Skip to main content

Has the mouse had its final roar? According to innovators like Elon Musk, the future of 3D modeling might one day no longer require the use of the formidable mouse. That’s because, in a recent demonstration, Musk showed that he was able to manipulate a 3D design by gesture alone.

According to CBS News—which was there to witness this new technology, “Musk first demonstrates how he can grab, rotate and zoom in on a wireframe model of SpaceX’s Merlin rocket engine on a computer screen, simply by waving his hands.” He then shows how the full CAD model of the rocket engine can be manipulated on a bigger screen—and in 3D if the user is wearing special glasses.”

What could this new technology mean for the future of CAD? If you’re interested in pursuing this rewarding career path, read on to learn more about what hand gesture technology might have in store for the CAD professionals of the future.

Hand Gestures: A Major Revolution in Design and Manufacturing?

According to some experts, hand gesture technology holds promise and might one day be the norm for CAD professionals.

“This will revolutionize design and manufacturing in the 21st century,” promises Elon Musk. “If you can just go in there and do what you need to do, with an understanding of the fundamentals of how the thing should work, as opposed to figuring out how to make a computer make it work, you can achieve a lot more in a lot shorter period of time. I believe we are on the verge of a major breakthrough.”

Musk is not the only one who thinks hand gesture technology could take CAD and 3D modeling to the next evolutionary level. In fact, researchers at Purdue University have developed Shape-It-Up, a programming tool that relies on hand motions to design objects, allowing an architectural technician to manipulate their designs in whole new ways.

Do you think going mouse-free could simplify the design process?

Do you think going mouse-free could simplify the design process?

What Impact Could Hand Gesture Technology Have on Your Future Career as a CAD Technician?

Students enrolled in architectural programs may one day get to see and use hand gesture technology during their careers. But how would this new technology change the way CAD professionals create their designs?

Using new tools like Shape-it-up and other innovative hand gesture technology could enable future CAD technicians to express their ideas unhindered by a mouse, using hand motions alone. As a result, architectural CAD professionals might be able to complete their designs faster than before. This new technology might also make it easier and quicker for engineering CAD technicians to zoom in on small parts, or rotate a design to see how it looks from different angles. Of course, only time will tell just how tomorrow’s innovative CAD technicians decide to use this new technology.

Want to discover what else may be on the horizon for grads with CAD training?