How CAD Design is Used in the Architecture Industry


CAD, or computer-aided design, is a technique of designing and rendering 2D and 3D layouts and models for various purposes using a software application. This technique is used by several industries for creating various components.

In fact, the precision in the design that we see around us in everything from a pin to an airplane has been made possible because of the computer-aided design processes.

While the engineering design world and manufacturing sectors have been using CAD from a long time, it did not take the architecture industry very long to understand and evaluate the feasibility of employing CAD software and making it an essential practice.

Thanks to CAD, the precision in the designs increased to an unimaginable degree, and the rework of the professional designers was reduced to a bare minimum. Moreover, since using CAD software meant that architects were no longer dependent on stationary and paper, everyone welcomed this idea with open arms.

CAD has revolutionized the way the architecture industry works. It has replaced drafters and their pencils with laptops. Revisions are no longer a pain, and churning out life-sized designs with zero errors from day one is finally a reality. But, there are several other ways that CAD has made the life of architects simpler and we agree with every one of them.

We are going to look into how the architecture industry uses CAD and how it has made the life of architects easier. There was a time when drafters were essential, but today we are using artificial intelligence to create structures that once sounded like a wild fantasy.

The Origin of CAD and 3D Modeling

Not long ago, when computers had not yet gained popularity and CAD was a far-fetched idea, architects and engineers used manual methods and people like drafters to create designs and layouts. The ability to draw with hands was the most vital skill for an architect.

With time, things changed and the industry started looking for drawing solutions that were more reliable, robust, quick, and scalable. As a result of much thought and hard work, some genius came up with an interesting and exciting idea of using computers to create and finalize designs, and that is when it all began.

By Cad Crowd User Kayoo.ind

The 1960s witnessed a great deal of focus on the development of computer applications that could help architects design simple structures. The first commercial success was the development of an application named Sketchpad.

By 1963, Sketchpad had gathered a lot of fame. It enabled users to draw simple lines, move figures around on the computer screen, and change objects with ease. It managed to be a plus, but things still needed improvement, and so the journey to create better CAD applications for architects continued.

A decade later, in the 1970s, CAD programs took a step forward and supported some decent 2D drawing capabilities. The output was equivalent to hand-drawn structures and fairly acceptable. The architects at this time started using CAD solutions to create 2D designs that were on par with the industry standards in terms of design and engineering.

As the industry evolved and the designs became more complex, the need for better CAD solutions with 3D modeling capabilities was realized. The CAD software manufacturing companies responded proactively and started working on developing solutions that could serve the latest needs of the architects and engineers around the world.

The 1990s witnessed the first significant development in this regard. This was the time when the new generation of computer applications that supported 3D designing were commercially available.

Soon, these programs became a need of every industry that involved even the tiniest bit of designing. By the later part of the 1990s, everything that involved structural designing, including the work an architectural design service would do, was being drafted and finalized on 3D CAD software solutions.

An important name here is AutoCAD. AutoCAD was an industry grade software right from the days of its first release. This software changed the way architects used CAD software to create 3D models and designs. It became a common name in every architecture and engineering firm and, along with its competitors like Pro-E and Rivet, it took the industry by storm.

Finally, the dream of churning out designs easily and quickly was fulfilled, and the lead time on revisions, in many cases, was reduced to only a couple of hours.

How Did CAD Help the Architecture Industry in Particular?

The worst part about being an architect is the never-ending revisions that the clients demand before finalizing a design. Now, imagine creating all those revised designs by hand! It was a pain that forced architects to hate their very creative job. Thankfully, the introduction of CAD made the revisions easier and quicker.

Industries like architecture focus on structural aspects of the project and need high precision. CAD makes it easier for these industries to achieve high degrees of accuracy in the designs. A few millimeters can decide the life and fate of a building and the people living or working inside it. Moreover, the efficiency of the complete process of drafting and building a masterpiece got easier.

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CAD also helped the architects to look at the 3D model from different angles before showcasing the draft to the client. Architects could also offer internal object placement and show their clients how a particular setup would look inside the building or on a structure. This makes the presentation better and more practical for everyone.

The latest versions of the CAD applications also let the architects render their 3D models and offer virtual tours and previews of the projects. Animations are another feature of the advanced CAD applications that add life and color to the prototypes, making them fun and interactive.

Using CAD for the Modern Projects

The challenges faced by architects today are different than those faced in the past. The cities, homes, buildings, bridges, and factories of today are geared toward being smart, which is something unconventional. Computer-aided design is needed now more than ever.

With the help of the latest features in the application software, the designers can now program the surroundings to interact with the structure and influence it. For example, a smart home should be able to change the temperature inside it depending on the temperature outside.

In terms of design, an external force should be allowed to influence an internal state and the structure should be comfortable with it. Without software, such simulations are impossible to execute and hence design failures are bound to happen.

frat house
By Cad Crowd User Jim81

CAD is a total game changer in such scenarios. The capability of the software to run complex algorithms and compute huge mathematical expressions in real time allows a designer to create a real-life, three-dimensional model of the real world that can test the model and prove its worth. This improves the quality of the design and efficiency of the process and who does not love that?

While we are still discussing how advanced CAD software helps urban developers, architects, and artists to create lifelike prototypes of smart cities and houses, there are several other reasons why we love employing a CAD solution.

  1. A CAD application allows the designer to import real imagery from a satellite view. This means that the terrain, flora, and the street view stay real and lifelike right from the first draft.
  2. The production speed and turnaround time of the drafting process is impressive.
  3. The industry-leading apps even allow for collaboration on a single platform, which means that you do not have to render, save, and email copies to your prospects every now and then. They can just start the application at their end and finalize or mark revisions right on their screen for you to see.
  4. CAD allows your clients to visualize a design and feel it before it is even built. Thus, the need for change at a later stage can be avoided.
  5. Of course, the precision and accuracy of the design is rock solid.

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The Bottom Line

We have come a long way from hand-drawn drafts. We now live in a world which involves machines residing inside our homes and artificial intelligence doing most of our work. The next generation of bridges, houses, and other buildings will have even more automation, and they will have to be made in a way that the structural designs do not prevent the machines from making our lives easier.

CAD is the way forward. It is a piece of technology that will help us create the smart cities of the future. It is a trend that is not going to go out of fashion. It is going to get more realistic, complex, and useful for architects and assist them in creating structures and shapes that nobody has ever seen.

At Cad Crowd, we help connect the best freelance architectural designers with clients who need their services. All of our freelancers are pre-vetted and all work is backed by an accuracy guarantee. If you’re interested, contact us for a free quote.