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Computer Aided Design is essential a computer software application that has been available to drafters, engineers, architects and any other individual that needs to create, modify, duplicate and optimise their designs. CAD software enables the user to:
The ‘output result’ of CAD is either a print of the design or a direct connection to a device in a manufacturing environment eg: a cutter
There are many types of CAD software available in the market these days, but certain industry standards do need to be applied in order to make the files generated by these CAD softwares interchangable from one system to the next. Also items like fonts, line types, hatches and even symbols need to be consistent with other products to make them adhere to these standards.
CAD uses vector format to interpret information. This vector information moves with in a World Co-ordinate system, existing of X,Y and Z. Let’s not forget that once designs are in a digital vector format they can be saved and modified at any time
CAD applications allow designers to work in this 3-dimensional world to build designs not just with an X and Y axis but also in the depth of Z. This allows exceptional designs which can be given life with textures, materials and shadows to create a realistic design, and then shown in a visual movie or walk thru.
Since CAD is a such a broad perspective that spans over multiple industries, it is impossible to allow all types of industries with their required features within one CAD applications. As a result, many software houses have now tailormade their products to fit to a specific niche market. For instance NanoCAD Mechanica is a raster solution designed with features appealing specifically to the mechnical industry.
With these professional targeted niche products you find a myriad of useful features, but such design means the software normally comes with a hefty fee.
There is still a market for the 2-Dimensional CAD applications as not all requirements are for manufacturing or bridge construction eg: houseplans for government approval or cutting or signs or patterns do not require 3-Dimensional designs or animated walk thrus