, a drawing is essential. Whether it is a quick sketch on a piece of paper or the plans required for the final execution, including the computer-generated data necessary for the virtual representation on a computer. Indeed, more than a means of communication, it is at the base of many conceptions.
Today, it would be entirely erroneous to believe that only architects use CAD software. To list a few sectors that use CAD software: the automotive industry, the manufacturing industry, and the transport sector are also very familiar with CAD software. Most of the trades using technical drawing use CAD modeling.21
CAD software may be used by professionals in a variety of industries: architecture, landscaping, construction, electrical engineering, etc. CAD software has allowed for an evolution of drawing techniques and therefore makes it easier to create drawings and technical diagrams, which used to be done manually using a calculator and a ruler. With CAD software, one may design objects, manipulate them, and customize them.