Computer-aided design, also known as CAD has been honed to an art form these past few years. By using computers to design, revise and optimize a specific design, they can save time by replacing the need to create prototypes for every idea on the drawing board and can also save money spent creating said prototypes. Unlike the more well-known Paint or Photoshop programs that are pixel-based and are more widely applied in creating 2D designs, CAD places more emphasis on actual working measurements and is used to build models that can exist in reality. Since CAD is the foundation for everything from house blueprints to wire frames of military grade vehicles, things can get confusing very quickly.
To par it down to the very basics, CAD has been around since the 1940’s, though needless to say it was not as sophisticated as it is nowadays. Today, CAD runs everything from engineering blueprints, graphics for video games to 3D printing plans. Though its current usage and the fields in which it can be applied is hardly slowing, CAD is not limited to a single software, as many people think. While AutoCAD is arguably the most recognized tool for implementing CAD drawings, freeware such as VectorWorks, TurboCAD and LibreCAD have also allowed self-taught students to able with the software for amusement and income.
While the only limit to the software is one’s imagination, complex functions and constraints such as getting the topography or the internal measurements of a multipart shape are more difficult to render. There are several good quality online and offline courses, for a nominal cost and for free, which can help cover the more demanding parts of handling CAD. Though automating CAD to completely forego the human element is in the works, experts say that computers are yet to reach the ingenuity and creativity of the human mind in CAD and hence, may never be able to replace a living mind.