Discover All About Computer-Aided Design (CAD) Software
Have you ever wondered how they turned their creativity into reality? One cannot simply draw an abstract artwork, say abracadabra and see the idea turn into life. There must be something behind it, right? Well, apart from the efforts and creativity of the creators, there’s one software that creates, edits models and designs of the objects. A software that is used across many professions and industries for making architectural designs, building plans, electrical schematics, blueprints and even for the special effects in your favorite TV shows and movies!
That software is – Computer-Aided Design (CAD) Software – the unsung hero behind almost every visual wonder that has lately grabbed your attention. Read on and explore the what, when, why and how of this software.
“I am Ted Mosby – the Architect!”
That’s how Ted Mosby rebranded himself in one of the episodes of How I Met Your Mother. Throughout nine hilarious seasons, viewers got a peek into Ted’s world through his job as an architect in the city and his passion for buildings. He also got hired by an architectural firm but his boss figuratively disagreed with his every design. How wonderful would it have been if Ted had Computer-Aided Design (CAD) Software that would have helped him ace his career! CAD Software would have helped Ted create, visualize and revise new designs based on his bosses' feedback before he committed to a design. It might have assisted him with coming up with more accurate methods, increased productivity, better collaboration and improved document management too.
“You will be shocked, Ted, when you discover how easy it is in life to part ways with the hassles in a creative field like yours….’’ (Never mind, Ted, we know it’s your iconic line but we took a little liberty to explain how this software could have helped you!) Jokes apart, not just architects but CAD tool is a best friend to all the engineers, programmers and designers who want to streamline their work, simplify their designing process and generate ideas. Now let’s head to the next section and figure out all about this software.
What Is Computer-Aided Design (CAD) Software?
Ted Mosby believes that even the littlest thing can cause a ripple effect that changes your life. Computer-Aided Design Software is one of those things used for designing objects and prototypes so that they can be automated through computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) or other computer-assisted techniques. A CAD Software is used to create and edit digital models of physical objects. It allows users to analyze, document and visualize a product or process optimally. It also helps in optimizing the production time, cost, material usage and other factors. CAD Software assists designers with integrating all the knowledge about an object into a single file. An accurate model created through CAD Software can be used to manufacture the object efficiently as well as analyze if there are any stress points or physical issues in its construction.
In the words of Ted, you cannot cling into the past because no matter how tightly you hold on, it’s already gone. Nevertheless, sometimes it is necessary to rewind the past or else how come we’ll find out about the exciting history of CAD Software?
History Of Computer-Aided Design (CAD) Software
As Ted’s bestie, Lily puts it, “Oprah wasn’t built in a day”, even CAD Software wasn’t developed in a day but it evolved with time and here’s how.
The roots of Computer-Aided Design (CAD) Software trace back to 1957, when Doctor Patrick Hanratty developed the first commercial numerical-control programming system – PRONTO. It was the first design automated by computer (and the predecessor of CAD) that involved interactive graphics. In the same era, CAM (computer-aided manufacturing) started spreading its roots. CAM assisted programmers and designers to create G-codes and punched cards. These cards were used to increase the speed of instruction creation and manufacturing.
Moving ahead, in 1960, Ivan Sutherland created Sketchpad, which demonstrated the basic principles of computer-aided designing. It was a part of his Ph.D. thesis at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). Sketchpad was the first CAD Software that helped designers to interact with the computer graphically by using a light pen to draw on the monitor.
Later, in 1982, John Walker founded Autodesk, which launched its CAD Software (AutoCAD) for our dear personal computers. Right after 3 years, this software evolved into the best tool for 3D modeling and by 1992 it was made available for Windows. By 2007, Autodesk emerged as the leader as it had sold 8 million copies of the software.
To date, CAD Software is helping users to prepare and bring detail in every aspect of production to avoid errors and bring concepts to life. So, readers, this was the story of how we met CAD Software; let’s figure out how this software work.
How Does Computer-Aided Software Work?
Now that we’re done explaining the concept and evolution of CAD; let’s help Ted understand how this software exactly works!
Step 1: Conceptual System Design
It all begins with a very rough idea of the concept and the primary purpose here is to visualize the product idea. Say, Ted wants to create a design for a café in New York, so first things first this software would help him visualize the concept of the product idea. This software would assist Ted with choosing the design methods, detailing, standardized drawing and so on.
Step 2: Finalizing The Concept
Now that Ted knows how the design would look, CAD would seize it. This step includes reviewing the conceptual idea and then finalizing it. Later, a detailed CAD geometry of the individual components is created with appropriate dimensions and tolerances.
Step 3: Graphic Card
Later comes the supporting artist of this story i.e., the graphic card. The bond between the graphic card and CAD Software is as same as the quirky friendship of Barney and Ted. Just like Ted’s plan was incomplete without the ideas of his broda Barney, a graphics card must be installed in your computer to utilize the CAD Software optimally.
Step 4: Graphical User Interface (GUI)
Most of the time, for creating a design by using CAD Software, input devices (like mouse and keyboards) and advanced devices (like tracker balls and digitizers) are used. Later, the input from these devices goes to GUI and then it sends the feedback to the graphics kernel in the suitable form.
Ted Mosby once said, “It’s funny sometimes you walk into a place and you know you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be.” Likewise, you’ll be amazed to find yourself in the next section, that explains the benefits of CAD Software.
What Are The Benefits Of Computer-Aided Software?
This is how CAD Software is turning it into La Vie en rose with its benefits.
Remember when Ted designed the draft of the tower on his own? Now can you imagine an architect taking that much trouble in today’s era? Of course not. CAD Software will help Ted to complete his projects more quickly as he would be able to design the drafts of buildings, towers, cafes and whatnot! In fact, not just Ted but CAD Software allows developers and programmers to work instantaneously, get rid of extra costs and complete projects under deadlines.
Apart from saving time and effort, with the help of CAD Software, Ted will be able to get rid of mistakes that might arise while drafting designs. This software automates repetitive tasks like symbol placement and drawing storage along with preventing common design mistakes which eventually avoids major problems.
Variations In Designing:
Designers usually face issues while altering the designs, making changes to it or making various iterative versions. Let’s assume Ted’s boss asked him to create multiple versions of his designs wouldn’t it be difficult for him to redraw the whole structure again? With CAD Software, Ted doesn’t need to worry about it as this software will help him produce multiple versions of the same file. Once he’s done with the designing part, he can use CAD Software to create many versions of the design without having to redraw it.
Now, Ted is done with creating the versions and he wants to share them with his boss. CAD Software will help him collaborate with his team members. This software will allow his boss to see the original design and view the design history to figure out what changes were made and how.
Ted, the future is scary. But you can't just run back to the past because it's familiar; Taking this advice from Robin Scherbatsky, let’s wind up the past and present of this software and head to the future which is not scary at all (in fact, it is very interesting!)
Future Of Computer-Aided Design (CAD) Software
The future of CAD Software is...
Automation, data visualization, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) - these are not just some fancy words but the trends that will dominate the future of CAD Software. To begin with, automation will take over and CAD Software will be able to anticipate our actions and make 3D modeling far more impressive and easier. Integration of AI with CAD Software will also allow users to repair anticipated errors in designs and create devise quality control features.
Virtual Reality will become the standard functionality of CAD Software and it will take visualization and designing a step ahead. 3D models will be viewed as if they exist in a physical space. Besides, customizable CAD Software will help users to personalize their designs and achieve more and more specialization in the world of CAD! Cool, right?
It’s A Wrap
“If you have creativity, you need one thing… CAD Software.” (Never mind Robin, this time we tweaked your dialogue.) Anyway, before we wrap up this article, we would like to thank CAD Software for literally giving wings to the imagination of users and helping them develop, modify and optimize the designing process. Also, for replacing manual design drafting, allowing design development and making the whole alteration and optimization of designs a piece of cake for all creative people like Ted Mosby.
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