Graphics Programs Reference
as control revisions. Greater design accuracy and fewer mistakes help avoid the high cost
of scrap and time spent resolving defects on the shop floor. Engineers experience fewer er-
rors and defects, greater confidence and improved communication, as dimensionally accur-
ate CAD data is reused. Design cycles are minimised as digital information can be quickly
and conveniently shared with other individuals and teams, as well as outsourced to suppli-
ers. 3D Parts can be produced from CAD files, enabling parts to be handled and designs
Detailed engineering analysis and simulation can be performed on CAD components and
assemblies to optimise their design, prior to production. It's far quicker and cheaper than
verifying ideas with physical parts only. Components and assemblies can be virtually
stress, strain and vibration tested. Other fluid-based analysis includes thermal management,
aerodynamic and hydrodynamic testing. Additionally, you can review fits and tolerances
or test for clashes of moving parts. Intelligent attributes can be assigned to CAD models,
like material properties, which can be used to calculate mass and the centre of gravity for
both components and assemblies (for lifting and shipping). Other intelligent features in-
clude sustainability, energy and the carbon footprint impact of CAD models.
3. Comprehend the manufacturing, marketing and after-sales advantages
3D CAD also offers significant benefits for manufacturers and production engineers. For
some (often lucrative) contracts, the ability to handle CAD data, as specified by larger cus-
tomers in the supply chain, is a prerequisite. Internally within the business 3D CAD files
can drive machine tools through computer-aided-manufacturing (CAM) and computer-
numerical-control (CNC). CNC can power a wide range of manufacturing processes.
Alongside this, 3D CAD equips the manufacturing engineer with the means to quickly
design tooling, jigs, fixtures, custom gauges and components for work holding. Inspection
can be enhanced by checking physical parts against CAD models. Coordinate Measuring
Machines (CMM) can check accuracy, based on CAD data.
Subcontracting becomes an easier option. As the CAD model is the source of the manufac-
turing data, the design intent is preserved and the dimensional accuracy is retained. Tool-
ing, moulding and component suppliers can be simultaneously sent CAD data from any-
where in the world, for quotation and the production of components. 3D CAD enables you
to automatically generate bills of materials, giving the option of quick multiple quotations
for outsourcing. 3D Printing, in the form of rapid manufacturing, enables production-ready
parts to be quickly and directly produced.