CAD, CAD Technology, dynamic modeling, CAD modeling

How CAD Technology benefits from Dynamic Modeling

Alexander Pope, in the 17th century, coined the phrase “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing”. This phrase holds true in many cases, because a small amount of knowledge could lead to overconfidence. An overconfident person is likely to make decisions hastily without taking all facts into account.

What does this phrase have to do with Computer Aided Design? A CAD engineer who is trained primarily to use CAD software tools, but who lacks sound theoretical training, fits this phrase in many respects. Such a CAD engineer who has successfully solved many routine design problems with CAD tools could become overconfident in his/her design skills.

The time will come when this overconfident engineer, who lacks adequate theoretical training, models a non-routine problem incorrectly and misinterprets the results. Consequently, an incorrect design for a product is implemented. Unless the design error is caught and fixed, the launched product will be an accident waiting to happen. Failure of a poorly-designed product could cost a company a lot of time, money, and loss of reputation.

Many CAD and engineering organizations are aware of such dangers, and they include Dynamic Modeling into their product design cycles. Doing so provides “checks and balances” before a design materializes into a product.

This article examines the roles that Dynamic Modeling plays in CAD-driven product design.

Specifically, the article tries to answer these questions:

  • What is Dynamic Modeling, and is it needed for all product designs?
  • Are all CAD engineers qualified to perform CAD enabled dynamic modeling?
  • What are the benefits of Dynamic Modeling?
  • How is Dynamic Modeling being used?

What Is Dynamic Modeling and Is It Needed for all Product Designs?

Dynamic modeling simulates the behavior of an object over time. In engineering, dynamic models are described in terms of causal loops or feedback and control systems.

The causal loop captures the structural makeup or components that comprise a complex system or product, and the interactions between them. Computer models are built to simulate how the system responds to time-varying states and external loads, and how the system responds over time.

Dynamic modeling is not restricted to time-variant behavior of physical structures, but it is also used for artificial intelligence, economics, psychology, political science, and many other disciplines.

Not all products require dynamic modeling. For example, stationary objects such as statues are not subjected often to time varying externals loads such as wind forces or earthquakes. Therefore, static models suffice for determining their structural integrity.

Examples of good candidates for dynamic modeling are:

  • Bridges, which experience variable loadings, wind forces, and perhaps earthquakes.
  • Offshore oil production platforms, which are subjected to ocean waves, wind, and current loadings.
  • Automobiles, which are subjected to shock loadings and aerodynamic forces.
  • Buildings and structures in earthquake-prone areas, because they endure seismic loadings. 

Are all CAD Engineers Qualified to Perform CAD Enabled Modeling?

Not all CAD engineers have the skills to perform dynamic modeling adequately. CAD software tools which provide its capabilities will incorporate them as FEA, CFD, and other software packages. The CAD engineer who has not taken advanced courses in Solid Mechanics, Fluid Mechanics, Feedback and Control Systems, Vibration Analysis, Random Mechanics, and similar courses may lack sufficient theoretical skills to adequately model and interpret non-routine design problems with CAD software.

Dynamic modeling which is performed incorrectly could produce design errors with disastrous consequences, if the errors:

  • Are not detected and corrected by peers,
  • Are not detected during design reviews,
  • Are not detected during the prototyping and testing phase.

Once a poorly designed product is launched, the consequences could mean applying fixes in the field, having a product recall, or withdrawing a product. None of these options is desirable, because it creates customer dissatisfaction, possible lawsuits, loss of income, and loss of reputation.

What are the Benefits of Dynamic Modeling?

If properly performed, Dynamic Modeling can reveal design flaws that may not show up readily during the prototyping and testing phases of the product design cycle.

Unique benefits that dynamic modeling provides include:

  • Identifying interactions between subsystems of a complex product which may be too expensive to create during physical prototyping and testing,
  • Identifying potential failure modes which should be tested in physical prototypes, before hard tooling,
  • Simulating dynamic loadings which may be difficult to create during actual testing,
  • Identifying functional limitations on the use of a product.

Although some complex systems may be difficult to model accurately, it provides extra product performance data from virtual prototypes. Testing and validation of data obtained from virtual prototypes within physical prototypes should create a robust and reliable design.

How is Dynamic Modeling being used?

A few examples should clarify the benefits that Dynamic Modeling brings to CAD design work.

  • Engineers at NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) are building a horizontal smokestack computer model called the Scale-Model Smokestack Simulator. The Dynamic Model will predict the amount of carbon dioxide coming out of smokestacks with 1% accuracy, compared with current measurement accuracy of 10 to 20%. This Dynamic Model will make it easier to address the problem of CO2 emissions which the EPA is concerned about.
  • The University of Le Havre uses Dynamic Modeling to efficiently calculate optimized mold measurements for a ship hull.
  • SolidWorks provides modeling software within their CAD offerings for all types of industrial robot movements. The software also translates code from one robot to another, and can import models from major CAD systems.
  • It is being used extensively to study the impact of Self Driving vehicles on traffic flow.


When it is used effectively and correctly, creates virtual product prototypes that can identify failure modes and functional limitations of a design at an early stage.

When dynamic modeling is used together with Additive Manufacturing (or 3D printing) for physical product prototyping, the design cycle could be significantly shortened. Consequently, reliable and cost effective products will be launched, and the cost saving will benefit both the product manufacturer and the consumer.

Australian Design & Drafting Services provide excellent service for CAD Design and  Drafting. Contact Us for more info

3D printing, music industry, music storage, computer-aided design

How Music Industry impacted by 3D Printing

Prior to digital preservation of works of art, books were stored on microfiche, while music, pictures and movies were stored on film. One benefit of storing information in digitized form is that it can be transported electronically, so that backup copies of the information can be placed at many remote locations. Another benefit is that the fidelity of the information is preserved indefinitely.Unfortunately, it is likely that significant amounts of music, movies and works of art may have been lost forever because reliable methods of preserving music were not previously available. For example, lots of music that had been stored on wax discs and were played on phonographs, or many old movies that had been stored on reels may not be restorable. Although many original recordings have now been digitized, natural degradation of wax recordings and tapes have made large amounts of music and movies unrecoverable. Even though many old movies and music have now been digitally remastered, true fidelity of the multimedia data may have been lost.

Works of art that have the most longevity have been preserved in several forms. Some artifacts remain as carvings on stone and wood, some artifacts remain as statues, and some artifacts remain as stylus-based ink recordings on papyri, scrolls, paper, and on other media. Except for stone carvings and statues which could be considered to a reasonable extent as naturally non-destructible, recordings on wood-based products such as papyri, scrolls and paper degrade quickly in high humidity environments. Recordings on wood-based media need low humidity or vacuum storage conditions to survive over long periods of time.

It only takes a natural or man-made disaster to lose objects of cultural and historical value for ever. For example, a significant amount of the rich jazz musical heritage of New Orleans may have been lost during the hurricane Katrina, together with other artifacts that were stored on destructible media.

The need to preserve musical data brings up the question “How has 3D printing impacted the music industry?” To answer this question, it will be helpful to address these topics:

  • What methods have been used historically to store music?
  • What modern methods are now utilized for storing music?
  • How useful is 3D printing for the music industry?

What Methods Have Been Used Historically To Store Music?

The traditional method for storing music relies on writing music on sheets of paper. For example, classical orchestral works by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and others are available as published sheet music.

This method for storing music cannot provide good longevity and permanence because (a) the medium for storing the music (paper and ink) degrades over time, and (b) the stored music can be easily lost due to fire or floods.

Improvements to storing music utilize an audio format, together with physical recording media.

Over the last 100 years, musical storage relied on the following methods:

  • Prior to the year 1900, audio data in the form of sound waves were transcribed to paper, glass and wax cylinders as mechanical analog signals recorded as lateral grooves. Stylus motion over the grooves was used to render the recorded audio data. Products in this era include the Edison phonograph, the Dictaphone and the phonograph disk.
  • Between 1900 and 1948, improvements to sound recordings utilized magnetization and electrical amplification of analog signals to produce high fidelity audio. Products in this era include the magnetic tape, audio cassettes, and vinyl phonograph discs. Tape speeds ranged from , and discs at.
  • Between 1948 and 1970, significant audio signal processing techniques utilized Dolby noise reduction and stereophonic rendition. Products in this era include the 4-track and 8-track stereo, the compact cassette, the microcassette and the minicassette.
  • After 1970, digital processing technology produced advanced products that utilize audio formats such as MPEG, MLP, and many other audio formats found in products that provide CDs, DVDs, HD DVD, and Blu-ray technology.

What Modern Methods Are Now Utilized For Storing Music?

Because the music library continues to grow at an alarming rate, compression methods have been developed to store voluminous amount of audio data on the cloud, and to make them available to users by using web streaming technology.

Well-known competitors in this audio storage and streaming market place include the following:

  • Apple’s iTunes stores over 43 million songs. The songs can be downloaded on iPhones, iPad, iPod or other Apple-based products. The audio formats are limited to Apple approved formats, but conversion software is available for other formats. The service does not use web streaming.
  • The Amazon Cloud Player provides a service similar to Apple iTunes. However, the Amazon Player utilizes a compression that is lossier than iTunes. Being lossy means that the original music is not rendered with true fidelity. Portions of the audio signal are dropped when rendered in such a way that the human ear cannot easily detect the difference between the true and rendered sound.
  • Google Play Music provides free access to over 30 million songs. Because this service is free, it may be considered a bargain, compared with the other paid services. Both Amazon and Google services utilize web streaming.

How Useful Is 3D Printing For The Music Industry?

An amazing benefit that 3D printing brings is that musical recordings stored in digital format can be recalled and reprinted at will. For sentimental reasons, many people like to play music that was previously available only on phonographs. With 3D printing, both old and modern music can be stored in digital form, to be retrieved and 3D printed on improved durable media. As more sophisticated materials become available for 3D printers, high quality audio recordings can be printed with outstanding audio fidelity and rendition.

Apart from printing musical recordings, 3D printers can print musical instruments such as guitars, drums, pianos and saxophones. The list of musical instruments will grow as more 3D printing materials are discovered.

To summarize, it is reasonable to conclude that 3D printing makes it possible to:

  • Store music digitally and reproduce it faithfully,
  • Print a variety of musical instruments.

Australian Design & Drafting Services provide excellent service for 3D Printing and Prototype Design.Contact Us for more info

solidworks drafting brisbane

Solidworks Cad Data Management

It is no secret that managing Gigabytes of CAD data can be tough. Especially if you’re a new comer to a company that contains years of legacy data, you’ll probably be spending at least 2 hours a day on non-essential task, which is sorting out your files.

What’s more, every department in a company (or dare I say every employee in a company), has their own way of sorting their files. Yes, a company may enforce a rule that any files checked into the server of the company follows a certain nomenclature, but who is going to enforce it?

Poor Data Management leads to many issues such as:

  • Poor Decisions based on faulty or poor information
  • Duplicated efforts because one users did not know that the work he is doing was already done by someone else and it was in the company’s data storage
  • Lost of sales because customer’s cant get the information in time and leaves in frustration
  • Lost of productivity as employees disturbs other employees for data that is already there but can’t find them

This is where a data management needs to be more than just a security center. It needs to be an intelligent vault. Introducing an intelligent PDM system, called SOLIDWORKS Product Data Management (PDM).

Nothing screams horror than sifting through an assembly with 1000s of parts just so that you pull it out replace with another. Another concern would also be to pinpoint where a particular standard part is used (Important if you need to replace a part thought to be standard with a revised version).

The default Microsoft search function may not be able to help you find you the parts you want as search function are based on how the OS indexes the files. With SOLIDWORKS PDM, all your CAD files are promptly indexed to make the search function more powerful and accurate. With the ability to give you where the files has been used and the history of the file, you can quickly and efficiently get the information you need!

If you are in an organisation whereby a few engineers work on a same project, you would most likely fall in the trap of working on a file in which someone else is working on at the same time. At the end of the day when it comes to putting it all together, nothing fits! Back to the drawing board….

PDM controls the flow of all the documents, making sure each users knows the status of the file. If one person is working on a file, others may still view it, but not work on it until the initial user is done. Think of PDM as your friendly traffic police, making sure the flow of documents keeps moving without a hiccup.

Sometimes when a particular step goes idle, due to:

  1. Awaiting confirmation on the green light
  2. Awaiting confirmation that a correction is needed
  3. Awaiting for other departments to make a move

The user may also forget about his/her own movement in the project, and they are not aware of the status of the steps mentioned above.

With PDM, the process workflow defined in the PDM system keeps you updated about what steps are currently in progress and who is in charge. Built in is also the Notification Capability, which reminds the person-in-charge to keep the process going, so that no time is wasted!

The biggest concern about any data management solution is whether:

  1. Is it easy to manage?
  2. Do I need to hire an IT person to constantly look over it?

Be assured that the PDM solution will keep your data safe, organised and compliant.

One of the biggest roadblocks to adopting a data management systems is the fear that users may not get used to the system, which locks them out from the pool of data. Well that is not the case with PDM. With its tight integration with Windows, accessing files is as easy as using Windows explorer, opening folders to access the files. With its structured way of checking in/out of files, you will be assured that any files being opened or entered the vault is following company protocol.

It’s a step-by-step method which keeps all your files organised and populated with essential date.

File history is always difficult to track unless the right discipline is instilled in the user. By default, most users when it comes to editing an old file will just save the new version over it, completely destroying the older version of the file. What happens is that:

  • Nobody knows what changes were made
  • Nobody knows who made the changes
  • And if the new version is not acceptable and need to revert back, its not possible! (Time wasted in recreating the old version)

So why not let PDM do that with you? It keeps track of the entire history of your files, AUTOMATICALLY! Let engineers do the designing, and PDM on the file management.

SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM includes:

> File management: centralised file vaulting capabilities to manage and control electronic intellectual property and product design data

> Revision management: track changes, maintain a complete revision history of a design’s evolution, and avoid the errors of manual approaches

> Bill of materials (BOM) management: a range of tools for making BOM information management more efficient, enabling you to export BOM data in multiple ways to use in downstream applications and systems

> Distributed collaboration: keep people connected, up to date, and working on the same set of data, regardless of their location

> Regulatory compliance: helps you comply with government regulatory requirements or industry standards for controlled development processes and product documentation

> Design reuse: create a framework for quickly locating and reusing or repurposing existing design data

> Engineering change management: significantly reduce the time needed to complete your design approval and engineering change order (ECO) processes with the automated electronic workflow system

> Secure file vaulting: securely control access to sensitive or proprietary product information

> Enterprise scalability: easily connect the design data needs of your entire enterprise, whether for just a few users in a single location or hundreds of contributors working in multiple locations around the world

If you would like to know more about PDM, CAD Data Management please feel free to contact us at +61 731 493 547 or email, and our EPDM experts would be happy to help!

Australian Design & Drafting provides quality solidworks drafting service around Brisbane,Sydney,Melbourne,Perth,GoldCoast. We also provide affordable contract Solidworks drafter,Solidworks designer with short notice!..

2d drafting services

Opt for affordable 2D drafting services

The solution is simple. All you have to do is outsource to Australian Design & Drafting and you can avail a cutting edge 2D drafting solution, without having to invest in expensive technology or going through tedious recruitment headaches.  Read on to find out more about the importance of effective 2D drafting, the varied types of 2D drafting services offered by Australian Design & Drafting and the numerous benefits that comes with outsourcing.

If your firm is drawing out a design for an office, home, restaurant or any other type of building, then you would definitely be aware of the critical role that 2D drafting plays in the successful outcome of a building. 2D drafting is one step that you cannot afford to skip, even though you may encounter other problems when designing your building. Moreover, 2D drafting also requires time, skill and expertise. With outsourcing, you need not worry about doing 2D drafting anymore. You can simply outsource 2D drafting to Australian Design & Drafting and enjoy big savings on cost, time and effort.

2D drafting services offered :

No matter what type of design plan you want, you can avail an effective 2D drafting plan by outsourcing to Australian Design & Drafting. We have best mechanical engineers and 2D drafters who can put their skills and knowledge to deliver a cutting-edge 2D draft for your building. You can avail 2D drafting services for any one of the following:

  • Architectural drawings
  • Preliminary drawings
  • Millwork drawings
  • Assembly drawings
  • Shop drawings
  • Structural design drawings
  • Engineering (MEP) drawings
  • Presentation drawings
  • Machine drawings
  • Manufacturing drawings
  • Fabrication drawings
  • Structural steel detailing
  • Construction or working drawings

What makes Australian Design & Drafting a hot destination for 2D drafting?

Here’s why Australian Design & Drafting is the Australia’s preferred location for 2D drafting:

1. Latest 2D drafting software and tools: Australian Design & Drafting employ the very latest in 2D drafting tools and software, such as, AutoCAD®, MicroStation®, SolidWorks®, Staad Pro®, Ansys®, 3DS Max®, VRay, X-Steel, Revit®, ProE®, CATIA®, Autodesk® Inventor® and Unigraphics/NX to create world-class 2D drafts.

2. Skilled 2D drafters: Outsourcing 2D drafting to Australian Design & Drafting can give you access to a dedicated team of drafters and engineers who will collaborate with your company, understand your needs and provide you with a satisfactory 2D drafting solution. With a 2D drafting solution for your preliminary drawing, architectural drawing or structural drawing, you can develop a firm base for your design plans.

3. 2D drafting in CAD: Australian Design & Drafting  have an extensive knowledge of conducting 2D drafting in CAD, as per the exact scaling and specifications given by you.

4. Huge cost savings: By outsourcing, you can cut down on your current cost by a whopping 50% while getting access to professionally drawn 2D drafts that meet your expectations.

Outsource 2D drafting to Australian Design & Drafting today and experience freedom from mundane recruitment, payroll or infrastructure related hassles.

If you were to outsource today, which 2D drafting service would you prefer to start with? Have you outsourced 2D drafting before? If yes, how did it go? If you have a question on outsourcing or want to express your views, just leave a comment in the box below. We, at Australian Design & Drafting love to hear from you!

future of 3d design

Future of 3D Design Microsoft’s HoloLens

Just Recently I have watched Star Wars Episode 7 in cinema. It just made me think how future is shaping with new technology and how we realized that soon it won't be science fiction anymore but reality.  Star Wars primed an entire generation to expect certain things from future technology. The movies featured various pieces of imaginary technology that has since become a reality. Compact communications devices, face-to-face voice chat and voice recognition are just a few concepts that appeared on the show before they appeared in the real world.

Holograms are another instance of a technology that appeared on the movie (though it was more Next Generation material, honestly), and it is one piece of tech that companies have continually tried to develop for at least 30 years, with little success. Oculus Rift and augmented reality combined with Google Glass are about the closest anyone has come to bringing holograms into our world.

Microsoft HololensThe brains behind Microsoft’s Kinect have developed a new platform that might bring a simulated reality into both our workplace and living rooms. The new system is called HoloLens, and it takes the shape of a pair of goggles rather than a holo suite (one step at a time). Unlike Oculus Rift, HoloLens doesn’t attempt to trick your brain into thinking it’s someplace else, rather it uses augmented reality (AR) to overlay holograms into your everyday space. For everyday usage, adding holograms to work would be useful for everyone from mechanics to brain surgeons. Teachers could find numerous ways to leverage holographic technology at every level of education. No doubt, the entertainment industry might find ways to use the technology for video games or to augment movie night as well. All of that is cool, but this is Rapid Ready, where 3D printing is king. Why do we care about the HoloLens? You guessed it (maybe the headline was a hint). HoloLens offers new opportunities for 3D design. Rather than sketching 3D images on a 2D surface, with the HoloLens, designers and engineers could design and develop 3D parts in 3D.

Microsoft also realizes how much potential for design the new platform offers, and has included instances of 3D design in its demos and video marketing. It wouldn’t be surprising if the HoloLens shipped with 3D design software included, with haptic feedback tools already in the pipeline for development. Add a pair of haptic gloves to the HoloLens and suddenly you have the ability to mould new parts in 3D without using a mouse or stylus.

The possibilities of HoloLens for engineering design

Design. The design opportunities that HoloLens presents are exciting. Design engineers will be able to go beyond traditional 3D presented on a monitor and controlled via mouse or touch, to immersive 3D in the real world using gestures and voice. Holograms allow you to visualize how something will look in the physical world with the benefit of 3D editing and authoring capabilities, mimicking how you would interact with something in real life.

Imagine creating a physical mock-up or prototype using foam, clay and other mediums for modeling: this is what design will be like with HoloLens, but with more tools and fewer constraints than the real world. You can then share those holograms and collaborate remotely, and excitingly, even turn them into physical objects with HoloStudio’s 3D print compatibility.

Fix. Think of the possibilities for field service and repair of products and machines. Being able to be in an actual situation—standing next to an aircraft or vehicle—and have your digital instructions pinned as holograms in the air around you or a 3D animation within the actual physical context right in front of you. Or go beyond that and bring in a remote colleague or advisor with HoloNotes in Skype and let them see your environment from their tablet or PC to troubleshoot and collaborate on a repair on the spot. They can draw instructions that appear as animations in your world, helping walk you through a new process.

Simulate. New ways to learn is another powerful capability of HoloLens. In both design and field service training scenarios, learning comes alive when you can visualize and examine in 3D, within the actual environment, how a product works, the types of different inspections performed on a product or each of the individual tests required to meet product safety standards. What’s more, you could simulate an unsafe or hazardous environment to practice what you’d do in that situation.

For more information about professional CAD drafting services or career opportunities, please feel free to contact Australian Design and Drafting Services at 1800 287 223 or 07 3149 3547  today.


Australian Design and drafting Services Electrical CAD Drafting In Construction Field

Electrical CAD Drafting In Construction Field

Before CAD machines were found, the field of construction required architects to make elaborate and detailed drawings on a sheet of paper. There were a lot of problems with the process. Not only were there fallacies in drawing, but at the same time, pinning down all the details and taking care of the different views and angles was particularly complex.

However, with the help of electrical CAD drafting services, it has become easier to handle the construction process. Following are some of the ways in which electrical CAD drafting can turn out handy in the field of construction.

Accurate Drawings Which Can Be Scaled

It is with the help of electrical CAD drafting that you can make some of the most detailed drawings. CAD software comes packed with a bundle of features. Not only can you change the scale, but you can make smart use of annotations and other parameters to ensure that you are making detailed and precise drawings.

It is with the help of electrical CAD drafting that you can handle the different details without the margin of error. When you are using CAD software, you will rely on the program for making all the drawings. This reduces the margin of error significantly.

Adapt To the Changes

In the field of construction, making changes can be tough to visualize. Even when you are altering a very minute part of the design, you need to visualize how it is going to impact the rest of the structure. Many times, we may end up missing crucial factors which will lead to problems in the long run. However, it is with the help of electrical CAD drafting that you can make edits and modifications.

If there is a need for some change in design, you can first implement it on your CAD drawing and analyze how the changes are going to impact the rest of the design. If there are huge ramifications, you may decide to take another alternative. If you just need to make some minor tweaks, you can do that on the CAD software and thereby remodel with finesses.

Hence, when it comes to modifications while constructions are underway, it is electrical CAD drafting that turns out to be handy in ways more than one.

Have a Blueprint

It is with the help of electrical CAD drafting that you can have a blueprint before you put the plans into action. Many times, it has been seen that architects find it hard to visualize every single thing. However, the Cad software is so designed that you can fully view the three-dimensional look and this helps a great deal in making a design that is feasible and good to look at.

Ever since CAD started being used by architects, its importance cannot be replaced and it looks to be a part of the core construction process. The software serves a wide variety of use and it has made the construction process not just easier but a lot more reliable and less prone to errors as well.

Raster Image Formats

Raster Image Formats in CAD

There are many 3D CAD file formats for storing and transmitting data. CAD file formats can be classified in terms of two distinct formats: the bitmap or raster (pixel-based) format, and the vector format. The distinction between the two formats is clarified by pointing out the main difference between them.

  • The raster format represents images in terms of pixels. On a display monitor, the pixels are dots which carry colour attributes and levels of intensity in RGB (Red, Green, and Blue) colours. Raster graphics are suitable for photographic images and they are resolution-dependent. They do not scale up to higher resolutions without loss of quality, because the image becomes grainier and image details become lost.
  • The vector format represents images as points, lines, curves and polygons (called primitives) on an algebraic grid. The primitives are utilized to create vector-based images. Vector images can scale up to any resolution without loss in quality.

The most important difference between raster and vector-based images is that raster images are poor when they are scaled higher than the resolution at which they were created. On the other hand, vector images can be scaled up or down without any loss in image quality:

  • Popular raster (bitmap) based formats are JPEG, PNG, BMP, TIFF formats.
  • Popular vector-based formats are EPS, PDF or AI (Adobe), SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics), DXF (Drawing eXchange Format), WMF (Windows Metafile Format), DRW, and DWG formats.
  • Compound formats such as EPS, PDF, SWF, and PICT contain both pixel and vector-based data.

In order to determine whether the raster image format could disappear from CAD file systems, this article tries to answer these specific questions:

  • How popular is the vector format among leading CAD vendors?
  • Which CAD file formats are most popular with 3D printing technology?
  • Is any particular CAD file format best suited for CAD data exchange?
  • Why would the raster format remain an important part of CAD file systems?

How Popular Is the Vector Format among Leading CAD Vendors?

It appears that modern CAD software packages store design and drawing information in the vector format. To confirm this observation, it is worthwhile to look at CAD formats that leading CAD vendors use:

  • AutoDesk has its own native file format, but it supports DWG, DXF and many other file formats.
  • AutoCAD uses the DXF and DWG vector formats.
  • SolidWorks uses a structured format in which different file formats are embedded. The design information is stored in the DXF vector-based format. Other formats such as AI, CGR, and STL (for 3D printing) are stored within the structured format. The structured format also stores raster formatted images.

It is interesting to note that many software applications are available to convert images between the raster and vector formats. Some of the significant image converters include CorelDRAW, Easy Trace, Freehand, VP Software, WiseImage, and many others. Many leading CAD vendors also provide convertors between raster and vector file formats.

Which CAD File Formats are Most Popular With 3D Printing Technology?

The format used for 3D printing is the STL (STereoLithography) format. It is not clear whether any type of CAD file format is most suitable for 3D printing, because leading 3D companies such as Stratasys and 3D Systems automatically convert recognizable CAD files into STL language. Furthermore, many CAD vendors who are capable of exporting their files into STL include Autodesk Inventor, Catia, SolidWorks, ProEngineer and SolidEdge.

Is any Particular CAD File Format Best Suited For CAD Data Exchange?

There is no simple answer to this question. The preferable CAD file exchange software will have the ability to convert between raster and vector formats. The reason for this requirement is that modern CAD file systems are moving toward the use of a structured file format in which both raster and vector file formats are embedded. Because modern CAD files contain much more than drawings and design information, it makes sense to have different file formats stored within a structure, so that minimal information is lost during file transmissions and conversions.

A good example of integrating different types of information into a CAD file is provided by BIM (Building Information Modeling). BIM integrates activities of all parties and disciplines involved in a building project into a synergistic body which exchanges different types of information. When different teams work together on a project, it is necessary to use different file formats for information exchange. Raster formats are required for pictorial displays, animation and virtualization, while vector formats are required for design drawings which should be scalable. Strictly speaking, BIM provides a useful extension on the CAD file format, but it is not recognized as a CAD file format.

As complexities involved in creating integrated CAD file formats continue, it may become necessary to coin a different acronym for a unified file format which does not primarily contain CAD information.

To answer the question “Is any particular CAD file format best suited for CAD data exchange?”, the answer is no, with qualifications.

  • If the CAD data to be exchanged is strictly in the form of design drawings, then the vector format is best suited for the data exchange. It provides scalability without loss of information.
  • If the CAD data to be exchanged is strictly in the form of pictorial views or animations (such as for marketing or advertising purposes), then the raster format, created at a high enough resolution, is best suited for the data exchange.

Why Would The Raster Format Remain An Important Part Of CAD File Systems?

Although raster images do not scale up without losing information, they are indispensable for conveying pictorial information and for producing animations. The current trend for storing CAD data is leaning towards the use of a structured file format in which different file formats are embedded. Because each of the two primary CAD formats (raster and vector formats) are useful in their own right, the raster format will undoubtedly remain an important part of CAD file systems.

Australian Design and drafting Services Mobile CAD Computing 13

Mobile CAD Computing

From the time when the PC (Personal Computer) was introduced in the late 1970s to early 1980s, the computing world has witnessed progressive miniaturization of the PC into laptops, tablets, smartphones, and recently into computerized watches. Because of the availability of the internet and cloud computing, the trend is to reduce computing power on individual computing devices. Instead of packing a lot of computing power into one computing device, the trend is to access computing power which is provided by servers in a distributed computing environment.

A consumer desktop or laptop is not suitable for running 3D CAD software, because CAD operations involve complex computational procedures which require high performance or dedicated processors. Therefore, CAD workstations are purposely designed to provide high-performance computational power and snappy information exchange over networks and in a cloud-based computing environment.

A typical CAD engineer often needs to carry his/her workstation to meetings, design reviews, and on business trips. This need for mobility requires that a Mobile CAD Computing device should:

  • Provide performance which compares favourably with that of a CAD workstation,
  • Provide adequate graphics display size and resolution,
  • Be portable after its power adapter and necessary attachments are packed into a bag and transported even over reasonably long walking distances.

Hereon, the mobile CAD computing device will be referred to as a mobile CAD workstation. This article tries to answer the following questions:

  • What are the capabilities of a typical mobile CAD workstation?
  • Can a mobile CAD workstation perform as well as a traditional workstation?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of using mobile CAD workstations?

What Are the Capabilities of a Typical Mobile CAD Workstation?

Many versions of mobile CAD workstations are available from CAD vendors. A high-performance mobile CAD workstation should have these attributes:

  • It should be a light-weight, portable workstation which uses low voltage CPU, and has long battery life.
  • It should have a high-performance GPU (Graphics Processing Unit), and a high-resolution graphics display.
  • It should have a high capacity drive, USB ports, and a DVD drive.

Because it is impractical to list all popular mobile CAD workstations, the features of one high-performance mobile CAD workstation are provided. The Lenovo ThinkPad 541 is a mobile CAD workstation which provides these features:

  • It weighs about 5.57 pounds, it is about 1-inch thick, and it has 6+ hours of battery life.
  • It uses 4th generation i7 Extreme CPU and optional NVidia Quadra K2100M GPU, and it has 32 MB RAM.
  • It provides 15.6-inch, 2880 x 120 high-resolution displays.
  • It has 500 GB hard drive storage or SSD for improved performance.
  • It has many USB ports and an SD card reader.
  • It may be expanded to provide HDMI video output.

Can a Mobile CAD Workstation Perform As Well As A Traditional Workstation?

The consensus among CAD analysts is that the total CAD workstation market (which comprises desktop and mobile workstations) continues to grow. Mobile CAD workstations grow along with the overall market, and mobile workstation sales remain steady at about 25% of the total workstation market. A survey conducted by an industry research firm found that interest is growing in mobile CAD workstations, while interest is declining for desk-side PCs, workstations, and consumer-class notebooks. Another finding is that many mobile CAD workstations are not used primarily for creating and editing CAD drawings, but rather for accessing CAD drawings and data. Nevertheless, the demand for mobile CAD workstations is expected to show strong growth in the next few years.

Before PCs became popular in the 1980s, most CAD workstations were RISC-based systems such as DEC Alpha, MIPS, PowerPC, and SPARC. Afterwards, CAD workstations used operating systems such as Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux distributions, Apple Mac OS X, and Oracle Solaris.

The features of a top-end high-performance CAD workstation include the following:

  • High-performance processors from 4 to 18 cores, with base clock, speed up to 3.5 MHz, 2.5 MB core of last level cache, and DDR4 registered DIMM support for up to 32 GB of RAM.
  • Graphics GPU with up to 12 GB of memory as in the NVidia Quadro K6000 graphics card. A high-performance GPU is necessary for 3D animations and rendering. For ordinary CAD design work, it is more productive to invest in a high-performance processor.
  • Up to 24-inch LED display with a minimum high-level resolution of 1280 x 720. Typically, a top performance workstation supports multiple displays.
  • SSDs (Solid State Drives) instead of hard drives, or a combination of SSDs and hard drives.

It should be pointed out that virtualized CAD workstations may be more productive in a CAD development environment which relies on cloud computing and hardware virtualization. Using virtualized workstations is also more cost-effective in terms of hardware maintenance and hardware upgrade cycles. Although a mobile CAD workstation cannot compete with a top-end CAD workstation in terms of performance, it makes good economic sense to use a mobile workstation in a cloud-based or distributed computing environment, or in an environment of virtualized workstations.

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Mobile CAD workstations?

A mobile CAD workstation cannot match the performance of a top-end high-performance desktop CAD workstation. However, interest is growing in mobile CAD workstations, while interest is declining for desk-side PCs, workstations, and consumer-class notebooks. This could mean that mobile CAD workstations provide benefits that are unmatched by traditional CAD workstations. It may be worthwhile to list some of these benefits.

  • A mobile workstation provides complimentary performance to a desktop CAD workstation while providing mobility.
  • A mobile CAD workstation is useful for project managers and executives who are primarily interested in accessing, viewing and reviewing CAD drawings and data, rather than in creating them.

A mobile CAD workstation is very useful in field operations when the CAD engineer needs to access and view CAD drawings and data.

Australian Design and drafting Services Virtual Prototyping Reality? 12

Virtual Prototyping Reality?

Manufacturing organizations have much to gain by reducing TTM (Time To Market), to optimize product designs for optimum performance, and to maximize reliability. A typical product design cycle (before Product Launch), referred to as PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) involves these essential phases:

  • Conceptual design,
  • Detailed design and validation,
  • Tooling design,
  • Manufacturing planning and implementation,
  • Product build and assembly,
  • Reliability Testing.

These essential phases, although they are the preliminary phases of PLM, are time-consuming and costly. In a typical PLM, physical prototypes of the end product are produced and tested for functionality, performance and reliability. It usually takes several design and manufacturing iterations to produce acceptable test results before product launch. These are the reasons why preliminary phases of PLM are time-consuming and costly.

Virtual Prototyping is emerging as one of the promising methods for creating virtual rather than physical prototypes which can be tested with simulation software. If this method develops into a mature technology, it will provide tremendous benefits to manufacturing organizations.

In order to understand Virtual Prototyping, this article tries to answer these questions:

  • How is CAD technology involved in Virtual Prototyping?
  • To what extent is Virtual Prototyping being used?
  • What benefits does Virtual Prototyping Provide?

How is CAD Technology Involved in Virtual Prototyping?

The goal of Virtual Prototyping is to use engineering simulation software to predict the performance and reliability of product assemblies before they are manufactured. Virtual Prototyping is also referred to as Systems Performance Modeling. The ability to predict the performance and reliability with simulation software is a very complex and challenging task for several reasons.

  • It is necessary to understand how components or parts of a product deform individually under loadings, and how they deform when they are assembled into a product.
  • It is necessary to understand how the material properties of parts degrade over the life of the product. Material properties could degrade due to low or high-temperature changes, or due to chemical reactions in a corrosive environment.
  • It is necessary to understand the nature of loadings. For example, cyclical loadings occur due to wind forces, ocean wave forces or currents, and earthquakes. A product could also be subjected to vibrational forces created by neighbouring machinery.
  • It is necessary to understand how manufacturing defects could initiate crack growth and propagation.
  • It is necessary to understand failure modes of parts and how they influence the performance of the entire assembly or product in terms of reliability.

Apart from these reasons, there are many other factors to be considered such as governmental regulations, environmental issues, and manufacturing techniques which are utilized for building a product.

The main CAD-related tools which are utilized for Virtual Prototyping are 3D CAD design and simulation tools, and CAE analysis and tools. These tools are capable of designing parts and subjecting them to known static or dynamic loadings so that they can perform crash simulations and finite element analyses. However, the ability to simulate the performance and reliability of an assembled product under different operational conditions requires more sophisticated software which integrates the capabilities of these CAD tools. This ability is the primary goal of Systems Performance Modeling or Virtual Prototyping.

Successful implementation of simulation software for predicting the performance and reliability of a product will make it possible to examine different design alternatives before committing to specific product intent. If Virtual Prototyping is achievable, the benefits to a manufacturing organization will be enormous. It should be pointed out that the availability of Additive Manufacturing or 3D printing could be utilized to validate simulation software which is developed for Virtual Prototyping.

To What Extent is Virtual Prototyping Being Used?

As complex as Virtual Prototyping sounds, certain organizations have made good progress in implementing the technology. It is worthwhile to look at what has been accomplished.

  • Mazda® has been using a Virtual Prototyping solution called the CoMET from Synopsys® for reducing the number of tests on real automobiles for verification of ECUs (Engine Control Units) and HIL test equipment. HIL (Hardware-in-the-loop) is a simulation technique for developing and testing embedded systems such as exist in automotive computer systems (example: suspension, anti-lock braking). Mazda credits the Virtual Prototyping software with accelerating ECU development and lowering cost. Another company which is benefitting from Virtual Prototyping is Ford®.
  • Optitex®, an apparel manufacturer, has been using a robust set of virtual fabric simulation software to create, view and edit accurate apparel patterns before putting them on the market. The virtual software provides the company with a shorter time to market, improved innovation, and customer satisfaction. For example, design parameters such as fitting, buttons, zippers, pulls, buckles, seam finishes, pleats, repeats, and many more parameters can be manipulated in a virtual environment before the product is made. Another apparel manufacture which is benefitting from virtual prototyping is Tukatech®.

What Benefits Does Virtual Prototyping Provide?

Although many benefits that Virtual Prototyping provides have been mentioned, it will be useful to summarize the most important benefits.

  • Virtual Prototyping makes it possible to perform repeatable tests on a virtualized product under conditions which may be difficult or impossible to create.
  • Virtual Prototyping makes it possible to perform design modifications on a virtualized product, test the product, and arrive at an optimized design which is cost-effective, robust, and reliable.
  • Virtual Prototyping makes it possible to test a virtualized product against failure modes and effects, different types of loadings, different operating conditions such as high or low temperatures, customer misuse of the product, and corrosive environments.
  • Virtual Prototyping shortens the time for product design, makes it easier to introduce new products, and shortens the time to market.
  • Virtual Prototyping provides better customer satisfaction and increases product presence in the market.

CAD/CAM software systems form an integral part of Virtual Prototyping or Systems Modeling software. Because of the availability of 3D printing, certain types of Virtual Prototyping simulation software should be easier to develop and validate with 3D-printed models.

Australian Design and drafting Services Driverless Car Cad Design 1

Driverless Car Cad Design

If you think the idea of having driverless cars on the roads seems dangerous and utopian, think again, because the idea is quickly becoming reality. Actually, we have been using certain features of driverless cars for some time. Until recently, automobiles did not have cruise control, automatic and antilock braking, temperature sensors, GPS technology, or road sensing technology. That has all changed.[/fusion_text][fusion_text]The autopilot system for air travel has been available for a long time, and the maturity and reliability of the technology continue to improve. If automatic piloting of complex aircraft in busy airspaces is acceptable, why should driverless cars not be acceptable?

A partial list of technologies required to create driverless cars are the following:

  • Onboard computer technology,
  • Onboard telemetry (radar and laser sensors),
  • Anti-lock and automatic braking systems,
  • Adaptive cruise control,
  • GPS and sensor technology,
  • Traction and stability control,
  • Automatic engine control,
  • Computerized navigational system.

This article focuses on CAD-related technologies which could be involved in building driverless cars. Specifically, the article discusses how the following technologies (which involve CAD design) will affect driverless cars:

  • The role of sensors, GPS technology, and video cameras for driverless cars,
  • Leading players in the development of driverless cars,
  • Benefits which driverless cars will provide,
  • Problems which driverless cars could create.

The role of sensors, GPS technology, and video cameras for driverless cars

The following technologies will help implement driverless car technology while providing collision avoidance and traffic safety:

  • Video cameras will detect traffic lights, read road signs, keep track of neighbouring vehicles, and look out for pedestrians, pets and other obstacles.
  • LIDAR (Laser Illuminating Detection and Ranging) sensors will detect edges of roads and identify lane markings by bouncing light pulses off the car’s surroundings.
  • Ultrasonic non-contact sensors in the wheels will detect the position of curbs and neighbouring vehicles during parking.
  • GPS technology will use the location of the vehicle to determine routing, speed limits and to provide navigational guidance.
  • Onboard telemetry will enable cars to communicate with one another, and with traffic monitoring and control systems.
  • The onboard computer will analyze all monitored and measured data in order to make navigational decisions regarding steering, acceleration or deceleration, and braking.

Leading players in the development of driverless cars

It is not within the scope of this article to list the names and accomplishments of all leading players in driverless car technology. It will suffice to highlight two significant accomplishments.

Israel’s Mobileye® made news recently when its driverless vehicle supplied by Delphi Automotive traversed a 3,000-mile journey from San Francisco to Manhattan in 9 days. Before this accomplishment, the driverless vehicle had been successfully operated in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. The driverless vehicle could detect cyclists, debris on the road, curbs, barriers, construction zones, traffic lights, and road signs.
Mobileye expects to offer 237 driverless car models by the end of 2016.
Deals to use the technology have already been made with BMW, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Nissan, Peugeot, Volvo and Tesla. Truck manufacturers MAN SE, Scania, and IVECO have also made deals to use the technology.
In 2014, Google unveiled the technology named “Google Chauffeur” for piloting autonomous or driverless cars. Google’s technology neither uses a steering wheel nor a brake pedal.
Automotive companies which have signed on to use Google’s technology include Toyota Prius, Audi TT, and Lexus RX450h. Google’s robotic car uses a LIDAR system which generates a detailed local map of its environment. The generated map is combined with high-resolution maps of the world in order to produce data models that the computer uses to pilot the vehicle.
Google’s driverless vehicles have been tested in the San Francisco area, and they have logged about 700,000 miles (1.1 million km) of accident-free driving. Google plans to make its driverless cars publicly available by 2020.

Benefits which driverless cars will provide

In order to enjoy the benefits that driverless cars will provide, it is necessary for legislative bodies to pass or modify traffic laws. In the United States, the District of Columbia and four states have already passed laws that permit the operation of driverless cars. Many other state legislatures are discussing the passage of similar laws.

Predictably, the public will initially be sceptical about operating driverless cars, until the following benefits become evident.

  • There will be a significant reduction in vehicle collisions, injuries caused by automobile accidents, and loss of life. Consequently, the cost of insuring motor vehicles will be lower.
  • There will be less need for individual driving licenses and driving skills.
  • Senior citizens, teenagers, and handicapped people will have the mobility that they do not now have.
  • A businessman or woman could work or play (read the newspaper or a book, watch TV, eat or drink) instead of focusing on driving to work. The need for police officers to arrest motorists for DUI, which is a leading cause of traffic deaths, will be gone.
  • Law enforcement will have more manpower to fight crime instead of enforcing traffic laws.

Problems which driverless cars could create

It should not come as a surprise that whenever new technology is introduced to benefit mankind, criminal minds will find ways to misuse the technology for personal profit or to cause mischief. What problems could arise?

  • Criminals will hack into onboard computer systems in order to steal automobiles.
  • Terrorists will hack into traffic control systems and into car computer systems in order to create accidents, traffic jams, or chaos.

Law enforcement will need the training to fight these new types of traffic crime. The use of the internet, GPS, and drone technology could become useful instruments for enforcing traffic safety.


Driving as we know it is about to change in a dramatic way. Although many technical problems remain to be solved, the use of driverless vehicles should accelerate rapidly by the year 2020.

Initially, driverless cars will be expensive. When the costs of these vehicles come down, almost everyone (including senior citizens, children, drunk drivers, and even blind people) will have the privilege of using driverless cars without endangering the lives of the public or themselves.