Technology

3 Essential CADD Updates for 2016

Computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) is the processing of using advanced programs to create, analyze and optimize engineering designs. CADD systems enable engineers and architects to modify existing designs with notes and annotations. CADD software will increase work quality, designer productivity and communications through uniform documentation. Here are three upcoming and emerging CADD updates for 2016.

Basic Updates
Dynamic physical rendering (DPR) is a new technology that is designed to enhance digital 3D models. This means that in older CADD programs that represent 3D objects through weak 2D representations, there will be genuine 3D objects built by thousands of tiny building blocks. This allows companies with dated CADD programs to remain competitive. In addition to this, genetic programming (GP) is being used to create complex CADD designs. Genetic programming is a virtual technique that employs advanced algorithms created detailed landscapes. It is currently being incorporated into software and electronic designs. Genetic programming is based on DNA production that naturally occurs in human cells.

Platform Updates
For many years, a handful of software development companies has dominated the CAD and CADD market, such as Revit, Fusion 360 and AutoCAD Civil. However, there are now competing open source programs available. OpenSCAD is a unique object design program d that is available for open source OS platforms like Linux and UNIX. There is LibreCAD, which is a free application for Apple and Windows, and FreeCAD, which is a free 3D mode program made for object designing. Software giant Oracle offers their BabaCAD that comes with advanced functions. OpenOffice, which is famous for its free productivity suite that resembles Microsoft Office, also offers a basic, open source CAD program. These programs are geared towards CAD, but progress is being made to integrate them with commercial programs and add CADD functions.

Manufacturing Updates
Not only are CADD programs rapidly changing, new software and hardware solutions are revolutionizing prototyping and manufacturing processes. Hardware innovations include laser sintering and 3D printing that allows engineers to effectively produce intricate parts from non-traditional sources, such as textile, ceramics and plastics. In fact, there are 3D model templates available on the Internet for free download. As a result, manufacturing costs and delivery times are decreasing. There are also more and more specialized CADD programs available for specific industries, such as Allplan for architects, ArtCAM for jewelry designers and OrCAD for electronic engineers. General purpose CADD programs are expanding to offer more specialized functions, such as kinematics, flow simulations and integrated analysis.

Besides this, many CADD programs offer standardized formats for Office applications, such as XML, and open source applications, such as the ODF format. Those who want to learn more about the future of CADD should explore the American Design Drafting Association’s (ADDA) website.