Back in the late 1980’s early 1990’s colleges and businesses started replacing manual drafting with computer-aided drafting, or CAD. It was an exciting time to be on the edge of technology. CAD is still as cutting edge today as it was back then. CAD has kept up the pace and grown with the rest of technology to work in tandem with other programs. Engineers and Designers have given up their manual drawing boards for something better! The first step for you to understand how CAD works today is to have a general knowledge of the engineering and design process.
The Process of Engineering With CAD
Engineers and Designers have projects they need to bring to life. As an Engineer, you would start with creating a two dimensional or three dimensional drawing using CAD. Using geometrical shapes, you design on an XYZ axis. You can then refine your design by changing/adding dimensions, specifications, and standards. You will also include any appropriate instrumentation, electrical, and fittings needed. You can import maps and topographical images to use on your project. Usually, several people will end up working on your design. With CAD, you can run macro programs to change specs throughout many pages of a large project saving you time and money. As the CAD Designer, you will go through many revisions to achieve the final design to be built in the field.
How Does CAD Produce Engineering Drawings?
With a good graphics card and fast computer you can run CAD software and create high quality professional engineering drawings. Most graphics programs require enough RAM to generate your graphics quickly. As the CAD Designer you input information with the keyboard and mouse through the graphic user interface, or GUI and manipulate the rendering to your satisfaction. The graphics card and the kernel are the internal parts of the program that communicate the user input back into the GUI in graphic form for the user to see. Drawings can be printed directly from inside the GUI CAD program for checking.
CAD is an engineering tool that you can use in the process of creating mechanical, electrical, civil, architectural, and piping design drawings. You can load your specs and dimensions into a CAD program and generate different views. Anyone can take classes and learn CAD. You can get a certificate in CAD in a few months and start working quickly. You can continue your education and get a two year Associates Degree or go all the way to a four year degree and become an Engineer. Knowing CAD and how it works can lead to a lasting career. CAD Operators, Engineers and Designers are always needed on big engineering projects.