What are the different types of CAD software? Accurate drafting is very essential in any engineering work. Engineers communicate through drawings which they interpret to come up with the desired model of a product. Although engineers and architectures have been using T-squares to design most of their work, this era is steadily being faced out though still very important.
Since the introduction of various types of CAD software in 1960, more version of CAD software have been developed by adding more features such 3D rendering tools to ensure more practical and realistic designs. These various types of CAD software come in a variety forms with each version having its own unique characteristics.
The 2D CAD software
This was the first software to revolutionize the whole system of drafting. This type of CAD software is used to produce flat drawings and is normally used by beginners to develop their drafting skills before advancing to higher versions of the CAD software. It’s based on x-y plane. These types of CAD software include the AutoCAD, CATIA v4, CADkey among others. Contraction is based on various geometrical shapes such as circles, lines, ovals etc.
The desire to make more advanced types of CAD software led to the modification 2D CAD software to get the 2.5D version.
2.5D CAD software
Just like the previous types of CAD software, this version also uses geometrical shapes in the drafting process. It is the immediate innovation after the 2D type. It tries to bring some kind of realism in the structures produced unlike the 2D version. With these types of CAD software, the depth of the object can be well represented (the prismatic nature of the object).
The third types of CAD software are; The 3D CAD software.
The VX CAD, Autodesk Inventor, Solid Works, Pro/ Engineer Solid Edge etc. are some existing examples of the 3D types of CAD software. They vividly show the realism in any drawing enabling designer to solve the most obvious problems associated with design in good time before it’s translated to modelling. It’s cheaper to do it with the 3D as not much cost is incurred.
These types of CAD software come in a variety of versions intended for different professional fields e.g. for electrical and electronics engineers, civil, architectures, mechanical engineers etc. The three dimensional wire frame modelling is steadily becoming extinct since it cannot easily be translated to other drafting software. They were used to create the inner surface structure of the object being modelled. They are always in the form of a skeleton. These types of CAD software are the improvement of the 2D computer modelling software. Therefore, with a good back ground of the 2D CAD one can easily use the 2.5D and the 3D CAD software.
Another advanced version which makes the engineers’ and designers’ work easier is the solid modelling. It has the ability to give dimensions during construction making it easier to know the exact size of the object produced. Examples include the Constructive Solid Geometry (CSG) CAD and Boundary Representation (Brep). However, hybrid versions have been introduced which blend together the qualities of the Brep and CSG types. These types of CAD software ensure high quality of the finished design.