Glossary Term: Computer-Aided Design (CAD)

Computer-aided design (CAD) is the use of computer-based software to assist in the designing and rendering of 2- and 3D models, replacing traditional drafting. CAD software is used to make the design phase more efficient and reduce lead time. Designers and drafters are able to manipulate and alter designs with better accuracy in the software without having to start over. Additionally, CAD software improves the quality of design and is able to test manufacturing viability, as calculations can be run in the software.

By using CAD, design teams are able to create a database for manufacturing, producing electronic files of all drafts of the project. These databases can often include dimensions of the design, processes, materials and engineering tolerance.

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