Computer-aided design (CAD) is the use of computer technology to aid in the design and particularly the drafting (technical drawing and engineering drawing) of a part or product, including entire buildings. It is both a visual (or drawing) and symbol-based method of communication whose conventions are particular to a specific technical field.
Drafting can be done in two dimensions ("2D") and three dimensions ("3D"). Drafting is the integral communication of technical or engineering drawings and is the industrial arts sub-discipline that underlies all involved technical endeavors. In representing complex, three-dimensional objects in two-dimensional drawings, these objects have traditionally been represented by three projected views at right angles.
Current CAD software packages range from 2D vector-based drafting systems to 3D solid and surface modellers. Modern CAD packages can also frequently allow rotations in three dimensions, allowing viewing of a designed object from any desired angle, even from the inside looking out. Some CAD software is capable of dynamic mathematic modeling, in which case it may be marketed as CADD — computer-aided design and drafting.
CAD is used in the design of tools and machinery used in the manufacture of components, and in the drafting and design of all types of buildings, from small residential types (houses) to the largest commercial and industrial structures (hospitals and factories).
CAD is mainly used for detailed engineering of 3D models and/or 2D drawings of physical components, but it is also used throughout the engineering process from conceptual design and layout of products, through strength and dynamic analysis of assemblies to definition of manufacturing methods of components.
CAD has become an especially important technology within the scope of computer-aided technologies, with benefits such as lower product development costs and a greatly shortened design cycle. CAD enables designers to lay out and develop work on screen, print it out and save it for future editing, saving time on