The point of software is to streamline everyday processes, generally with the goal of increasing productivity and improving collaboration. There is no question that CAD software programs, and those who are experts at using them, succeed in realizing these ambitions for the engineering industry.
CAD technicians coming into the engineering industry may not realize the extent of the change their profession has introduced over the old ways of paper, pencils, and frequent, time-consuming meetings. To help illuminate the differences between the old approach and the new, here is a breakdown of three ways CAD technician careers have changed engineering over the past several decades.
1. Professionals With CAD Technician Careers Reduced the Need for Hand-Drawn Designs
Before computer assistance was commonplace, engineering designs required multiple drawings of different sides or angles for each project.
Now, you can use CAD software to build a model for a project in 3D, with the software allowing viewers to manipulate that model to look at it from whichever angle they like. Functionality can also extend beyond this, allowing for users of the software to go on virtual walkthroughs of a designed building, for example, or even evaluate the energy efficiency of a project before it has been constructed.
Instead of using multiple, semi-redundant tasks to accomplish a goal, CAD software allows technicians to efficiently draft a project once, and use it to get more information about the final design than was previously possible.
2. Software Makes it Easier for Professionals with CAD Technician Careers to Collaborate
Although paper works passably well for collaboration, it is far from ideal. The in-person meetings, or back-and-forth faxing or deliveries necessary for one or more people to work with paper designs, make for a slow, sometimes frustrating process. Paper can also be easily damaged or misplaced, which further complicates its use in an engineering setting.
This process has been transformed by the introduction of CAD software programs. The CAD software programs used by professionals in a CAD technician career often include options for easily sharing digital files between multiple collaborators. Professionals in different rooms, cities, or even countries can all work on a project with little delay, making changes or annotations as needed.
Thanks to the tools used by CAD technicians, the engineering industry improved its ability to collaborate effectively and efficiently on projects.
3. CAD Professionals and the Software they Use Offers Improved Efficiency
Arguably the greatest advantage present in CAD software is that much of the complicated mathematical work required to design a sturdy, functional building is performed by the software itself. Where once an engineer would need to complete the drafting of a building, tool, or machine and carefully work through each calculation by hand, now the design process can be much more efficient. Today, it is possible for a professional with a computer-aided drafter certificate to do much of the design work for a project.
Throughout their studies, aspiring CAD technicians learn everything from trigonometric functions to vectors and quadratic equations. Their understanding of technical mathematics, paired with software that can quickly automate many mathematical calculations, makes for a powerfully effective combination.
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