What is 3D CAD Design?
CAD stands for Computer-Aided Design and is defined as “the use of computers to aid in the creation, modification, analysis, or optimization of a design”, according to Wikipedia. In various industries, computers are used to assist in the design process.
Using CAD software, models can be made that allow designers to see the properties of a design before being produced. For example, properties such as the dimensions, the materials, and the color can be visualized before a part is sent into production.
3D CAD services essentially replaces manual drafting with an automated design process. CAD software-assisted design also allows the designer to share, review, and modify designs before deciding on the final design.
CAD is additionally known by the term CADD (Computer-Aided Design and Drafting). In the electronics industry, it is known as EDA (Electronic Design Automation). In the entertainment industry, being used for special effects and computer animation, it’s known as DCC (Digital Content Creation). CAD may use vector or raster graphics, but the process involves more than just shapes. It also may contain information like materials, processes, dimensions, and tolerances.
The output of the final product of CAD design services is usually an electronic file containing technical drawings used for printing, machining, or manufacturing. Most injection mold companies require a 3D CAD drawing design before they will make a part.
Uses of CAD
3D CAD design services are used in a variety of fields and in a variety of ways to create the first step in the production process; that is, the design of the product. CAD is used to design curves and figures in two-dimensional (2D) space as well as to design curves, surfaces, and solids in three-dimensional (3D) space. It is heavily used in the automotive, shipbuilding, and aerospace industries, but is used in many other applications as well. Examples of products made from CAD design include:
- Jigs and fixtures
- Industrial fasteners
- Steel / aluminum components
- Door / windows / frames / panels
- Furniture products
- Material handling equipment
- Automotive parts & components
- And many others
Why Should You Use CAD In Your Design Process?
CAD helps to improve the quality of a design while increasing the productivity of the designer. It helps to improve communications among team members through documentation, and it creates a historical database for manufacturing.
CAD drawing services allow the creation and visualization of 2D or 3D objects and make changes to design easier than with a simple pencil and paper. It allows for design optimization by finding flaws in the design, with some CAD software capable of testing and simulating conditions in order to look for design issues. In addition, the design exemplifies almost life-like detail. Combined, these benefits allow products to get to market faster without wasting time and money with a poor design.
Because each industry has its own CAD specialization with specialized features and tools for each one, it is applicable for a variety of uses. But most importantly, no matter the industry, design projects are more easily realized using CAD design versus using traditional means of production.
Idea2Parts uses CAD design software to create several different file types including .step or .stp, .stl, .sldprt, and .igs. If designed correctly, the value of CAD Design is providing the customer with the correct file format to get their idea, part, or design made right the first time.
What Makes A Good 3D CAD Design Services Company?
A good design company should be able to start with an idea, sketch, or physical part and create a 3D design. The company should be able to tell the customer the design process and walk them through it. Additionally, the company should be able to 3D print the designed part in-house BEFORE going to an injection mold company for production, so the part can be tested in advance. Finally, a good CAD design company should provide files and detailed drawings for the customer’s records.
For answers to CAD Design questions, contact Andy Lytwyn of Idea2Parts.com.