We can trace CAD’s history to the 1950s. Dr. Patrick J. Hanratly, credited as the father of CADD/CAM, developed the first numerical-control programming system, PRONTO, and in 1960, Ivan Sutherland developed SKETCHPAD for computer technical drawing. 

French Engineer, Pierre Bézier, brought about 3D CAD between 1966 and 1968 when he developed UNISURF for the design parts & tools for the design of features and tools for automobiles. UNISURF became a base for subsequent CAD software such as Autodesk, founded in 1982 by John Walker, Smartdraw, Bentley, and Trimble. 

Uses of CAD

Many free 3D CAD (Computer-Aided Design) software have emerged and are used across dozens of fields, including but not limited to CAD/CAM software. Recent CAD software systems allow for collaborative work on models via various workstations and integrations, which is beneficial and gives room for optimization, specialization, visualization & optimization.

CAD facilitated the manufacturing process via transference of detailed information to be interpreted by a professional. With CAD, design time and the process are reduced and made more accessible as manufacturers only have to integrate CAD with CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing) rather than coupling physical prototypes to be tested as it is a crucial visualization tool. This has improved the quality of designs and better communication & documentation.

Types of CAD

Over the years, CAD has improved and grown. The classification includes:

  1. 2D CAD
  2. 3D CAD
  3. 3D Wireframe and Surface Modelling
  4. Solid Modelling

The 2D CAD is the first CAD software developed in the 1970s.  2D CAD is used in the production of drawings using shapes such as triangles, parallelograms, and squares.

3D CAD is software that allows for more precise dimensions in drawings; product developers, designers & engineers use 3-dimensional computer-aided designs to create virtual prototypes of machines, objects, and animated movies.

It is an improved version of the 2D CAD software. In recent times, the uses of CAD software systems are no longer limited to generating 3D drawings now. CAD software systems are used for fabric simulation, painting in art, and the development of CGIs in movies. CAD software tools allow for a 360-degree view of objects, and when compared to manual drawing, its editing process is faster.

Selecting Your 3D CAD Software System

When creating a 3D design, it is advised that you go with one that suits the needs of your plan, product, automobile, or animated movie. 

1. Capability & Efficiency

You should ask yourself, when choosing a 3D software system, you should ask yourself, “how efficient is this software in achieving my design?”. Take into consideration the efficiency of the software package in creating your designs and the products you or your company makes. Evaluate the efficiency of each software package in creating your products. The model to be designed represents your company. It’s your brand image; hence, the 3D software chosen should allow you to create efficiencies with the capacity for modifications.

The right software will generate high-quality designs that look smooth and organic; for designers of types of machinery, the utmost concern or priority is the assembling of the different parts of their models and the final design, i.e., its functionality.

2. Reliability

Get customer reviews of the CAD software you intend to use. This will help inform you of the pros and cons of each software you browse; their ability to handle complex designs if your company assembles large objects or products. Ask around, ask companies who USE 3D CAD software and design software.

3. Compatibility

Your suppliers, manufacturers, and colleagues should also be considered. It is teamwork that requires input and collaboration. Your choice of software should be able to meet the demands of your team, such as the transfer of files between systems. The software should allow for easy alterations to received files or designs.

Another popular CAD design software is Autodesk Maya. This method saves time and makes the design process easy. You get to manage your clients easily.

4. Drawing Tools

Besides your 3D CAD design model, you also have to consider your drawing or drafting of certain parts of the design that may not be visible to your colleagues in your 3D model.

5. Client Relationship

Just as it is vital for every app, website, or design software to have a great user experience, it is also essential that they have a good client relationship. What’s the client or customer experience of the design software company you want to opt for like? Are they emphatic? What are their packages like? Do they offer free services but have hidden charges and levies for your needs?

Instead, wouldn’t you opt for CAD software suppliers who allow unlimited access packages and can be used from anywhere at lower costs?

6. Short Learning Curve

Choose a software system that is easy to learn. Opt for a system that has a good and consistent user interface and does not get your designs stopped halfway. You will want to go for software that allows for a seamless flow of your design from start to finish. This ensures team members do not run into difficulties while completing projects.

7. Built-in Applications

Some 3D design software, such as TinkerCAD come with integrated analytical tools that simulate physical behaviors such as temperatures and vibrations.

Choose a software supplier that has integrated tools for the automation of your products. This makes it easy for designers to collaborate on projects without overwriting hours of hard work.

If your company or organization is one that data management, it is advisable to select a software tool with an integrated product data management (PDM) tool. Files in 3D systems are complex and require an automated system to store and organize them.

The right 3D CAD design software will provide the latest features to reduce the entire workload by offering updates and ways to complete unfamiliar tasks.