CADD stands for Computer Aided Drafting and Design. By using the computer for the functions normally utilized by hand, a greater amount of efficiency can be attained. By drawing lines with a computer on a screen, corrections can be made without erasing the entire product. CADD is a lot like a word processor, letting people draw whatever they choose, print it, and if corrections are needed, only a small amount of time is needed to correct it. CADD has the speed of a technical sketch in the accuracy of a normal drawing.
CADD programs can utilize different methods in the way they draw their pictures. Some use co-ordinates, which is the standard method, and some might use inches or centimeters. The standard method of co-ordinates gives a product which is compatible with other systems. One co-ordinate point might represent 1/10 of a millimeter in actual space. Then 1 millimeter is 10 co-ordinate points.
CADD systems were developed along with the computer. They were developed very slowly. They went from being very large, clumsy, elaborate machines which needed lots of human intervention to one program on a floppy disk. When the power of computers increased, so did the possibilities of CADD.
Images on CADD systems are drawn with the aid of a keyboard, mouse, or tracking ball. One selects the starting point of a line, the ending point, and the line is drawn. A scale at the bottom of the screen tells how long the line will be. On some CADD systems, the computer itself can measure how long the line will be while the operator inputs the length of the line. Lines are the basis of all drawings. Straight lines are fairly simple and quick to make, but what about curved or wavy lines? That’s what different CADD commands are made for.
Different CADD commands make different things on the screen possible. There are commands for dimensioning, labeling, making circles, boxes, etc.
CADD comes in many forms. 3-D CADD uses lines in a 3 Dimensional form. This is useful in drawing complex buildings and spheres.
CADD output comes in many forms also. Images may be produced by printer, which is less accurate, and by plotter, which draws all lines and curves by a small pen. This is the most accurate form of CADD reproduction and output.
CADD is widely used in industry. It is slowly replacing all hand methods, since it is fast and simple. A drawing that might take 10 days to make could now take 10 minutes on computer. The future of CADD depends of the demand of the functions for the different programs. CADD in schools is being taught also.
As you can see, CADD is slowly becoming the most widely used system of industry in the world. Its functions make design fast and easy, and without many errors. Next time you need to finish that drafting project and have only a few days left- use CADD- it might surprise you.