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I have been asked by my company (Standard engineering components LTD) to investigate the advantages and disadvantages of purchasing some computer aided design software

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Introduction

Computer aided design (assignment 3) Background into assignment I have been asked by my company (Standard engineering components LTD) to investigate the advantages and disadvantages of purchasing some computer aided design software. The main points I need to find out are: - 1. If, and how the company will benefit from the software 2. If it will pay the company back from the initial out lay. Background into computer CAD software is commonly used for drafting architectural and engineering drawings and for making technical illustrations of any kind. For us, a professional company associated with design and drafting then CAD applications is a must in this day and age. CAD enables you to prepare fast and accurate drawings. It provides flexibility to change drawings with minimal effort. In recent years, most large companies have made the switch to CAD to enjoy the benefits of this precise and creative tool. Today, many educational institutions include CAD as part of their academic curriculum. As a result, CAD knowledge has become very important to all professionals involved in the field of design and drafting. AutoCAD 2002 (Probably the choice of most companies) 2D Drawings only AutoCAD is probably the most appropriate choice of computer aided design software, it is the package that is used by most companies ranging from small to large it is available worldwide and made by Microsoft, there are all types of add ons and it has been around for a very long time. For the foreseeable future, it looks like AutoCAD users are in for more frequent, incremental upgrades than for any more of those highly disruptive major upgrades that used to come along every 24-30 months. What has slipped by many users is the fact that AutoCAD 2002 (released 20 June) is the second new release of the program since the groundbreaking AutoCAD 2000 just over 2 years ago; between the two came AutoCAD 2000i, released in July 2000. ...read more.

Middle

New to the scene are context sensitive call-outs. I've seen these before in other packages, but they are a very welcome addition to SolidWorks 2001. What they amount to are interactive labels you can use to alter values of features like blends, extrudes, and so forth. The label displays the feature name, and its appropriate value. (A blend will show its radius.) It's very straightforward and intuitive. They have also added drag handles. I've been wondering when 3D modeling packages will catch on to what the graphic market has had for years. These are great. They work pretty much like they do in any Windows program. Just click and drag to resize. It's easy. Another new feature is the confirmation corner. Once again, it is a way for you to accept or reject an operation without having to take your eyes off the screen. SolidWorks 2001 now has graphical previews of operations, either shaded or dynamic. When you are satisfied with what you see, just go to the upper right-hand corner of the graphics window and choose either a check to accept or an X to reject. No more looking for the OK, you know where it is. I like it. You spend a lot of time in the sketcher, so SolidWorks thought it would make sketching easier. They have added new things to help you get where you want to go in as simple a way as possible. How many times have you been sketching along and had the whole sketch turn inside out on you? Be honest. Well, I have, and it's frustrating. You have to undo and get it back to the way you had it, then try to sneak up on what you had intended. That doesn't sound even half as bad as it really is. But now, SolidWorks 2001 will allow you to tell the sketch "Uh-uh, I wanted some other result". ...read more.

Conclusion

MEDUSA is a mechanical design software, which provides a number of automated features for mechanical designers. Unigraphics Solid Edge One of the largest developers of MCAD/CAM/CAE/PDM integrated software. Unigraphics includes a number of modules for product design, drafting, 3D solid modeling, engineering analysis and project management and CAM. Used by a number or large corporation to manufacture cars, airplanes, medical implant devices and machine tools. Solid Edge is a mid-range CAD software for mechanical design, drafting, solid modeling and product assembly. Overall Summary CAD is obviously a very useful tool in the field of engineering. To us, as a company, I feel that we will slip behind in the times if we do not install a CAD system in the near future. Most companies are running several systems with CAD operators on them full time, some even operate a three shift system, covering 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The most obvious choice to me is auto CAD 2000, as it is the most commonly used. There are also several training programs available from a 1-day course to a degree. They are fairly costly to buy and a license is required but I think the benefits will soon be realized as work can be easily saved, restored and edited. It is also a lot quicker to draw on CAD than by hand, so time and money will be saved there. I think the cost for Auto CAD will be recouped in a matter of month's, a year at most. As for the solid works it all depends on how much 3D drawing we are going to be doing. It is also very difficult to operate and more specialized so more training will be required. In the near future this could be a more worth while tool to invest in but for now I recommend that we stick to auto CAD 2000i. I have also included a couple of sample drawings from AutoCAD 2000 and solid works 2001, these drawings display quite intricate detail. These were produced in a matter of hours at Rangemaster on their CAD systems. Sean Watson ...read more.

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