Computer Aided Design | Teen Ink

Computer Aided Design

August 28, 2022
By bhosid SILVER, Fremont, California
bhosid SILVER, Fremont, California
9 articles 0 photos 0 comments

CAD (Computer-aided design) is the use of computers to aid in the creation, modification, analysis and optimization of a design. CAD is mainly used for detailed engineering of 3D models or 2D drawings of physical components, but it is also used throughout the engineering process from conceptual design and layout of products, through strength and dynamic analysis of assemblies to definition of manufacturing methods of components

CAD models have changed the way the manufacturing industry designs and manufactures parts. Before CAD, designers used paper, pencils, rulers, compasses, and other tools to go about their drafting. It was cumbersome, time consuming at times especially when there were changes being made to the design.

During the 1960s, there were many attempts to make the drafting procedure more automated, and CAD was eventually developed originally for the purpose of designing automobiles. After great success, the technology spread to other sectors in the manufacturing industry, and soon reached the electronics and aerospace industry. The ability for CAD to easily draft designs became a huge success and soon computers and CAD software trickled throughout the manufacturing industry and engineers were revolutionizing the way they designed parts for various applications.

Manufacturers use CAD files for various purposes to help with the manufacturing process. Although CAD files are used during the design process, they are also used during manufacturing. It helps save time when figuring out all the finer details of a part by looking at the 3D model, and also it allows a model to be magnified and even rotate on any axis to get a full three dimensional concept of the part, which allows the manufacturer a greater sense of the product. It can even reveal internal features of a part if it cannot be seen clearly on a manufacturing drawing. Aside from these benefits, using CAD makes it possible to simulate the movement of a part through production processes. CAD allows the programmer to catch any possible mishaps prior to fabrication.

CAD software is used to increase the productivity of the designer, improve the quality of design, improve communications through documentation, and to create a database for manufacturing. CAD output is often in the form of electronic files for print, machining, or other manufacturing operations. CAD allows designers to lower production costs, work faster and smarter, and ultimately leads to quicker project completion. CAD software allows designers to visualize their designs and test them against real-world variables


Manufacturing and Production Engineering Advantages:

Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM)

CAM is the use of software and computer-controlled machinery (CNC) to automate the manufacturing process. CAM itself stands for computer-aided manufacturing and usually works in tandem with CAD to allow machines to create objects directly from computer designs and software rather than engineers having to set up machines and processes manually.

●       3D CAD files can quickly be imported to drive Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) production software. In turn, CAM drives machine tools and other capital equipment through computer-numerical-control (CNC).

●       CAD/CAM software enables you to check tool paths before any material is cut. 

●       CAD/CAM simulations also enable you to identify how long the production run time will take.


CAD Manufacturing Benefits: Tooling

●       Tooling and die suppliers can accurately and relatively quickly prepare with CAD data for moulded, casted or pressed parts

●       3D CAD equips the manufacturing engineer with the means to relatively quickly design tooling, jigs, fixtures, custom gauges and components for work holding.


CAD Manufacturing Benefits: Outsourcing

●       For some often-lucrative contracts, the ability to handle 3D CAD data is a prerequisite. Prime manufacturers and their tier 1 suppliers sometimes mandate this for smaller manufacturers further down the supply chain.

●       3D CAD enables the automatic generation of bills of materials, giving the option of quotations for outsourcing. 3D CAD software interfaces with prototyping and manufacturing processes by exporting data files in standard formats.


CAD Manufacturing Benefits: Inspection and Additive Manufacture

●       Inspection can be enhanced by checking physical parts against CAD models.

●       Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMM) can check accuracy, based on the CAD data generated at the design development stage.


CAD Manufacturing Benefits: Textile Industry

Prior to CAD discovery, designing textile patterns and clothing used to take a lot of time. But today, computers make the process quicker and more efficient by using CAD and CAM. CAD systems help textile designers create whole garments, design printed patterns for textiles, and create specific weave and knit patterns.

When the design is finished by using CAD, it can be immediately imported as a digital file to the CAM system. CAM works in conjunction with CAD systems. It takes the designs and produces the actual garments or textile patterns. Textile companies use CAM to manage all aspects of the manufacturing process


CAD Manufacturing Benefits: Construction Industry

CAD is used by construction engineers, architects to create designs. These designs are precise drawings or illustrations of new buildings or plans and can be either two-dimensional or three-dimensional. It helps to compute conceptual design; the layout of products and design time decreases with the help of precise simulation. Contractors work on the drawings given by the architect to add further details and use it for better constructability. The use of CAD services tools allows the object to see from any angle that you want to see.

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