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reasons for using CAD within an engineering firm

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Introduction

Computer-aided design (CAD) is the use of computer technology to aid in the design and especially the drafting (technical drawing and engineering drawing) of a part or product, including entire buildings. It is both a visual (or drawing) and symbol-based method of communication. Drafting can be done in two dimensions ("2D") and three dimensions ("3D"). Drafting is the basis of communication in technical or engineering drawings. There are various different advantages of using CAD such as: * Reduces timescales when designing or drafting a product. * If a mistake is made it can be undone with the click of a button instead of going through the process rubbing it out (which can also leave scuff marks on paper). * In addition to this, duplicate copies can easily be retrieved with the click of a button, as designs can be saved on hard drives. * Designs can be sent to one another with ease as files can be emailed. * Files do not take up much physical space (regardless of how intricate they are) ...read more.

Middle

Moreover the design can be printed out and in order to ensure the highest detail there has to be a plotter available which is capable of being used with CAD. CAD is an application that can be used in conjunction with hardware or even other pieces of software such as a computer numerically controlled (CNC) machine. CNC is a computer "controller" that reads coded instructions (which are input via software such as CAD) and drives a machine tool, a motorized mechanical piece of equipment which is typically used to create components by carefully removing unwanted material. Another software package similar to that of CAD is CAM (computer aided manufacture). Computer-aided manufacturing is the use of computer-based software tools that assist engineers and machinists in manufacturing or prototyping product components. CAM is a programming tool that allows you to manufacture physical models using computer-aided design (CAD) programs. CAM creates real life versions of components designed within a software package. CAM was first used in 1971 for car body design and tooling, CAM/CAD can also be used for various other fields of engineering such as electronics to design integrated circuits or aeronautical engineering to design the initial prototype. ...read more.

Conclusion

Moreover files do not take up much physical space regardless of how intricate they are, as they are stored on the hard drive of a pc as electronic media. Using an application such as CAD may also be considered a 'greener' option as there is less usage of paper, and the paper that is printed wouldn't be needlessly thrown away as all errors would be corrected beforehand. What's more CAD may be thought of as a more cost effective way of creating designs as it removes the need for a photocopier as duplicates can be printed out via plotter which is also cheaper/easier to maintain if faults do arise. In the unlikely event that an issue does occur, it can usually be solved within the first few minutes of the problem arising by calling a technical help line which is by far cheaper then calling out a technician. In conclusion it is in the manufacturing company's best interest to invest in a computer aided design package as it would help to boost profits by removing the need of out dated equipment. ...read more.

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