CAD or Computer-Aided Design has truly changed the way in which we design, manufacture and improve many items in our modern world. Specifically for the construction industry, it has revolutionised the methods we use to create buildings, equipment and materials needed. From here, this technology has given us far greater control over the designs we produce and the ability to challenge the status quo, delving into innovative and unique areas of many industries. In this guide, we’ll take a deeper look into the history of CAD and how it has become so integral to the construction industry.

A Brief History of CAD

Computer-aided design first came to light in 1957 when the programme PRONTO was developed by Dr Patrick J. Hanratty. Designed as a commercial numerical-control programming system for tooling operations, this presented a drastically new way to take proper control over design. Moving forward into 1959, the term ‘CAD’ was created by Douglas T-Ross who took the technology and re-developed it to help him in the design and creation of power circuit diagrams. And, over the years, CAD was re-coded and packaged to suit many different industries. In 1982, AUTODESK AUTOCAD came into play as the first 3D design CAD system that was affordable.

How Is CAD Used in the Construction Industry?

At the start, the computer-aided design provided a more technologically advanced method for architects. It stepped in to replace drawing boards and has now become essential. Nearly every large-scale construction project will start with detailed CAD drawings. They bring to life the concept, allow clients to visualise the final result and reduce the risk of error. With these programmes, architects and interior designers can know, down to the millimetre, the dimensions that a timber frame needs to be or where a room can be placed within a space.

The scope of possibilities doesn’t just stop at architects. Engineers use CAD to help them better understand their suggested solutions. Sub-contractors can take on the drawings created by the architect and add in details to ensure a building is structurally sound. There is now also the possibility of pairing together overhead images taken by drones and other machines that can be paired alongside 3D drawings. With these, it is easier to notice issues with the construction and make alterations before mistakes are created.

Product Design

Specifically true for us here at 3D Pattern and Mould Makers, CAD allows us to create products to very exacting measurements. We have the technology to receive files and use them, sometimes breaking down component parts and then reverse engineering that component in order to detail our own mould drawing and programme any relevant parts which in turn are then CNC machined. We use Mastercam as our programming software and we run 2 CNC routers which produce plywood components or shaped timber ready for are timber mould making team, or pattern parts for our GRP and rubber divisions.

Key Benefits of CAD

There are many reasons why a business may adopt CAD into their product and construction design, including:

  • Significantly quicker production.
  • More detailed and high-quality drawn information available for all contacts.
  • A reduction in development costs.
  • Visual tool to support the design process.
  • Better supported decision making.
  • Heightened accuracy of drawings and designs.
  • Reduced chance of errors.

What is BIM?

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a 3D model-based programme that was designed to further reduce the risk of errors during building design. It was specifically coded for the construction industry, with the ability to generate information such as material quantities, costs and ordering information automatically. It has become integral and used by everyone from project managers to subcontractors to help collaborative building design run smoothly. And, it relies on the same technology as CAD.

Benefits of BIM Construction

So, why do businesses rely on BIM? Some of the key benefits include:

  • Reduced cost for design and resources.
  • Heightened efficiency.
  • Better ability to meet deadlines and lead times.
  • Better communications.
  • The tools to improve coordination of different contractors and construction elements.
  • More control and options when it comes to prefabrication and the modular parts of the construction.
  • High-quality final results.
  • Allows for better collaboration and sharing of content.
  • Accurate cost estimation allowing for better planning.
  • Ability to visualise an entire project during preconstruction.

CAD at 3D Pattern and Mould Makers LTD

We have built a team of 3D experts who help us to create the most accurate patterns for GRP, rubber moulds and more. With their wealth of experience, they work with each and every client to understand the specific requirements. From the materials you need to work with, the needs of the final product and your budget, CAD has the possibility to help you appropriately manage a project from start to end.

We specialise in everything from timber moulds and stair moulds through to GRP moulds, rubber moulds and designs crafted using CNC routers. For many projects, we rely on CAD technology to allow us to achieve the highest quality results for every single one of our customers. If you would like to speak to a member of our team about these services or have a specific enquiry, please contact us here today.