Module: Intergadet CAD/CAM The future of CAD/CAM – A speculative paper CONTENTS ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION CAD CAM


Makris Thanasis


In today's fast paced world, CAD/CAM systems have become an essential element in manufacturing companies through out the world. Technology and communication are changing rapidly, driving business methods for organizations and requiring capitalization in order to maintain competitiveness. Knowledge prior to investing into a system is crucial in order to maximize the benefits received from changing CAD/CAM systems. The CAD /CAM market place has seen a significant new advance in the technology every 7 years and is ripe for the emergence of a major new development. During the past 20 years, the computer-aided design (CAD) industry has simplified software user interfaces to enable engineers to design products more quickly and efficiently.

The purpose of the session was to discuss how CAD software might be made more productive in the future. During the past 20 years, the computer-aided design (CAD) industry has simplified software user interfaces to enable engineers to design products more quickly and efficiently.

Introduction :
CAD is sometimes translated as "computer-assisted design", "computer-aided drafting", or a similar phrase. A related acronym, CADD, stands for "computeraided design and drafting". All these latter terms are essentially synonymous, and refer to the designing and technical drawing of various projects on a computer rather than a traditional drawing board. The spectrum of engineering projects commonly created with computer-aided drafting is broad, and include architectural drafting, mechanical drafting, electrical drafting, and other forms of design communication. Today they constitute part of a broader definition of computeraided design. In this session we will mention at MCAD (mechanical computer aided design). In general Computer Aided Design (CAD) package has three component : a) Design , b) Analysis, c) Visualization. A brief description of these component :

Design :

Refers to geometric modeling, 2-D and 3-D modeling, including, drafting, part creation, creation of drawings with various views of the part, assemblies of the parts, etc.

Makris Thanasis


Analysis : Analysis refers to finite element analysis, optimization and other number crunching engineering analysis. In general a geometric model is first created and then the model is analyzed for loads, stresses, moment of inertia and volume etc.

Visualization : Visualization refers to computer graphics ,which include : rendering a model, creation of pie charts, contour plots, shading a model, sizing, animation etc. The visualization is a presentation of the final model to the interested. Each of these three areas has been extensively developed in the last 30 years. Several books are written on each of these subjects and courses are available through the academic institutions and the industry. Most commercial CAD packages (software) consist of only a single component: design or analysis or visualization. However, a few of the vendors have developed an integrated package that includes not only these three areas, but also includes the manufacturing software (CAM). Due to the large storage requirement, integrated packages use either an UNIX workstation or a mainframe platform, and not the popular PC platform. With the improvement in PC computing speed, it’s only a matter of time before we see an integrated package run on a PC. CAD has revolutionized the modern engineering practice; small and large companies use it alike, spending several billion dollars for the initial purchase or lease alone. CAD related jobs are high in demand and the new graduates have advantage over their senior colleagues, as they are more up to date and more productive.

The concept of CAD and CAM is relatively new. The usage is linked with the development of computers. The actual application of CAD/CAM in industry, academia and government is only approximately 30 years old. Formal courses in CAD and Finite Element Analysis (FEA) were introduced in 1970’s. The major application thrust of CAD came in 1980’s, with the availability of PCs and workstations. In its early stage of usage, very few engineering companies could afford the expense of mainframe computers; however, PCs and workstations have evolved into affordable and adequate platform to support comprehensive CAD packages that initially were designed to run on the mainframe platform. A brief history of the evolution of CAD/CAM, according to the decade and the major CAD/CAM developments, is outlined below. 1960’s
Makris Thanasis


• Development in Interactive computer graphics research • Sketchpad system developed by Ivan Sutherland in 1962 • CAD term coined • First major commercial CAD/CAM software available: CADAM by Lockheed 1970’s • Application of CAM in government, industry and academia • National organization formed • Beginning of usage of computer graphics • Turnkey system available for drafting • Wireframe and surface modeling software became available • Mass property calculation and FEA software became available • NC tape generating, verification, and integrated circuit software became available 1980’s • CAD/CAM used for engineering research and development • New CAD/CAM theories and algorithms developed • Integration of CAD/CAM • Solid modeling software became available • Use of PCs and workstation began 1990’s • Concept of concurrent engineering developed • Increased use of CAD/CAM on PCs and worksations • Improvements in hardware and software

The Mechanical CAD today
Consider: One-quarter of the world's designers and engineers design in 3D. Threequarters design in 2D, which is logical because manufacturers still work from 2D drawings. To answer market demand, 3D CAD vendors are making it easier all the time to produce 2D-manufacturing drawings from their 3D models. In the long run these 2D drawings may prove superfluous. The 3D CAD software’s have entered powerful in the industries. Many vendors today have managed to include in to theirs MCAD packages libraries of components as for example, screws, nuts, bearings, etc. CAD packages today include applications for all the kind of the products. Some of these applications are mentioned below :

Piping design

Harness Design

Makris Thanasis


Sheet Metal Design

Before years the designers of sheet metals products had to only design and estimate the unfolded scheme. Today the only thing that he has to do is to design the sheet metal in 3D and the systems will give him all the others. Moving from 2D to 3D •

Mold design

The capabilities of modern CAD systems include: Reuse of design components Ease of design modification and versioning Automatic generation of standard components of the design Simulation of designs without building a physical prototype Automated design of assemblies, which are collections of parts and/or other assemblies Output of engineering documentation, such as manufacturing drawings, and Bill of Materials Validation/verification of designs against specifications and design rules Output of design directly to manufacturing facilities Development in CAD resulted in the following tools and methods: Wireframes, solid modelling Intelligent wiring diagrams and production linked database systems Graphically represented system or plant diagrams and databases Parametric design models Real-time process simulation

What the future of CAD? 5

Makris Thanasis

If you see the evolution of CAD in the past you can predict the future.
We've witnessed dramatic advances in CAD usability, speed, graphics, “intelligence,” and automation over the past few years. But even the best 3D mechanical-design software’s leave plenty of room for improvement. As with every area of computing, 3D mechanical-design package still needs to be faster, easier to use, and more useful for communicating with non engineers. As we mentioned before the last ten years have been made dramatic changes which have been made not only for the improvements of the designing tools but also in the integration of cad with related technologies and the integration with the business process. Although the integration with the business process has not been developed enough the last years ,the vendor’s of cad software say that they will give more intention at this direction the next years. Changes have been also made in the integration of cad with the management of the data. Some additional modules, are incorporate with the cad tools, and enables fast, accurate sharing of design data across the manufacturing team. Output devices such as printers will also go 3D, making it easy for design engineers to communicate with no technical customers and to check form, fit, and function before moving to production. Although 3D printing technology is some two decades old, the 3D printers themselves now cost less than $30,000, making them affordable for smaller businesses. This development will let more customers hold a 3D prototype in their hand earlier in the product-development process, a quantum leap from viewing 3D models on a screen. Here again, the result is better products moving more quickly to market.

The key in the changes at the cad softwares the next years will be at the cad tools. In the years to come, 3D CAD software will steadily improve engineering productivity by speeding the design process, suggesting options along the way, and identifying problems earlier. The software will “think” for designers and anticipate what they are creating. If they are creating weldments, for example, preconfigured pipes, beams, tubes, and angle irons will automatically fall into place. The designers in the future they could use only their voices for the designing of the model. Software will also increasingly offer smart layout and materials options and assess the structural integrity of a design as it is created. Such improvements will help speed time to market and reduce the risk of product failure. A company called Actuality Systems Inc. is commercializing a low-cost scalable 3D holographic display. The broadcast image will appear in 3D, viewable as a hovering form (versus 2D image) from any angle.

Recently some of the most popular developers of CAD met each other and they discussed the future of CAD tools. “PLM Solutions’ Chuck Grindstaff said his company’s Unigraphics and I-DEAS development teams are employing a variety of tactics to make their products easier to use. First, developers are combining multiple related functions into more powerful, more general capabilities. For example, multiple functions for blending
Makris Thanasis


surfaces are being combined into fewer tools with options the user can set to achieve desired results. EDS also is developing more tools tailored to specific industrial process, such as stamping, forging, casting, and injection molding. Lastly, PLM Solutions is trying to make commands more consistent while reducing the number of mouse clicks and menus required to complete design tasks.PTC’s Mike Campbell said his company is working to simplify Pro/ENGINEER. “We had 86 commands in Pro/ENGINEER that were used for creating and editing geometry and we consolidated them down to just 23 [in the most recent Wildfire release],” he told the audience. Autodesk’s Buzz Kross said features used to design machinery should satisfy functional requirements, not just provide abstract geometric shapes. “We need to move it to that level in manufacturing where ribs are really ribs and behave like ribs. A boss should know it’s a boss. ”SolidWorks’ John McEleney believes reliability is an important factor in making systems easy to use. Engineers must be able to try different approaches to solving problems without fear that their systems will crash or that they won’t be able to undo an operation. Ken Hoadley says his company’s CAD software simplifies design by employing a fundamentally different architecture from the leading CAD systems. Sensible Free Form Modeling and Concept software products let users sculpt what appears on the computer screen to be digital clay using a proprietary “haptic” digitizer that gives force feedback. “Most people say ‘wow’ when they see it. It’s very natural, very intuitive,” Hoadley said Another development of cad tools is going to be in the collaboration design between the engineers. CAD is moving from the desktop to the network, with engineers on different sites – perhaps in different countries, and often working for different companies – applying their particular skills to the problems of design and production engineering. In the world of CAD/CAM, it's all about facilitating collaboration. Enhancing collaboration continues to be key in CAD (computeraided design) and CAM (computer-aided manufacturing). As companies' operations, competition and markets become more global, CAD and CAM tools are taking on more functionality and thereby allowing for increased collaboration between departments. The globalization of manufacturing means that companies should be able to design anywhere, build anywhere and maintain anywhere at any time. Collaboration is critical to ongoing success in extended enterprises. Collaboration tools use Web technology and the Internet to allow people in different facilities to interact, resolve problems, reach consensus and otherwise work together online. This is quicker and more effective than phone conversations, faxes or mail, and it is more economical and efficient than getting together for a face-to-face meeting. Manufacturing engineers can also employ collaborative tools during planning to help improve production processes, plant designs and tooling, and to allow earlier impact on product designs. Collaboration can be used for reviewing designs and change orders with the design team interfacing with tooling designers verifying tooling assembly and operation reviewing manufacturing process plans and factory layouts discussing manufacturing problems with suppliers and coordinating tooling among dispersed sites.

Makris Thanasis


Conclusions Although the last seven years nothing revolutionary happened in the CAD tools ,the software’s vendors support that in the short run many things will change the way of the mechanical design. The CAD in the future will be more easy to use and learn, and geared to enhance concept design and construction planning, will be functional and powerful enough to satisfy the needs of engineering design and integration of all disciplines, and corporate functions, sectors and levels. It will be more than 2D drawings and more than 3D models, it has to handle Object and Symbolic Data with same ease. It will be a 4D (3D +time) modelling tool for better planning and scheduling. It will allow designers to exploit the best advantages of each CAD Technology 2D -> 3D -> 4D, to progressively refine the design until fully satisfying the customers' needs. It will be efficient to store, locate, visualize, and re-use data for integration of proven designs, and standard parts and equipment. It will enhance simultaneous (collaborative and concurrent) and distributed engineering eliminating all barriers that constrain communications. It will share one "data factory" that creates data needed by all disciplines.


Makris Thanasis


Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful