Computer-Aided Design (CAD)
It is a unique tool that has allowed our society to progress rapidly. There have been drastic improvements within the CAD world. CAD became commercially available in 1964 when large companies like IBM, GM, and Lockheed Martin began leveraging computerized graphical display systems. These foundational programs are still the basis for some of the most widely used programs.
To this day, 2D CAD is used regularly throughout multiple industries, including Water Treatment, Municipal, Food & Beverage, Commercial, and Pisciculture. While 3D CAD has many advantages over traditional 2D, it is essential to consider your product and its end user. All fabrication drawings, from structural to electrical, are read on 2D paper.
Architects and civil engineers use 2D to convey their ideas to cities, companies, and private parties. Electrical engineers create complex wiring diagrams in 2D only. Due to the clarity provided and adhering to standards followed worldwide.
Figure: Example of a 2D CAD Drawing.
On the other hand, 3D CAD is a young technology that has provided amazing breakthroughs in workflow increases and cost savings. 3D modeling became widely accessible in the late 1980s. It became a challenge that required engineers to rewire their brains to create models in the third dimension. 3D CAD software has two main categories:
- Parametric modeling
- Direct modeling
Direct modeling: grants the user flexibility by allowing them to define and capture geometry quickly without concentrating on dimensions. Direct modeling is perfect for prototyping, considering how agile the method is. A simple analogy would be to imagine working with modeling clay. Rather than measuring, you push and pull until satisfied with the geometry.