Creating New Products With 3D CAD Design

What is CAD Design?

CAD, or computer aided design, is an automated process to create, analyze, and optimize product designs.  The creation of almost all products, buildings, and streets is done through CAD design software due to its ability to provide superior productivity, quality, documentation, and manufacturability.  Through engineering knowledge and mastery of the CAD systems, designers can create incredible cutting-edge products and store all revisions and iterations digitally.  From large companies to small start-ups, CAD design is a critical step in the value stream of creating high quality products in an efficient manner.

There are two fundamental types of CAD design: parametric and direct modelling.  Parametric modelling utilizes parameters, defined features, and relationships.  Additionally, each parametric model has a history, meaning any feature can be changed at any point in the timeline so the user can go back in the sequence of operations and make a modification.  In contrast, with direct modelling, the user simply modifies the geometry, like a digital sculptor.  The system does not have to calculate every parameter and dimension when a change is made because there is no history tree of operations.  Both methods have advantages and disadvantages.  If a product requires tight tolerances and has many interworking features, then parametric modelling is usually the best choice.  But if a product requires complex surfaces with many edges and curves, then utilizing a direct modelling approach is most likely the better choice.

Why Do You Need A CAD Design?

CAD design allows engineers and designers to perform a variety of functions that are critical for successful new product development. Through CAD design software, designers can create and test components and entire systems in a computer simulation before even manufacturing a prototype. After developing the initial geometry, designers can assign materials for each component and perform stress and thermal analysis. This ensures that the product, as designed, can adequately perform its function. All along the way, the CAD design system is saving the documentation that describes the geometric dimensions and the materials to be used. This documentation will be used as instructions for manufacturing and to control design revisions.

Manufacturing a product and bringing a digital 3D model to life is ultimately the goal of CAD design.  Throughout the CAD design process, it is important to keep manufacturability in mind as the CAD file itself will be used by the 3D printer or CNC machine to generate the tool path to make the product.  It is great to create amazing products within the CAD design software, but if there is to ever be any hope of turning the digital file into an actual physical product, then it needs to be manufacturable.

How Can You Get A CAD Design?

CAD design can of course be done in house if the required engineering expertise and software licenses are present. However, in the absence of these resources, many companies, entrepreneurs, and inventors utilize CAD design services to provide high quality designs that are optimized for manufacturing. CAD designs are created using highly sophisticated software that require a unique skillset and take time to master. Unfamiliarity with product design, engineering, manufacturing, or the CAD user interface can result in costly mistakes and errors that can delay projects. For this reason, a CAD design service may be the best choice that can provide a high level of skill and expertise for your project.

Interested In Getting A 3D CAD Model?

ZABFAB Manufacturing offers high quality CAD designs, specializing in designs for 3D printing. By being both a manufacturer and a design service, ZABFAB can ensure a great design with excellent manufacturability. Contact us now to start your 3D CAD design project!

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