When was CAD invented?

When was CAD invented?

CAD was invented back in 1957. Dr. Patrick Hanratty, who is thought to be the Father of CAD/CAM, created PRONTO. PRONTO being an abbreviation for Program for Numerical Tooling Operations. In 1963, it was Ivan Sutherland who produced the SKETCHPAD computer program.

There is some debate over whether it was Hanratty or Sutherland, but the general consensus is that Hanratty was the true inventor of the first ever form of CAD.

Evolution & History of CAD


2D CAD was originally meant to just replace drawing boards. But it did make the process more productive and quicker for the design engineers, even though they had to learn how to use the CAD systems. It meant that making amendments and revisions got easier.


The 1960s saw growth for CAD with the introduction of wireframe models. Then, once we’d reached the 1970s, CAD had developed from 2D to 3D solid models. MAGI produced Syntha Vision in 1969, and then we saw an improvement of the capabilities of the 3D CAD system.

Parametric design

Fast forward to 1989, we see T-FLEX and then Pro/ENGINEER create CAD systems with parametric design. That means a model that’s defined by parameters and constraints, allowing a revolution in CAD.

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