Since its inception in the 1970s, computer-aided design or CAD has been an invaluable tool for designers. CAD programs have since helped advance a wide range of industries, from engineering, architecture, and mechanics to video game development, movie animation, and even fashion design.
Traditional instrument-based drafting and design skills are no doubt still very valuable in today’s world, especially since most principles of CAD are based on these manual techniques. However, computer-aided design has advantages in several aspects of design that give professionals a competitive edge. Here are some of them.
One of the primary advantages of CAD over manual drawing is its unparalleled accuracy. Through the use of different tools and methods built into the software, CAD eliminates the risks of human errors in computing and converting units, allowing the creation of highly accurate designs and drawings with precise measurements.
Accuracy is especially important in fields where one wrong measurement in the design can impact the final output tremendously—think construction, automotive and aerospace engineering, electronics manufacturing, and many other measurement-critical industries.
“A picture is worth a thousand words,” so goes the old adage.Indeed, it’s one thing to explain and describe the design of a dress, a house, or a prototype product to someone, and a whole other thing to show how the finished product can actually look like. With CAD, you can bring ideas to life and give a full picture for the better appreciation of everyone involved in a project.
There are even CAD software like Solidworks, which include and support video and 3D walk/fly through features. Just imagine a young couple seeing every room in their dream home in great detail, even before the house is actually built!
Storage, Organization, and Security
With CAD, there’s no need for large cabinets to store rolls and rolls of drafting paper and blueprints, as everything can be created and stored in your computer. Your files are also easier to organize and reproduce—just upload the files to the cloud or save it in your hard drive.Moreover,multiple users can immediately access and create their own copy.
CAD also makes your drawings more secure. You don’t need to worry about physical damage, such as creases, tears, and stains to your blueprints. And while digital data can be corrupted, there are many safety measures that you can take to ensure that you will never lose your files.
Efficiency and Productivity
Some designs have repetitive elements—for example, doors and windows in an architectural drawing. Instead of reproducing them again and again manually, these elements can be drawn once, saved to a file library, and then retrieved anytime you need them for your drawings. Alterations can also be easily accommodated with a few clicks. You can even copy objects from an open drawing to the one you’re currently working on.
With CAD, a designer can also create multiple standardized drawings, say a specific design of a window that is used for a house model and another for a high-rise building. Again, these can be used whenever it is required. All these lead to reduced time and effort needed to complete a design, which in turn increases productivity.
These aspects are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the benefits of CAD. As computer technologies continue to evolve and develop, so will the capabilities of computer-aided design.