Minggu, 21 November 2010

Computer Aided Design (CAD)

Computer-aided design (CAD), also known as computer-aided design and drafting (CADD), is the use of computer technology for the process of design and design-documentation. Computer Aided Drafting describes the process of drafting with a computer. CADD software, or environments, provide the user with input-tools for the purpose of streamlining design processes; drafting, documentation, and manufacturing processes. CADD output is often in the form of electronic files for print or machining operations. The development of CADD-based software is in direct correlation with the processes it seeks to economize; industry-based software (construction, manufacturing, etc.) typically uses vector-based (linear) environments whereas graphic-based software utilizes raster-based (pixelated) environments.

CADD environments often involve more than just shapes. As in the manual drafting of technical and engineering drawings, the output of CAD must convey information, such as materials, processes, dimensions, and tolerances, according to application-specific conventions.

CAD may be used to design curves and figures in two-dimensional (2D) space; or curves, surfaces, and solids in three-dimensional (3D) objects.

CAD is an important industrial art extensively used in many applications, including automotive, shipbuilding, and aerospace industries, industrial and architectural design, prosthetics, and many more. CAD is also widely used to produce computer animation for special effects in movies, advertising and technical manuals. The modern ubiquity and power of computers means that even perfume bottles and shampoo dispensers are designed using techniques unheard of by engineers of the 1960s. Because of its enormous economic importance, CAD has been a major driving force for research in computational geometry, computer graphics (both hardware and software), and discrete differential geometry.

The design of geometric models for object shapes, in particular, is often called computer-aided geometric design (CAGD).


Current computer-aided design software packages range from 2D vector-based drafting systems to 3D solid and surface modellers. Modern CAD packages can also frequently allow rotations in three dimensions, allowing viewing of a designed object from any desired angle, even from the inside looking out. Some CAD software is capable of dynamic mathematic modeling, in which case it may be marketed as CADD — computer-aided design and drafting.

CAD is used in the design of tools and machinery and in the drafting and design of all types of buildings, from small residential types (houses) to the largest commercial and industrial structures (hospitals and factories).

CAD is mainly used for detailed engineering of 3D models and/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. It can also be used to design objects.

CAD has become an especially important technology within the scope of computer-aided technologies, with benefits such as lower product development costs and a greatly shortened design cycle. CAD enables designers to lay out and develop work on screen, print it out and save it for future editing, saving time on their drawings.


Computer-aided design is one of the many tools used by engineers and designers and is used in many ways depending on the profession of the user and the type of software in question.

CAD is one part of the whole Digital Product Development (DPD) activity within the Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) process, and as such is used together with other tools, which are either integrated modules or stand-alone products, such as:

Computer-aided engineering (CAE) and Finite element analysis (FEA)
Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) including instructions to Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines
Photo realistic rendering
Document management and revision control using Product Data Management (PDM).

CAD is also used for the accurate creation of photo simulations that are often required in the preparation of Environmental Impact Reports, in which computer-aided designs of intended buildings are superimposed into photographs of existing environments to represent what that locale will be like were the proposed facilities allowed to be built. Potential blockage of view corridors and shadow studies are also frequently analyzed through the use of CAD.


Originally software for Computer-Aided Design systems was developed with computer languages such as Fortran, but with the advancement of object-oriented programming methods this has radically changed. Typical modern parametric feature based modeler and freeform surface systems are built around a number of key C modules with their own APIs. A CAD system can be seen as built up from the interaction of a graphical user interface (GUI) with NURBS geometry and/or boundary representation (B-rep) data via a geometric modeling kernel. A geometry constraint engine may also be employed to manage the associative relationships between geometry, such as wireframe geometry in a sketch or components in an assembly.

Unexpected capabilities of these associative relationships have led to a new form of prototyping called digital prototyping. In contrast to physical prototypes, which entail manufacturing time in the design.

Today, CAD systems exist for all the major platforms (Windows, Linux, UNIX and Mac OS X); some packages even support multiple platforms.

Right now, no special hardware is required for most CAD software. However, some CAD systems can do graphically and computationally expensive tasks, so good graphics card, high speed (and possibly multiple) CPUs and large amounts of RAM are recommended.

The human-machine interface is generally via a computer mouse but can also be via a pen and digitizing graphics tablet. Manipulation of the view of the model on the screen is also sometimes done with the use of a spacemouse/SpaceBall. Some systems also support stereoscopic glasses for viewing the 3D model.
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Beginning in the 1980s Computer-Aided Design programs reduced the need of draftsmen significantly, especially in small to mid-sized companies. Their affordability and ability to run on personal computers also allowed engineers to do their own drafting work, eliminating the need for entire departments. In today's world most, if not all, students in universities do not learn drafting techniques because they are not required to do so. The days of hand drawing for final drawings are almost obsolete.[4] Universities such as New Jersey Institute of Technology no longer require the use of protractors and compasses to create drawings, instead there are several classes that focus on the use of CAD software such as Pro Engineer or IDEAS-MS.

Another consequence had been that since the latest advances were often quite expensive, small and even mid-size firms often could not compete against large firms who could use their computational edge for competitive purposes.[citation needed] Today, however, hardware and software costs have come down. Even high-end packages work on less expensive platforms and some even support multiple platforms. The costs associated with CAD implementation now are more heavily weighted to the costs of training in the use of these high level tools, the cost of integrating a CAD/CAM/CAE PLM using enterprise across multi-CAD and multi-platform environments and the costs of modifying design work flows to exploit the full advantage of CAD tools. CAD vendors have effectively lowered these training costs. These methods can be split into three categories:

Improved and simplified user interfaces. This includes the availability of “role” specific tailorable user interfaces through which commands are presented to users in a form appropriate to their function and expertise.
Enhancements to application software. One such example is improved design-in-context, through the ability to model/edit a design component from within the context of a large, even multi-CAD, active digital mockup.
User oriented modeling options. This includes the ability to free the user from the need to understand the design intent history of a complex intelligent model.

Source : Wikipedia

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