In today’s world, drafting is typically done via the use of Computer Aided Design (CAD). This form of design involves working with computers in order to create prototypes, models, or ideas. CAD is used in the process of drafting or making technical drawings for plans used to build many different types of things, including toasters, machines, planes, oil pipelines, spacecraft, office buildings, homes and even toys. Drawings done using CAD specify the materials, procedures, and dimensions down to the last detail. These drawings literally illustrate what will eventually be built.
From Manual Drafting to Computer Aided Drafting
In the past, companies typically hired draftsmen to do technical drawings and drafting. Students used to be trained to do manual drafting; however, manual drafting is not emphasized as much in training programs anymore. Also, for the most part, today’s students are not solely trained to use compasses or protractors to do drawings. Rather, training programs currently focus on teaching students how to use CAD software.
Types of CAD Software
There are several different types of CAD software, including 2D, 3D, 3D wireframe, surface modeling, and solid modeling. 2D CAD software is often used to make flat drawings of structures. 3D CAD software creates a model of what a design might look like in the real world. 3D wireframe and surface modeling enables the creation of a substructure, making it possible to see what the interior/skeleton of a design or a building might look like. Solid modeling CAD enables drafters to determine the mathematical dimensions of a building or design.
Also, keep in mind that architectural CAD software can help create the aforementioned 2D or 3D design models without the drafter having to actually construct anything. Mechanical CAD pertains to the separate parts of designs and can be used to develop cars, home appliances, and many other kinds of machines. CAD enables drafters to craft a design without having to construct a working model.
The Ease and Convenience of Working Using Computer Aided Drafting
Being able to create, develop, edit, and print work from the computer is convenient for engineers. Using a computer for drafting leads to a much shorter design cycle and lowers product development costs. This allows companies to save money and ultimately increase their profit margins.
Using CAD makes it much easier to quickly test ideas, as you can move elements of the design around to determine if a proposed structure is feasible. CAD allows its users nearly limitless options for experimenting with design capabilities and appearances.
Additional Purposes for the Use of Computer Aided Design
Of note, some people use CAD for interior design purposes. For instance, CAD is often considered useful in cases where interior designers want to determine how to arrange furniture in a room. Landscaping is another purpose for which CAD is sometimes used; landscaping professionals can use CAD to decide how they will arrange various trees, plants, and shrubs on a property in order to create the most aesthetically appealing environment possible. CAD is also used by manufacturing companies, and in some cases, even be used by forensics experts seeking to use CAD to recreate the scene of a crime and to test their hypotheses as to how a crime might have happened.