CAD (Computer-Aided Design) engineering is essentially the use of computer technology for designing and design documentation. This software is an automated process that replaces traditional methods such as manual drafting. Today, CAD engineering is used in one form or the other in almost all industries, in projects ranging from road and bridge construction, landscape and building design to non-construction related projects such as video animation and product design etc.
What is CAD engineering?
CAD is primarily used for detailed engineering of 2D drafting of physical components and/or 3D models; however CAD engineers use it right through the engineering process, starting from conceptual designing and layouts, through strength & dynamic assembly to finalizing of structures and construction.
With this software, engineers perform a range of tasks such as creating 3D models of designs, applying material, landscape, structural, landscape and contour effects; aside from this, it is used for documenting the design with various annotations such as dimensions. In the case of architectural services or fields such as structural engineering, these programs help engineers visualize concepts, explore design ideas and more through photorealistic renderings.
They can also simulate the manner in which engineering designs will perform in real world situations. AutoCAD software was the very first CAD program to be launched and continues to be the most widely-used Computer Aided Design application in all types of structural and mechanical engineering projects.
Why is CAD so widely used?
• CAD programs are extensively used in civil engineering projects as the engineering professionals
are able to plan the sites more efficiently and quickly compared to manual drawing.
• Various engineering items such as roads, bridges, sidewalks and other structures can be planned
and laid out quicker and more accurately.
• CAD engineering helps design a well-planned site, which significantly decreases the cost of
• It decreases drafting error, produces better quality renderings and offers a complete solution to
all stakeholders in the project.
Different projects CAD engineering is used in
The BIM software launched by Autodesk is used by engineering teams, owners and contractors to design and build projects quicker, more economically and with a much lower environmental impact. This intelligent model-based process helps owners and service providers achieve far better business results by enabling accessible, accurate, and actionable insight right through the project’s lifecycle.CAD engineering is used in:
• Base map creation
• Bridge modeling
• Model analysis
• Design concepts (InfraWorks 360 software)
• Map production and creation
• Better construction documentation
• Improved corridor design
• Data access and exchange
• Enhanced shortcuts for data and references that help the entire project from the survey stage to
• Geotechnical modeling
• Rail track layout as well as ability to create new layouts
• Geospatial analysis
• Storm and Sanitary Analysis
• GPS survey and data collection
• Greater styling tools and drafting standards
• River & flood analysis
• Surface modeling
• Storm and Sanitary Analysis
• Heightened reality capture
• Reports and tables availability
• Greater pressure pipe networks
• IFC Export
What is a CAD Engineer?
One of the most frequently asked questions is how a civil engineer uses CAD in their regular work. There was a time when CAD-related tasks were almost exclusively handled by drafting technicians. But all of that has now changed and CAD engineers handle a large number of very project critical designing, planning and analysis tasks.
Duties that a municipal engineer performs
These engineers are specially trained to use the CAD software which streamlines time-consuming tasks. It helps them with various tasks such as:
• Surveying & Mapping.
• Performing design iterations.
• Base map creation.
• Streamlining Mapping as well as surveying workflows.
• Surface modeling tasks.
• Connecting design to documentation which helps boost productivity and delivers higher quality.
• Handling the visualization and analysis aspects of an engineering project.
• Integrating Various simulations, visualization and analysis tools with the design process which
helps improve decision making and project delivery.
• Using CAD software’s collaboration features to overcome various overflow challenges as well as
team coordination challenges within the civil infrastructure projects they are working on.
• Handling Corridor design.
• Designing of grading, pressure pipe networks and gravity pipe networks.
• Bridge modeling and geotechnical modeling tasks.
• Rail track layout designs.
• Advanced mapping and analysis functions.
• Storm water management and earthwork calculations using dynamic models.
• Transforming civil design models with effective visualization.
• Construction drafting & documentation
• Map production.
• Creating reports and tables.
Systems and tools that CAD engineers use
CAD engineers generally use AutoCAD to dynamically create and manipulate solids, surface and offset curves. They also import 3D models directly from a range of applications such as Rhinoceros,Pro/ENGINEER and CATIA; many of these systems allow engineers to create intelligent 2D views. They may also use Point Cloud tools, to import scanned objects with up to 2 Billion Data points, allowing the existing environmental data to be utilized in starting projects.
AutoCAD’s 3D printing functions are used by engineers to create physical 3D prototypes of designs.AutoCAD Civil 3D and InfraWorks, AutoCAD Civil 3D + Revit and AutoCAD Civil 360 and GIS may also be used in various civil engineering projects. The tools and systems used are entirely dependent on the nature of the project and what it demands.
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