CAD (acronym for “Computer-Aided Design”) is one of the most popular software tools used all around the globe. CAD is a computerized platform for users to draw, modify and analyze designs, for example, CAD software such as AutoCAD, Solid Edge etc. Although what it basically capable of doing can be done by human hands, CAD is able to perform far more efficiently and accurately. Not to mention that for years, studies, researches and development are being carried out consistently to improve CAD software. These developments are dedicated to increase the software’s efficiency and effectiveness by reducing excessive parts while widening its range of features and capabilities. Therefore, in this world of ever-evolving technology, CAD has a very good reason for its popularity. Known as “the Father of CAD”, Patrick Hanratty was the one who invented the first commercial CNC programming system. Five years later, his work was joined by Ivan Sutherland’s, whom himself presented his Ph.D. thesis at MIT entitled “Sketchpad, A Man-Machine Graphical Communication System”. In the 1960s, the first digitizer and the first production interactive graphics manufacturing system were developed and introduced. It was in the same decade that more and more companies were formed to commercialize their respective products of CAD programs. A decade later, CAD researchers started to shift their focus from 2D to 3D. Although commercial CAD systems for UNIX began to show up in industries like automotives, aerospace etc., it was when the first IBM PC were introduced in 1981 that triggers a large-scale reception of CAD. Thanks to that, Autodesk was formed shortly after and the company created AutoCAD, the first significant CAD program for the IBM PC, later in 1983. In this report, the developments and contributions of CAD programs to the society will be discussed regarding the brief history background of developing the programs, the types of uses and users and finally the impact it has on the society.
The objectives of this report are as below:
1) To understand the underlying knowledge behind CAD.
2) To learn and appreciate the many usage of CAD.
3) To anticipate the future under the influence of the existence of CAD programs.
For developing CAD from what it was back then into what it is today, credits must be given to several segments behind the sophisticated software. Programming language plays a big part in developing CAD as it does in any other computer software. CAD was initially built based on a language developed by IBM called Fortran. Fortran is a general-purpose, imperative programming. It is specialized for numeric computation and scientific computing which makes it the perfect backbone for CAD software. However, as object-oriented programming was getting more and more limelight among programming methods, Fortran is obviously no longer suited for the job. Developers back then had to turn to another language, which they opted for C language that was seemingly has more potential. That option saw CAD to be successful in integrating graphical user interface (GUI) with precision geometric drawings, which replaces draftsmen significantly in the early 1980s. Knowledge in the fields of geometry, mathematics and physics are also very important in developing CAD. The complicated calculative operations are the very reasons why CAD softwares were created. Therefore, before developing the software, developers were required to study the mathematics, represent them by using C languages, and finally covering it with sophisticated GUI. The biggest contribution of modern CAD software is the convenience it serves by representing a long script of calculations with just a click of a button, drag and drop, or just by a short line of command. There is no need for concerns when working on complicated designs using CAD as developers had included a geometry constraint engine to govern the associative relationships...
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