CAD techniques and software (2D and 3D)

CAD techniques and software (2D and 3D)

Understanding CAD Techniques

  • CAD refers to Computer Aided Design, a process that takes advantage of computer technology for the process of design and design-documentation.

  • Mainly used by engineers, architects, artists and other professionals, it assists in creating precision drawings or technical illustrations.

  • The basis for any 2D or 3D design using CAD starts with understanding of Geometric shapes.

  • CAD enables the transformation of these simple shapes into complex designs by use of extruding, changing the thickness and other features.

  • CAD uses geometric formulas to create shapes which are difficult to render by hand. They can then be manipulated, rotated, or moved within the CAD software.

2D CAD Software

  • Traditional 2D software, like AutoCAD, can be used to create flat vector-based designs and blueprints.

  • 2D CAD software produces only two-dimensional, flat images that are comprised of lines, curves, angles and shapes.

  • Learning and using these 2D systems is often the foundation toward understanding 3D CAD.

Transition to 3D CAD Software

  • Transition to 3D design involves use of 3D modelling techniques like wire-frame models, surface models, and solid models.

  • Wire-frame models represent the structure of a 3D object, using lines and arcs for edges and circles for the endpoints.

  • Surface models represent the surface, and not the volume, of an object. They represent the outer shell that encloses an object.

  • Solid models are the most realistic, representing a solid object with volume.

3D CAD Software

  • 3D CAD software, like SolidWorks and Fusion 360, use features like extrude, revolve, loft and sweep to create 3D designs.

  • It allows a user to rotate the model to view it from any angle and even see an inside view.

  • 3D CAD enables production of a physical model using 3D printers or CNC machines.

Real World Applications of CAD

  • CAD is used in the engineering industry to design and manufacture products.

  • It’s used in the animation and graphic design industries to create 3D graphics for movies and video games.

  • CAD software can be used by architects for preparation of blueprints for buildings and city infrastructure.

  • It’s also used by scientists in synthesizing complex data for in-depth analysis and visualisation.