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Top 6 Trends in in Computer Aided Design (CAD) Software Evolution

Ever since manual mechanical drawings were replaced by the computer aided design (CAD) applications, the world of manufacturing and mechanical design has never been the same and continues to advance with new technologies.

Over time, more and more features have been added to the core CAD systems moving from 2D to 3D models with added bill of materials modules and new design features to support more complex designs and tools to help the designer create designs faster. We’ve seen applications developed to scan physical items converting them to 3D models automatically. And now we’re on the edge of a completely new era in CAD applications leveraging Industry 4.0 technologies offering features we could only have dreamed about just a decade ago.

1. Virtual Reality (VR)

Over 30 years ago,2D graphics and drawings gave way to 3D modeling allowing engineers and designers to see the product or object from different perspectives. Now any product or design proposal can be represented easily on a mobile or computer divide or even by printed copy to vendor and clients.

It has become a mandatory application in production and manufacturing fields for its use in from visualizing to showing assembling process of individual parts of a product. Not only it is making it very easy to communicate, talk and represent it at front of everybody very easily but also from the 3D details of each parts it helps to extract many data & information at very fastest way.

The latest advancements in CAD are moving 3D modeling even further by leveraging virtual reality and augmented reality whereby engineers wearing special equipment can virtually interact with their designs.

These technologies allows engineers even more freedom than ever before to create and manage complex engineering designs and the technology can make the design process much faster and easier to understand for non-engineers who need a simple way to visualize the part designs.

2. 3D Printing

Additive manufacturing leveraging 3D printing technology has been around for more than a decade but recent advances in technology have made it much more affordable and practical for both low volume rapid prototyping and high volume production. With the time and development of technology it is now easy and inexpensive to get a 3D model printed.

There are lots of software and applications to process 3D printed objects from a 3D CAD model that is using a variety of materials including traditional plastic materials and now most metals, ceramics, concrete, and other materials. Some popular 3D printing applications are Cura, Meshlab, Netfebb, 3D Tool Free Viewer, Sketchup, Blender and many more.

In fact, most major CAD applications now support direct interfaces to popular 3D printers making the process even easier. Additive manufacturing is revolutionizing engineering and design making it easier to create products that previously would have required longer lead times and complex assemblies that can now be printed all at once for a more cohesive and complete product.

While many industries are slow to adopt additive manufacturing, it is becoming increasingly popular across most industry segments including jewelry, aerospace and defense, automotive, art and sculpture, architecture, and other industry

3. Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence integration with Computer Aided Designs is another trend reshaping the industry. Not only can digital scans of solid objects be converted easily into 3D CAD models, but the software is now able to leverage artificial intelligence to make the designs even more complete as machine learning can figure out missing information and can recommend new ways to modify the designs making them stronger and more versatile.

As artificial intelligence uses computer to do things that used to require human-level intelligence, it is saving time as humans can function and complete multiple tasks at the same time they used to spend before on one project. By providing the algorithms that makes the machines smarter and thus give AIa way to become more intelligent by the time goes on. AIto is expected to grow toa $16 billion industry by 2022, according to a projection from research firm MarketsandMarkets.

4. Cloud Deployment

The trend of storing all kinds of files online in “the cloud” spans every aspect of our daily lives from online banking to social media to streaming music and video and even sharing our favorite vacation pictures with family and friends. Cloud technologies are now sweeping through the CAD world as CAD vendors are beginning to move their applications from the desktop to the cloud making them easier to deploy, easier to update, and easier to collaborate with other external contributors to the design process including third party consultants, customers, and vendors alike. Further, there are many growing cloud databases of product designs available supporting the additive manufacturing 3D printing needs of consumers and manufacturers. The day is not far away when all CAD applications will be accessed and used through a web browser and there will be no software to install or to maintain. You will simply login and start designing.

5. Internet of Things(IoT)

Internet, mobile,RFID, and other technologies are changing the way we interact with the world allowing devices and parts to communicate with us through technological interfaces. It’s not uncommon for a machine to send a code when a part is starting to break down and may need repair and products can tell us when they are low on power or when they have been moved and where they are physically in the warehouse. Further, RFID technology has so many applications today that we could never have dreamed. A simple RFID chip can tell us if a crate of perishable products has a high bacteria count,has been exposed to extreme heat, or even if it has been exposed to sunlight.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is colliding with CAD technologies –not only in the design of products but also in the way products leverage IoT themselves. Washing machines and dryers, toasters, refrigerators, cars and trucks, and robotic vacuum cleaners are just a few examples of devices that now connect to us through wireless technologies and our smart phones. We’re able to control products like never before and these new technologies require new designs to accommodate the connectivity issues and challenges in the real world –something that designers never had to consider in the past.

6. Engineering Automation

Engineering and manufacturing have remained separate for decades. Engineers work every day inside CAD applications –building and revising products. They have their own engineering bills of material and rarely (if ever) login to the company’s ERP system where manufacturing is planned and executed. The ERP system has its own manufacturing bill of material, routing (with labor operations), and items. New technologies like CADTALK allow engineers to design products in CAD with the data transformed via artificial intelligence into manufacturing bills of material, routings, and items in the ERP system in seconds –something that would have taken hours or days of manual data entry in the past.

There are so few products on the market like CADTALK that there is no name for this category of software. It’s really a subset of a broader category of data integration applications but it’s so much more. With specialized artificial intelligence and deep integration with CAD and ERP, it’s really a software category in and of itself.

CADTALK’s product suite does more than just conversion of the eBOM to the mBOM. CADTALK’s various modules connects CAD and ERP to so many different technologies including configure price quote (CPQ) where CAD models and eBOMs can be generated automatically from product configurations (options and values). It can also connect CAD and ERP with nesting software for optimized production layouts or with 3D Printers and ERP to close the loop on engineering to production. This new software category is poised for explosive growth and is likely to collide with all other business technologies on the market today and those that will be on the market in the next few years.

Learn more about the entire CADTALK product suite or watch an overview of CADTALK ERP today.