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What is CAD?

What is CAD?

This post is part of our series on debunking the acronyms of our business. Read our post on PPAP and FEA to learn more about what those acronyms mean!

If you've been around an engineer at any point, you've probably heard them mention something called "CAD," which stands for computer-aided design. Computers seem to help us at every point in the manufacturing process these days, but CAD software is usually where it all begins.

Computer-aided design is defined as the use of computer systems to assist in the creation, modification, analysis, or optimization of a design. CAD software is used to increase the productivity of the designer, improve design quality, document communication, and create databases for manufacturing. CAD uses computers to help design something in 2D (curves and figures) or 3D (curves, surfaces, and solids).

In simple terms, CAD allows you to draw lines and curves in order to build the likeness of a product, a model that you can look at in any direction.

Before CAD software came about in the mid-1970s, much of the design process was done by hand by drafters. Drafters would basically draw out the design on paper, which was very difficult to do and took a lot of time, especially when drawing 3D images. The benefit of switching to CAD software was two-fold: the designs could be done much faster and designers could perform engineering calculations that had previously been done by hand.

Revolutionizing the engineering industry, CAD software allows 3D images to rotate 360 degrees, which provides designers with the ease of quickly model the entire object. CAD saves companies precious time and money, as changes to the virtual model can be taken into account before creating a physical prototype. Lower development costs and shorter design cycles are only some of the benefits that CAD has brought to companies.

In addition to being heavily used in engineering and architecture, CAD software is used in developing video games and animated films.

RGBSI has a knowledgeable CAD team to help you complete complex design projects. Learn more about RGBSI's CAD engineering services.

Tags: Engineering

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