During past few years, design engineers’ nature of work has changed drastically with acceptance of CAD software in the industry. Someone who has learned the skills of AutoCAD in his early university days will not be able to compete with other market players, who recently have had training for the same software but the newer version. The reason being that there are so many new features added, aiding ease in designing and post designing process.
In recent past years, apart from AutoCAD many other software have been launched empowering designers to deliver not just 3D models of the components but other big sets of information as well. It has become a trend for design engineers to specify the version of software they have used for particular modeled information including SolidWorks 2017, Autodesk Inventor 2017, AutoCAD 2017, Solid Edge ST9, Creo 2.0 parametric and so on so forth. Easy interconversion of files from one format to another, exports, imports and editable 3D CAD solid models have sharply increased the use of variety of software for different purposes in one project.
Impact of 3D CAD modeling in different industry
For construction industry, which involves many large construction projects of residential, commercial and industrial buildings, a CAD expert is needed with thorough knowledge of architectural and structural engineering. Understanding the architectural requirements, based on designs and conceptual sketches of the facility, is necessary in order to club them with structural principles for model generation.
Most general and EPC contractors in the industry rely upon model based construction documentation for cost estimation and materials requirement for bidding. It is accomplished by BIM (Building Information Modeling) tools like Revit, AutoCAD and Tekla, which generates intelligent 3D models with the information related to design, budgeting, Bill of Materials – BOM, construction scheduling, energy modeling, sustainability and maintenance. An outsourcing company can serve the right purpose in delivering quality within budget.
Engineering firms involved in designing and manufacturing of machinery components look for more than just 3D CAD modeling through CAD software. Capability of CAD software when handled by CAD drafter to deliver such solutions allows the designer to change the design easily. Parametric modeling in CAD software takes care of successive design changes, when one of the governing design parameters is changed as against to that in traditional practices.
Better model visualization can be achieved by assembly modeling and impact of the changes can be studied. In addition to this, the older practices involving repetitive work for design generation have been replaced by software like SolidWorks. It essentially allows the designer to create customization for each part. Moreover, design automation eliminates the design rework for products like door – windows frames and other wooden furniture, that are used excessively.
Software removes the barriers related to manufacturers’ shop setting, since the models are generated keeping DFM strategy and shop floor conditions at the center. Specific inclusion of manufacturing processes, say for sheet metal manufacturing like piercing, rolling, forging, welding, etc. allows a better understanding of the fabrication process. Product development time is reduced and time to market the product is also optimized through early design changes.
When extended to post design phase, animations and PowerPoint presentation can be easily made through 3D CAD modeling and understanding Product Lifecycle Management – PLM. During manufacturing phase, it becomes easier for manufacturer to understand the fabrication process with the inclusion of tolerances, machining and other manufacturing allowances. Such detailed models reduce manufacturing time and allows precision manufacturing to be implemented at ease.
For components requiring precision manufacturing that finds applications in aviation, space technology and military disciplines are manufactured using Computer Aided Manufacturing – CAM. Engineers simulating CNC programing in software uses 3D CAD models for the results.
It is apparent that the information from 3D CAD models removes the bottleneck in designs and manufacturing procedures, locates the weak points in design, enhances product development process, reduces manufacturing lead time, and is easy to understand. Designers can increase their productivity by simultaneous works of designing and product development phase.