CAD Drafting and Design: Why 2D & 3D Models Are Important

dateJanuary 17, 2023

what is cad drafting and design, interior designers, mechanical engineers, civil engineers

A designer begins sketching the interior layout for a three-storey apartment. An engineer sits down to construct new automotive parts for a motorcycle. An architect starts drawing the city's next shopping mall floor plan for a construction project.

These are just some examples of what professionals across industries are doing.

The one thing they have in common? The use of Computer-Aided Design (CAD). These professionals use CAD software programs in one way or another as part of their design process to accomplish their tasks.

CAD software has allowed 2D & 3D models to be done much more efficiently, which leads to faster production of objects and products, and has created a new demand for professionals that are trained in using CAD software.

Read on to find out everything you need to know about CAD and why 2D & 3D models are important.

What is Computer-Aided Design and Drafting?

computer aided drafting, computer aided design systems, cad tools

Computer-Aided Design and Drafting (CADD) is the use of computers to design physical components or outline processes. As the software offers detailed and precise instructions on how things should be made, it plays a significant role in numerous sectors, including the architecture, design, and engineering industries.

As its name suggests, CADD is similar to CAD software that allows for the drafting of an object. At times, both terms are used interchangeably.

Before CAD software was invented, professionals would have to draw on a rough layout with just a pencil to visualise the design they had in mind for manual drafting. This made it a hassle for professionals to make changes and redraw parts.

The invention of CAD allowed for the creation of 2D and 3D models that helped professionals visualise their designs better and present them easily, all at a lower cost. As technology's role in various industries grows, so has the demand for professionals trained in CAD.

Why is Computer-Aided Design Important?

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What are the most important reasons to use CAD?

1. Increases Productivity

CAD software allows professionals to work faster and complete projects more effectively. By digitising the designing processes, repetitive and troublesome tasks such as sketching and erasing drawings are eliminated. This reduces the time spent designing by a few days or weeks and accelerates production.

2. Reduces Errors

Reducing design errors is one of the most significant advantages CAD software can offer. With manual design, human errors are common and usually arise during the drafting process of a product. These risks are almost entirely eliminated by CAD software since it doesn't require any manual input during the design phase.

3. Enhances Quality

With CAD software, designs and notes can be stored digitally, which allows anyone in the team to refer to the drawing board for inspiration or in case of errors. In addition, having the ability to save designs lets the user revert and address any mistakes made, and enables designers to make any modifications to prevent mistakes before they occur.

Why is 2D modelling important?

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1. Flexible Design

Modifying designs in 2D models is easy. Unlike the conventional models where designs are created on paper, it only takes a couple of clicks to switch up a layout on a digital surface. As a result, a designer can create a realistic reproduction of the finished product and easily present how the selected elements work together in a defined space.

2. Easy to Use

Although 3D CAD software offers its users numerous functions, few are often used for creating drawings. On the other hand, 2D CAD tools usually contain only the essential functions and are easy to use and understand. This enables designers to create drawings that work without unnecessary details.

3. Error-Free

2D CAD has minimum room for errors. Without the inherent details that 3D models bring, designers can digitally create components for products with precise dimensions confidently, as the CAD software can calculate the factors and changes made automatically. In turn, designers get accurate and faster iterations of their designers with little to no manual inputs.

Why is 3D modelling important?

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1. Supports better product development

3D modelling provides designers with the exceptional ability to make precise adjustments to their designs. 3D modelling allows every professional, no matter their industry, to tweak any aspect of a 3D product according to their preference without breaking a sweat.

2. Great for business branding

While businesses from various industries are still adopting CAD software, making the most of 3D models for your company can place you a step further ahead of your competitors.

When applied correctly, 3D models used for presentations or shown in videos or images on your website can bring something more innovative and futuristic that helps you stand out to your customers among your competitors.

3. Encourages seamless collaboration

3D models allow for collaboration among engineers, designers and even others who are invested in the product but belong to neither of these groups. Regardless of their expertise, every team member can communicate with one another with the 3D model as their common reference point.

3D models allow for something that wasn't possible in the past, the ability for everyone and anyone to work on them without changing to a different software.

Who Uses CAD Software & What Is It Used For?

construction professionals, industrial designers 

Architects

Architecture is well-known as one of the most demanding fields in terms of design. Given the level of detail required in modern construction, it's no wonder CAD software is often used in this field.

Architects use the software to create and produce technical drawings of buildings containing details and specifications that would be used in construction projects when constructing the final design of the building.

Graphic Designers

CAD software is not always used for the designing part of the product. Graphic designers often use them to add a little flair to the finished product to make them more attractive to their clients.

Clients always welcome 2D and 3D visualisations, and graphic designers ensure this by adding digital effects, backgrounds and even animations to designs. In other cases, graphic designers also use CAD tools to create commercial products such as logos or marketing materials.

Engineers

The engineering industry is a sector that significantly benefits from CAD technology.

Engineers use the software throughout their entire design and engineering process. From the earliest drafts to the final product design, engineers constantly analyse manufacturing methods for the engineering components and tweak designs to complete their work at the highest level.

Engineers use CAD software to run simulations, figure out the tolerances of their designs and create different iterations of the product design before developing a real-life prototype.

Is CAD Hard to Learn?

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Although CAD can seem intimidating at first glance, basic CAD is not hard to learn for beginners who wish to kick-start their CAD journey.

Anyone can create simple 3D models in most CAD software within a few days of proper training. However, basic engineering knowledge is required to understand how to optimise your designs, for product detailing, and analysis/simulation.

It also depends on which CAD software you use. There are multiple software options available on the market, and SOLIDWORKS is a popular option used by many around the globe. It's known for being easy to learn and use and has a long-standing reputation for its years of experience in the industry.

If you would like to learn how to use CAD software, we offer the following classes at SEACAD:

  • DraftSight Essentials training (2 days) using the DraftSight software for 2D drafting for 2D CAD classes
  • SOLIDWORKS Essentials (4 days), using the SOLIDWORKS software (2D & 3D CAD) for 3D CAD classes

Our other training classes available include SOLIDWORKS Assembly Modeling (2 days), SOLIDWORKS Drawings (2 days), and SOLIDWORKS Advanced Part Modeling (2 days). Our SEACAD training classes are usually from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm daily, with lunch breaks included. More details can be found on our website.

What are CAD skills?

Today, CAD is one of the most important technologies used in product development, and CAD skills can help bring your ideas to life easily.

Here are some important CAD skills:

  1. Understanding essential CAD software tools — extrude, sweep loft, trim, split, sketch tools
  2. What tools to use in different situations
  3. Understanding curvature, planes, points, lines, intersections and projections
  4. Ability to convert 2D views into 3D models for visualisation
  5. Understanding how 3D geometry fits with each other
  6. Understanding the proportions of components relative to each other, especially when dimensions are unknown and you must make assumptions
  7. How to take proper references from designs to retain the parametric nature of designs

How to Create 3D models with CAD?

With many popular 3D modelling software available, including SOLIDWORKS, AutoCAD, Blender and more, professionals have a variety of CAD software to choose from to create 3D models.

We recommend using software like 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS to create your 3D models.

Explore CAD Drafting Services

SEACAD CAD drafting services

At SEACAD, we translate technical drawings for many companies in Singapore, including engineering, interior design, construction, and architectural firms on a wide range of projects.

If your business requires CAD Drafting, we offer the following services:

  • Accurate 2D-to-3D and 3D-to-2D CAD conversion
  • 3D Rendering services
  • Creating scaled 3D models
  • Creating customised library components
  • PDF to DWG conversion

Our team of highly skilled CAD drafters is here to support our client's needs and help turn your hand-sketched designs or 2D drawings into accurate 3D CAD models for you. We're happy to handle projects of any complexity and scope and provide services tailor-made to meet specific requirements and technical needs. Contact us for more information today!