Computer-aided design (CAD) is the use of computer systems to assist in the creation, modification, analysis, or optimization of a design. CAD software is used to increase the productivity of the designer, improve the quality of design, improve communications through documentation, and to create a database for manufacturing.
CAD software for mechanical design uses either vector based graphics to depict the objects of traditional drafting, or may also produce raster graphics showing the overall appearance of designed objects. However, it involves more than just shapes. As in the manual drafting of technical and engineering drawings, the output of CAD must convey information, such as materials, processes, dimensions, and tolerances, according to application-specific conventions.
CAD may be used to design curves and figures in two-dimensional (2D) space; or curves, surfaces, and solids in three-dimensional (3D) space.
Computer-aided design is one of the many tools used by engineers and designers and is used in many ways depending on the profession of the user and the type of software in question.
CAD is one part of the whole Digital Product Development (DPD) activity within the Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) processes, and as such is used together with other tools, which are either integrated modules or stand-alone products, such as:
- Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is the process of managing the entire lifecycle of a product from its conception, through design and manufacture, to service and disposal.
- Computer-aided engineering (CAE) is the broad usage of computer software to aid in engineering tasks. CAE tools are being used, for example, to analyze the robustness and performance of components and assemblies. The term encompasses simulation, validation, and optimization of products and manufacturing tools.
- In mathematics, finite element method (FEM) is a numerical technique for finding approximate solutions to boundary value problems. It uses variational methods to minimize an error function and produce a stable solution.
- The computer numerical control (CNC) programs produce a computer file that is interpreted to extract the commands needed to operate a particular machine via a postprocessor, and then loaded into the CNC machines for production.
- Product data management (PDM) is the use of software or other tools to track and control data related to a particular product. The data tracked usually involves the technical specifications of the product, specifications for manufacture and development, and the types of materials that will be required to produce goods.
3DVIA Composer is 3D technical communication software that lets users explain products using existing 3D data. Users can create high resolution 2D illustrations and 3D animations to support a variety of product deliverables such as technical documentation, 3D work instructions, animated service applications, and sales and marketing collateral.
Abaqus FEA is a software suite for finite element analysis and computer-aided engineering. Abaqus is used in the automotive, aerospace, and industrial products industries. The product is popular with academic and research institutions due to the wide material modeling capability, and the program's ability to be customized. Abaqus also provides a good collection of multiphysics capabilities, such as coupled acoustic-structural, piezoelectric, and structural-pore capabilities, making it attractive for production-level simulations where multiple fields need to be coupled.
The ADINA System offers a one-system program for comprehensive finite element analyses of structures, fluids, heat transfer, electromagnetics and multiphysics.
Agilent Advanced Design System (ADS) is an electronic design automation software system produced . It provides an integrated design environment to designers of RF electronic products such as mobile phones, pagers, wireless networks, satellite communications, radar systems, and high-speed data links.
Agilent Electromagnetic Professional (EMPro) is 3-D electromagnetic simulation software.
Agilent Genesys is an affordable, accurate, easy-to-use RF and microwave simulation software created for the circuit board and subsystem designer.
Agilent SystemVue is a focused electronic design automation (EDA) environment for electronic system-level (ESL) design. It enables system architects and algorithm developers to innovate the physical layer (PHY) of wireless and aerospace/defense communications systems and provides unique value to RF, DSP, and FPGA/ASIC implementers.
Alibre Design is a parametric computer-aided design (CAD) software suite. Alibre Design Personal Edition is a basic 3D modeling application for beginners and hobbyists, whereas Alibre Design Professional and Alibre Design Expert are 3D and 2D modeling applications suitable or intended for professional use.
Alibre Geomagic Design solutions include comprehensive rendering tools, built-in motion simulation tools and a wide range of 3D CAD and neutral 3D format support to enable interoperability of design data.
Altair HyperForm Solista: Sheet-Metal Forming Essentials.
Altair Engineering’s HyperWorks is a computer-aided engineering (CAE) simulation software platform that allows businesses to create superior, market-leading products efficiently and cost effectively.
Altair SimLab is a software tool created specifically as a pre-processor for detailed computer models of complex powertrains
Altium Designer is an EDA software package for printed circuit board, FPGA and embedded software design, and associated library and release management automation.
ARCHLine.XP - All-in-one interior and architecture design CAD software.
ArtiosCAD is a software program dedicated to the design of folded packaging, mainly corrugated boxes and folding carton. ArtiosCAD is used by box designers, box sample makers, die makers.
Aveva PDMS is a customizable, multi-user and multi-discipline, engineer controlled design software package for engineering, design and construction projects.
AVL Suite for the calculation of complex workflows car engines and hybrid systems.
The AWR Design Environment design suite is the most comprehensive software solution for designers of all types of RF and microwave circuits, from integrated microwave assemblies to monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMICs) and everything in between.
As a world leader in providing CNC software to shops small and large, BobCAD-CAM is perfect for CNC Milling, Lathe, Router, Waterjet, Laser, Burning & Wire EDM programming.
BricsCAD is a CAD package that uses the Open Design Alliance DWG libraries to read and write the DWG file format made popular by the AutoCAD CAD package. BricsCAD implements the AutoLISP scripting language, DCL, VBA and BRX.
Cadence OrCAD is a proprietary software tool suite used primarily for electronic design automation. The software is used mainly by electronic design engineers and electronic technicians to create electronic schematics and electronic prints for manufacturing printed circuit boards.
CADlogic Draft IT Architectural is a powerful and easy-to-use, 2D Architectural CAD software for Building Plan Design appealing to architects, building designers, estate agents.
CADprofi (previously CP-System) – is a software application for computer-aided design (CAD) used as a CAD addon for popular CAD programs (such as AutoCAD, Bricscad, GstarCAD, progeCAD, ZWCAD, IntelliCAD and others). Program speeds the designing of CAD drawings and possesses additional features that are absent in base CAD programs.
Carlson GeoTech provides the ability to import borehole data for analyzing subsurface conditions and materials. Carlson CADnet allows users to create CAD from non-CAD documents such as PDFs, raster images, and paper plans. Carlson Trench is for calculations related to installing pipes, sewers, or utility lines.
CarSim is a software package that predicts the performance of vehicles in response to driver controls (steering, throttle, brakes, clutch, and shifting) in a given environment (road geometry, coefficients of friction, wind).
CGTech VERICUT software is used to simulate CNC machining in order to detect errors, potential collisions, or areas of inefficiency. VERICUT enables NC programmers to correct errors before the program is ever loaded on the CNC machine, thereby eliminating manual prove-outs. VERICUT also optimizes NC program cutting speeds for more efficient machining.
Chief Architect Software is computer aided design software (CAD) for the home building industry. Chief Architect Software is 3D architectural design products for the professional home design industry and the DIY home design markets.
COMSOL Multiphysics is a finite element analysis, solver and Simulation software / FEA Software package for various physics and engineering applications, especially coupled phenomena, or multiphysics. COMSOL Multiphysics also offers an extensive interface to MATLAB and its toolboxes for a large variety of programming, preprocessing and postprocessing possibilities.
Cortona3D RapidAuthor is a powerful cost-effective authoring suite giving organizations the flexibility to produce all support documentation such as interactive Parts Catalogs, Maintenance Manuals, Training Materials and Work Instructions.
The electromagnetic simulation software CST STUDIO SUITE is the culmination of many years of research and development into the most efficient and accurate computational solutions to electromagnetic design.
Digimat - the unique nonlinear multi-scale material and structure modeling platform for high-fidelity composites simulation.
Digital Project is a computer-aided design (CAD) software application based on CATIA V5 and developed by Gehry Technologies, a technology company owned by the architect Frank Gehry. Among the changes made by Gehry Technologies to CATIA is a new visual interface suitable for architecture work.
EM.Cube is an industry recognized software environment for modeling and simulation of RF system engineering problems. It has a modular architecture built on a core foundation that is shared among a growing number of plug-in simulation engines.
EnSight is a software program for visualizing, analyzing, and communicating data from computer simulations and/or experiments.
The high-performance ESPRIT system offers powerful programming for any CNC machine tool.
ESTECO modeFRONTIER is an integration platform for multi-objective optimization, automation of design simulation processes and analytic decision making providing seamless coupling with engineering tools within different disciplines.
Femap is an advanced engineering simulation software program that creates finite element analysis models of complex engineering products and systems, and displays solution results.
FLOW-3D is a powerful and highly-accurate CFD software that gives engineers valuable insight into many physical flow processes.
FLOW-3D Cast is a simulation software developed especially for foundrymen, tool makers, and casting designers.
By simulating pressure surge, temperature and fluid flow rates system-wide, engineers use Flowmaster V7 to understand how design alterations, component size, selection and operating conditions will affect the overall fluid system performance.
Global Mapper is more than just a utility; it has built in functionality for distance and area calculations, raster blending, feathering, spectral analysis and contrast adjustment, elevation querying, line of sight calculations, cut-and-fill volume calculations, as well as advanced capabilities like image rectification, contour generation from surface data, view shed analysis (including Fresnel) from surface data, watershed delineation, terrain layer comparison (including differencing), and triangulation and gridding of 3D point data.
The GRAITEC Advance suite consists of software products dedicated to the BIM structure: Advance Design, Advance Concrete and Advance Steel and Advance CAD, a new drawing tool that completes the suite.
GT-SUITE handles, in a single software tool, a wide variety of vehicle and engine technical applications.
ICEM Surf is an explicit surface modeling software that complements your existing CAD environment. It’s designed to adapt to your product development workflow in order to meet new and constantly changing market requirements.
IMSI TurboCAD is a CAD software application for 2D and 3D design and drafting.
JMAG Designer is the high-speed, high-precision FEA software tool at the core of JMAG.
KISSsoft is a software package to perform sizing calculations for machine elements.
Nemetschek Allplan is a platform software for architects, civil engineers, contractors and facility managers for designing and managing buildings.
Nemetschek VectorWorks product line offers professional design solutions for architecture, interior construction, the entertainment industry, landscaping, landscape architecture and mechanical engineering.
Omron CX-One is an integrated package of Support Software including setup applications for networks, PTs, Servo Drives, Inverters, and Temperature Controllers as well as programming software of PLCs.
OptimumKinematics has been developed with the goal of providing users with a powerful kinematics tool that is both easy to use, and easy to integrate into your existing workflow.
Plexim PLECS is the tool of choice for high-speed simulations of power electronic systems. It is available in two editions: PLECS Blockset for seamless integration with MATLAB/Simulink, and PLECS Standalone, a completely independent product.
Pointwise - computational fluid dynamics (CFD) meshing software featuring an extension of advanced T-Rex hybrid meshing technique to generate near-wall layers of hexahedral cells.
Pro-EMFATIC is a software product that predicts fatigue life, fatigue damage, and durability (safety factor) of mechanical products using "crack-initiation" fatigue calculations.
ProgeCAD is powerful DWG/DXF-native CAD software, a cost-effective AutoCAD replacement, built for professional drafting. Optimize design costs without renouncing quality and compatibility of the industry standard.
PROKON Structural Analysis and Design is a suite of over thirty structural analysis, design and detailing programs.
Ricardo Software markets and supports a wide range of design and analysis software products developed specifically for application during the powertrain development and vehicle integration processes.
Schneider Electric Vijeo Citect, is the operating and monitoring component of PlantStruxure, the new Process Automation system of Schneider Electric. With its powerful visualisation capabilities and operational features, it delivers actionable insight faster, enabling operators to respond quickly to process disturbances and thereby increase their effectiveness.
Schneider Electric Unity Pro is the common programming, debugging and operating software for the Modicon M340 PAC, Premium and Quantum PLC ranges.
SIMPACK is a multi-body simulation software (MBS). SIMPACK Kinematics & Dynamics is the base module of the SIMPACK software, made up of the pre-processor, post-processor and, most importantly, SIMPACK’s renowned solvers. All other modules and interfaces can be added on to SIMPACK’s Kinematics & Dynamics.
SimWise4D delivers 3D kinematic and dynamic motion simulation tightly coupled with 3D Finite Element Analysis (FEA) in a single, affordable package
solidThinking Inspire software allows design engineers, product designers and architects to create and investigate structurally efficient concepts quickly and easily. Traditional structural simulations allow engineers to check if a design will support the required loads.
SpaceClaim Engineer brings 3D solid modeling to the desktops of engineers and analysts who work in a 3D world but don't want to become experts in traditional feature-based CAD.
Tekla Structures is Building Information Modeling (BIM) software that enables the creation and management of accurately detailed, highly constructable 3D structural models regardless of material or structural complexity.
Thermoanalytics RadTherm heat transfer software is a professional thermal simulation tool for comprehensive CAE analysis. RadThermIR is an advanced thermal and infrared program from ThermoAnalytics.
Topocad, a CAD made for surveying, design, mapping and civil engineering. Topocad is built up of several modules such as base package, design package (three different modules), tunneling module, net adjustment module, database.
TopSolid is a fully integrated mechanical CAD/CAM solution which enables design and manufacturing data to be linked in a given environment for very diverse fields of mechanical engineering: machinery, plastic parts, tooling, sheet metal work, general mechanic design, etc.
VariCAD is a 3D/2D CAD system for mechanical engineering. VariCAD is compact, fast, easy to use, and provides everything one needs for mechanical design.
VISI is acknowledged as one of the world's leading PC based CAD CAM software solutions for the Mould & Die industries.
It offers a unique combination of applications, fully integrated wireframe, surface and solid modelling, comprehensive 2D, 3D and 5 axis machining strategies with dedicated high speed routines. Industry specific applications for plastic injection tool design including material flow analysis and progressive die design with step-by-step unfolding provide the toolmaker with unsurpassed levels of productivity.
Vero Software offers dedicated solutions that eliminate the links between varying software suppliers and the solid-to-surface or CAD CAM geometry conversions required by traditional systems.
XFlow is a next generation CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamic) software system that uses a proprietary, particle-based, meshless approach with the Lattice Boltzmann Method (LBM), which can easily handle traditionally complex problems.
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