CAD (Computer Aided Design) is the use of computer software for the design and documentation of the construction process of a product. CAD plays an important role in the creation processes of a 3D configurator.

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Technical drawing uses graphic symbols such as points, lines, curves, planes and shapes. Essentially, there is a detailed description of all components in graphical form.


Technical drawings have been in use for more than 2000 years. The french mathematician Gaspard Monge introduced the use of orthographic projections in the 18th century.

As visual objects go beyond languages, technical drawings have evolved over the years and are enjoying increasing popularity. While earlier technical drawings were hand-made, studies have shown that technical designs are quite complicated. Solving many technical problem requires a combination of organization, analysis, problem-solving principles and a graphical representation of the problem. Objects in engineering are represented by a technical drawing (so called drafting) that represents designs and specifications of the physical object and data relationsships. Because a technical drawing is accurate and clearly communicates all information about the object, it must be accurate. This is where CAD comes in.

CAD stands for Computer Aided Design. CAD is used to design, develop and optimize products. Although it is very versdatile, CAD is widely used in the design of tools and fixtures that are needed both in the manifacturing process and in the design area. CAD allows designers to design their work on screen, print it out and save it for later processing.

When it was first introduced, CAD was not exactly an economic proposition, as the machines were very expensive at the time. The increasing computer power in the later half of the twentieth century, with the arrival of the minicomputer and later the microprocessor, has enabled engineers to use CAD files that are an accurate representation of the dimensions / properties of the object.

Use of CAD.

CAD is used to create preliminary designs and layouts, design details and calculations, create 3D models, create and approve drawings, and connect analysis, marketing, manufacturing and end-user personell.

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CAD facilitates the manufacturing process by transferring detailed information about a product in an automated form that can be universally interpreted by trained personel. It can be used to create both two-dimensional and three-dimensional diagrams. By using CAD software tools, the object can be viewed from any angle, even from the inside out. One of the main advantages of a CAD drawing is that the processing is quick compared to the manual method. In addition to the detailed design of 2D or 3D models, CAD is used from the conception and design of products to the definition of the production of components. CAD reduces design time by enabling precise simulations instead of building and testing physical prototypes. Product development is further optimized through the integration of CAD und CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing).

CAD is currently widely used for industrial products, animated films and other applications. A dedicated printer or platter is usually required to print professional design renderings. CAD programs use either vector-based graphics or raster graphics that show what an object will look like.

CAD software enables:

  • Efficiency in design quality,
  • increase the productivity of the engineer,
  • better logging through better documentation and communication.

The use of CAD has penetrated almost all industries today. From aerospace and electronics to manufacturing, CAD is used in all industries. As CAD promotes creativity and accelerates productivity, it is increasingly becoming an important tool for visualization prior to the actual implementation of a manufacturing process. This is one of the reasons why CAD training is becoming more and more important.

Types of CAD software.

Since its introcution in the late 1960s, CAD software has improved by leaps and bounds. A broad classification of CAD is:

  • 2D CAD
  • 3D CAD
  • 3D wireframe and surface modeling
  • Solid modelling

As more and more companies (almost all) rely on CAD/CAE/CAM to achieve product efficiency, accuracy and shorter time-to-market, the demand for CAD software is growing. Industry leaders in this area include AutoCAD, Dassault Systems, Siemens and Altair.