What can be done using a CAD system?

What can be done using a CAD system?

Computer Aided Design, or CAD, is used across all stages of the product design process. It has become ubiquitous across nearly all industries, it allows the creation of concept models, photorealistic renders, technical drawings, 3D prints, CAM, manufacturing and more.

Here’s what can be done with a CAD system


Creating initial CAD models allows designers to conceptualise new designs for themselves and the project team. Different types of CAD systems can be used, such as those based on Direct Modelling and Parametric Modelling.

Neither is the wrong type to use, but typically Direct systems have minimal constraints allowing ideas to be generated quickly. Parametric systems require design constraints and so take longer to construct, but as the design is refined, forming and editing the details becomes easier where Direct systems can struggle.

In recent years CAD packages have started to allow both Direct and Parametric in the same software, allowing designers the opportunity to switch as the project requires.

The process of conceptualising means there will often be re-edits and adjustments to make. That’s exactly what CAD allows you the efficiency to do. Designers are able to generate a technical drawing from a model in next to no time, instead of having to take too much time to draw it up manually.


The CAD platform means you can see a very clear view of your design at any scale or angle. Of course, it’s on a 3D space as well so it’s much more practical to see what the final product would really look like. This also allows the creation of photorealistic renders and animations for in-depth design reviews.


CAD gives you the functionality to work out the properties of your model. It works it out for you in a fraction of time. From the volume and weight of your model to more in-depth stress analysis calculations, designers can save precious time knowing whether the product would meet the intended purpose without having to manufacture a single prototype.


The CAD files can be exported to machines like 3D printers, allowing the manufacture of prototypes in mere hours.


The models from CAD systems can be loaded straight into CAM software. Initially this can be used to test to get an idea of how effective manufacture would really be. This feedback can refine the design further and proceed to part production.

Managing and communicating

CAD files can be shared for collaboration with ease between a designer and a manufacturer, all through just one click. All the data and design remains intact and all in one place, so it’s really easy to use and work with.

Related questions

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