July 22, 2024

There are two main categories of computer-aided design (CAD): 2D and 3D. Still, you may further divide them up into the following groups:

Read More: Sketches to CAD Drawing

1. 2D CAD

The first CAD program in the industry, 2D CAD, was developed in the early 1970s. Large engineering companies in the automobile, aerospace, and other fields created internal technology at that time to automate tedious drawing operations. 2D CAD employs basic geometric shapes like lines, rectangles, circles, etc. to create flat drawings.

Most people are familiar with this version of CAD because it was the first one. Another characteristic of 2D CAD software is the ability to annotate drawings with text, measurements, leaders, and tables. In the built environment, 2D computer-aided design (CAD) is used to design, plan, section, elevation views, and detail buildings. They also illustrate how different parts come together to form assemblies and provide important places for inspection.

Standard features of 2D CAD systems include a library of geometric pictures, the ability to build Bezier curves, splines, and polylines, the ability to specify hatching patterns, and the ability to produce a bill of materials. Among the popular 2D CAD programs are AutoCAD, CADkey, CATIA v4, and Medusa.

2. 2.5D CAD

Between 2D and 3D, 2.5-D CAD is a medium-level CAD. This type of CAD creates the prismatic models, which show the depth of the objects. Like in 2D CAD, the components of these things are geometric forms. When a surface is stated as 2.5D, it means that there cannot be any overhanging sections, even if the item is 3D. For items of this kind, a contour map is typically used to show the item’s height (i.e., thickness or depth) at each location. Z levels do exist, however they are on single planes.

3. 3D CAD

Three-dimensional (3D) computer-aided design (CAD) software comes in a variety of forms, each intended for a particular use case and degree of detail. With advances in computer processing power and graphic presentation capabilities, 3D CAD has become more and more popular as a design tool.

Three-dimensional (3D) computer-aided design (CAD) software comes in a multitude of versions tailored to different applications and degrees of precision. Generally speaking, 3D CAD software creates an accurate depiction of the design item, allowing designers to address possible problems sooner and at a cheaper cost of manufacturing. A few 3D CAD programs are Autodesk Inventor, VX CAD, and CATIA V5, and there are other software as a service (SaaS) apps available for 3D CAD.

Three categories can be used to further categorize this kind of computer-aided design.

Surface modeling: These models are created by connecting 3D surfaces, as opposed to wireframes. Considering that the background is obscured, the surface models are rather accurate. Surface modeling software usually does not offer a tree of operations for changing the model, which is a somewhat sophisticated task. Unlike this, with solid modeling software, you can go back and change any step of the modeling process without starting from scratch.

Wireframe modeling: They create models that resemble skeletons using lines and arcs. Because everything in the backdrop is visible and wires appear to represent the shape of the model, wire-frame models get their name. They are not as popular as they used to be. These models have a wire-based skeleton that mimics the appearance of an entire object.

Solid modeling: Since the computer can usually compute object dimensions while it is being created automatically, solid modeling is useful. This is available in several variants. Constructive Solid Geometry (CSG) computer-aided design (CAD) builds an object from prepared solid geometric objects using the same basic ideas as 2D CAD. But once these CAD programs are created, they are usually hard to change.

4. CAD using neutral file formats

These file formats were designed to facilitate software exchange. Interoperability is enhanced as a result, which is crucial. It was necessary to provide a neutral file format that any other software company could simply comprehend. CAD agnostic file formats enable operation across several software programs. It’s quite useful when you don’t want to pay more for CAD software.

They break down boundaries and encourage higher degrees of cooperation. The CAD-neutral file formats STEP, IGES, 3D PDF, JT, STL, ACIS, PARASOLID, and QIF are now the most widely used. Though not all of these CAD-neutral file formats are created equal, they all perform a fantastic job of breaking down boundaries.

5. CAD using native file formats

Formats exclusive to a given CAD system are called native CAD formats. File formats that are exclusive to certain CAD software are referred to as “native CAD Formats.” They will include the most data and be the most accurate if you can interpret them, as opposed to Neutral CAD formats and Geometric Modeling Kernel CAD formats.

Only the software that comes with these kinds of CAD files should be used. They cannot be accessed by any other program that uses their CAD formats. Every CAD design application makes use of a proprietary file format. Usually, only the software that produced the file may see this sort of file.