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Why every engineer should use CAD

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Why every engineer should use CAD

CAD is an acronym for Computer-Aided Design. It refers to the method of using computer software to create virtual models of the proposed products. There is a variety of CAD software that is available, each with special features that sometimes make it suitable for a particular application.

 

CAD Capabilities

The design of a product must be prepared for final details before being put into production. This ensures that there is no setback through the necessary changes to the product.

Traditionally, this required manual drawing and designing using paper and pencil. Today, the use of CAD systems reduces the amount of work. Creating 3D models and 2D images is faster and easier than ever.

Although projects can vary greatly, many of them still use a plethora of standard parts. For example, bolts, nuts, washers and other fasteners belong to the list of components when making any type of machinery.

In such cases, engineers may turn to part libraries to choose the most appropriate size for the application and use it in assembly. This reduces the time spent making smaller parts, while ensuring that fewer easy mistakes are caused by not displaying them in the model.

 

Rendered image

Parts and assemblies can be created, analyzed, improved and shared with others in CAD. You can apply colors, see different angles and create images provided for life experience. This is particularly common for future products to display visuals.

If you want to separate a large assembly into parts or display a predefined layer at a time. Finite element analysis software has the necessary tools in many CAD programs. This helps in testing parts for force-bearing capabilities and dynamic loads.

Thus, the CAD system is much more than a replacement for manual drawing. This brings about a whole new level of possibilities that engineers can use to create better products with fewer mistakes.

These values ​​align well with lean manufacturing methods and their principles of reducing waste and enhancing productivity.

Advantages of CAD

CAD has many advantages over manual drawing, making it an absolute must in the design market today. Let’s take a look at how they help a contemporary engineer or product designer.

 

Saves Time

There is a lot of competition in the ongoing era of product development. The time it takes to market a product may be necessary for its success.

With CAD, time is our attractive reward. This saves the engineer a lot of work that can be put to good use on various projects or to complete the ongoing design. You can easily visualize the ideas you gathered during the product design concept generation phase.

It takes seconds to create simple shapes and parts. However, the biggest wins come with more complex parts. For example, you can make a flat pattern of a complex bent sheet metal part with a click of the mouse. There is no need to reflect on how to present it correctly.

At the same time, it is really easy to make changes. Or making new models based on previous ones. You can only re-use the 3D model and add the features needed to create a similar but unique part in a very short period of time.

 

Increases productivity

Time saved translation directly into augmented productivity. The same amount of time can result in a higher number of resulting projects.

An iteration of the design is an option. It is possible to modify the same design to make infinite variations of the final product.

On average, a 3x increase in employee productivity is seen. Over time, this productivity can reach 10x. Large part of this comes down and the ability to create simulations in CAD rather than performing manual calculations.

This improvement is seen on many fronts such as quality, time and cost reduction in manufacturing.

 

Improves accuracy

Manual sketching cannot measure the accuracy of CAD drawings. The accuracy of CAD design is almost no error. This gives a huge advantage over manual designing and drafting.

Of course, the designer must still pay attention to the result. The “retrieved amplitude” function does not replace an engineer, because it does not recognize the base planes for measurement, for example. And this can be important with parts such as shafts.

Complex surfaces and shapes can be made relatively easily in CAD. Those surfaces are very difficult to obtain with manual sketching but with the tools of CAD systems, an ideal result can be achieved with the help of CAD.

 

Reduces errors

Features such as interference testing for 3D models (which is also in our list of engineering suggestions) provide unique advantages for CAD systems. This feature helps the designer check for interference between one or more parts.

result? Very few errors in the final product.

 

An easy way to reduce errors

It is very easy to change the size of the hole, go for coffee, and later forget to reduce the size of the pin accordingly. Now we can ensure that using this function of the CAD system, the pin will at least fit into the whole.

 

Better Quality

It goes without saying that design software can produce aesthetically pleasing images in addition to having additional functionality. It provides the user with a large number of tools to create drawings just as imagined.

 

Get dimensions quickly

Even the trickiest of products can be made with the available tools and the correct knowledge of the necessary mathematical equations. Those versatility allows designers to think outside the box and come up with innovative and relevant solutions without the fear of not being able to put ideas on paper.

Higher drivability and fewer errors in drawing result in better quality and more accurate final products.

 

Easy to understand

The availability of 3D models with drawings can make it easier to understand even the most difficult drawings. This cannot be done in physical drawings because a minimum of three drawings (plan, height, and side view) would be required to get a general idea. Other considerations such as isometric or section views may also figure in the picture.

That is why CAD is fully capable of displaying the above views of a product, nothing beats being able to play with the product in a virtual space to understand its exact configuration. Many workshops today use this process to make work easier by giving it to machine operators and assembler tablet computers.

CAD models also make it easier for designers to showcase their product to fellow designers as well as those who have no foundation in engineering. These impressive digital representations of the product can be used for marketing and sales without the need for actual prototyping when a concurrent engineering process is used, allowing departments to work together in the latter part of the entire product development process, The first step is still being done.

 

Quick Sharing for Collaboration

Being digital files, CAD drawings, are easy to share among team members who are working on the same project. No heavy images should be taken. Sharing is instantaneous. Thus, even remote employees can remain in the loop about any event without issue.

With rapid Internet becoming a simple feature, CAD programs are now being used on the cloud. Thus, the sketch remains accessible at all times to designated team members for easy review and revision. This is a great benefit for companies that have many field offices around the world.

CAD generated models also have standardized formats. This design provides uniformity in tools and symbols and allows different users to work on the same project without any constraints.

 

Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM)

Creating a CAD or CAE (computer-aided engineering) model helps to put parts into production much faster. CAD-CAM software makes it easy to check tool paths for CNC machining and feed files to machines. Calculating the prices of CNC machining takes cycle time into account and using a CAM system makes this much easier and faster.

Such software creates the machine code required for production based on the model. The biggest advantage is evident for CNC machining services where a completely difficult process can be automated on a large scale, including a change of equipment.

 

Integration with ERP

Being able to use CAD / CAM allows engineers to incorporate files into an ERP system. ERP is an abbreviation for Enterprise Resource Planning.

In manufacturing, ERP is used to increase the efficiency of any process. An ERP software helps to integrate and regulate various aspects in a project so that less time is required to move from raw materials to finished products.

 

Benefits of Automation

The remedy to reduce the project lead time is to automate all the recurring processes in the design phase. The use of CAD cuts a lot of grunt work, without affecting quality, which is a part of manual sketching.

For example, companies offering custom products have increased pressure to produce proposal documents and drawings as soon as possible. The best estimated costs are expected for orders that are not guaranteed. The resources of engineering departments are wasted on tasks that may be automated. When automation is included, more time is available to innovate the product and add value.

One such approach is to obtain automated production quotes with cloud manufacturing service providers. This significantly reduces the time spent on procurement processes and gives immediate pricing based on the CAD model. In this way, engineers can, in turn, quote their own customers. Such speed can often win the job.

Through CAD, different parts of the same product can be made separately and added to the final stage. These individual parts are saved and later available for reuse. It can also automatically generate detailed drawings and bill of materials for the manufacturer.

These features increase throughput, reduce errors, and improve quality, allowing you to do more business at any time.

 

Choosing CAD Software

Solidworks – a common tool for engineers

There are many types of CAD programs. The most popular one is probably SolidWorks, with the Inventor and Solid Edge closely behind.

However, the price per seat can be quite expensive. All of the above programs have a lot of history, which means countless hours devoted to product development. And it reflects on the price. At the same time, they provide many different tools for a professional engineer to help on all sides of a project

 

When you are just coming into space and want to immerse your feet in water, we would suggest that you check out the free CAD software. These programs are less flexible, but the functionality is more than adequate to initiate learning.

 

Conclusion

Sketching still has a different place in the design industry. Many designers are also going to start with a rough manual draft of the product before moving to CAD. But when it comes to modern product modeling, sketching doesn’t cut it anymore.

CAD has ushered in an era of professional design, which is so lit, quick and complete that it cannot be ignored anymore. Avoiding the use of CAD in this time is similar to swimming against the tide and, therefore, a profit-seeking enterprise cannot lose the benefits of CAD.

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