The Advantages of CAD for Modern Engineers

Modern CAD software is evolving, and it’s doing so at a rapid pace. As such, CAD products are finding more and more use in modern engineering. Still, some engineers out there prefer to do things by hand. If you happen to be one of them and are still on the fence about using CAD, we suggest going over this article. In it, you’ll learn some of the biggest advantages of using CAD in modern engineering.


The Key CAD Advantages

Productivity Increase

There’s a reason behind a huge chunk of engineers still using AutoCAD in their work, including some veterans who’ve been working for over a decade. This kind of software is an incredible tool that can increase productivity dramatically.


Let’s use a hypothetical example. When you need to design a product, you have your 3D model in your CAD software which you simply share with the manufacturers. If you need to design a similar product but with a slight variation, you can instantly make those small changes using the software. On average, you will design three times faster than before. And with time, that average will increase to ten times what you originally designed without CAD software.


Time-Saving

If you were to work manually, you would need a lot of time to design the right shape and present it to the manufacturer or the higher-ups. And if you needed to input some changes, it would mean going back to the drawing board and spending a few more hours erasing and redrawing. That’s not the case with CAD. Not only can you input basic shapes in a matter of seconds, but you’ll also be able to fiddle with some complex elements in just a short amount of time. Furthermore, editing will be a matter of clicking a few things in the finished 3D model.


Fewer Errors

Engineers will make mistakes. That’s inevitable. After all, no professional is truly perfect. The best you can do is reduce the number of mistakes to a minimum without sacrificing creativity and productivity.


For that reason, CAD software is the perfect option. With interference checking and other features, you can quickly inspect the element for any design errors. Moreover, you can view each element with precision, eliminating any irregularity as it comes along. You might still make a mistake or two in the calculations, true. But an effective CAD software tool will always spot it, even if you don’t.


Accuracy Increase

Even the best engineer out there cannot be as accurate as CAD software when drawing and designing different elements. Using a 3D environment, you can actually sketch up the item you need in minute detail. Furthermore, you can inspect the element from various angles and see if it’s ready for manufacturing.


Quality Increase

When you combine accuracy with cost-effective design and few errors, you will also get an end result that looks aesthetically pleasing. You’ll be able to think up items that you would never be able to put on paper because of their complexity. CAD gives you more freedom than a drawing board and more opportunities for growth. In return, you will be able to rethink shapes and dimensions in new and exciting ways. More importantly, you can easily share those ideas with your colleagues and adjust them organically.


Easy to Understand

Most engineers know their way around a pencil and a drawing board; that’s a given. But not all of them think that they’re savvy enough for a piece of software. After all, drawing by hand is complicated enough. Doing it digitally would surely require tackling a steep learning curve, right?


Well, that’s not exactly the case. Despite how it looks to the uninitiated, CAD is not that difficult to learn. The commands are straightforward, the tools right there, and all it takes is some fiddling around. In no time, you will be creating new elements and sharing them with your peers. You’ll even learn how to display them properly in the software itself.


Quick Sharing

Collaboration is key among engineers, and if anything can make it easy and fast, it’s a net benefit. Using CAD, engineers can send generated models to one another, input any changes, and provide direct feedback. In addition, they can create a massive database where they can archive all of the relevant models. Usually, that’s done on a cloud service or locally.


Most CAD software uses the same set of tools and commands. That makes it easier for any engineer to easily input any potential changes. Moreover, if a newcomer engineer needs proper training, the veterans can do it remotely using the same software and the same set of commands.


ERP Integration

Enterprise Resource Planning, or ERP, is vital for any business. It’s essentially software that handles everything a successful company needs to progress.


By using CAD, you can incorporate any files and models into an ERP system. It will take all of the imported assets and systematize them in such a way as to enhance productivity and reduce any potential losses. So, aside from getting decent CAD software, we also recommend that you invest in ERP implementation.


CAM

CAD stands for computer-aided design, and as such, it’s a vital component of computer-aided manufacturing or CAM. Both are important for several reasons:


● They make it easy to check each tool path for CNC machining

● They help put parts into production faster

● We can use them to calculate CNC machining prices


Using these bits of software, you can create a machine code that you can feed into any CNC machine model. That’s important since you have a basis that’s modifiable and readily available to anyone. In short, it streamlines the whole process and reduces the work hours you would normally have to invest. Automated CNC machining has lots of benefits and requires minimal human interference.


Using CAD in 2022

The future looks bright for CAD software in total. Nowadays, experts are making huge progress in the fields of 3D technology, artificial intelligence, cloud technology, and virtual reality. Every single one of these fields represents a potential asset in modern engineering. With that in mind, using CAD is definitely the way to go. And if the current level of CAD is any indicator, the industry will have a bright future to look forward to.

 

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Guest writers for Engineering IRL have contributed some great articles covering a wide range of topics.


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This article is brought to you by Tom Schwarzweller.

 

Engineering IRL Guest Writer - Tom Schwarzweller

Tom Schwarzweller is an Account Executive for Microsol Resources for upper New York State and Michigan. Tom has a long background in selling and supporting CAD and BIM software to the architectural, engineering, and construction industry. He has worked with many of the early adopters of building information modelling (BIM) and has learned the benefits that BIM can create and an understanding of what makes a BIM implementation successful. His many interests include sailing, photography, and biking.

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