Pen and paper’s worst enemy has changed the world, and doesn’t look like stopping any time soon! CAD (Computer Aided Design) has revolutionised drafting and design methods across the world, taking over from less efficient and repetitive pen and paper methods. It involves the use of computer software to design and document a product’s design process.
Using graphical symbols such as lines, planes, curves, points and shapes, CAD allows for detailed engineering drawings which provide comprehensive descriptions about any component. It is thought to increase design productivity, quality, and communication.
At Tech Camp, we teach computer CAD in 2D on our Laser Tag course to design the laser tag units. Campers design their own unit using the software, then build it out of modelling foam before going on to create electronic circuitry, learn how to ‘hack’ the software to customise the game to their own wishes, and learn basic C programming to customise and advance the game even further.
This early education in CAD is a true advantage considering its use in such a wide breadth of industries. Here are just a few of the ways CAD is used in the wider world:
Designing Cars - Automotive Industry
Perhaps one of the most well-known uses of CAD is in the automotive industry, creating all kinds of vehicles. It was first introduced into the industry by Dr. Patrick J. Hanratty during the mid-1960s to eliminate the repetitive drafting process during design. This caught on and now essentially all cars produced in the world rely on CAD for part of their design, engineering or manufacturing. It helps to bring designs to life and allows for refinement and testing, as the performance of the car can be simulated. It also means that all the teams involved in the car’s production can collaborate and communicate more efficiently, as each detail can be meticulously mapped out and detailed for easy analysis - saving both time and money!
Creating Breathtaking Buildings - Architectural Industry
The architectural industry likes CAD so much that they have introduced their own specialist program, Computer-Aided Architectural Design (CAAD). This has specialised databases of building parts and construction knowledge to help turn concepts into detailed designs, and allow for 3D visualisations and simulations. Providing both 2D and 3D capabilities, CAD improves precision, accuracy, and allows for easy collaboration on designs. Editing and revising the designs is also much easier - they no longer have to rub everything out and start again! Most excitingly, CAD allows for complete virtual tours so that both the architect and the client can see the building before it has even been built.
Invent Realistic Game and Film Imagery - 3D Modelling Industry
From game designers to filmmakers, CAD is increasingly in demand to help create realistic 3D imagery. In this industry, design simulations are made within the CAD software - designers can create an object and rotate it and examine it from all angles to scrutinise it. It also allows them to apply texture, lights and colour to their designs so that they can create truly realistic images for presentation - known as ‘rendering’. From visual effects in Harry Potter to game characters in Mario Bros, CAD has been instrumental in delivering fantasy to our screens.
If any of these sound like a career path that would interest you, why not get a head start and try out our Laser Tag course at Tech Camp (available for both Easter and Summer), or our 3D Printing course for an even more intensive CAD experience?