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In engineering, what are the most annoying features and biggest challenges when using CAD?

I'm with a company trying to solve these problems. Things such as collaboration and simple geometry manipulation. What are the most common challenges faced? What should be different? What drives engineers and designers nuts about the process?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    One of the biggest problems faced by designers and engineers when collaborating on projects is ensuring that they are working on the latest design data. There's nothing worse than when you have spent all day working on a design, only to find out that It was already out of date before you started.

    By strictly adhering to revision control practices, you can trace the revision history of a drawing, allowing you to identify which is the latest version.

    Access control can be implemented to prevent modification by certain groups of users at maturing life-cycle states of the design.

    Drawing sign-off can be used to ensure that drawings are checked before being released.

    Drawing issue control can be used to keep a track of which revisions of drawings have been issued and received by other companies, so when a drawing is revised you know who it needs re-issuing to.

    Many of these tasks can be automated by using Product Data Management (PDM) or Product Life-cycle Management (PLM) software. Some CAD software vendors offer their own PDM/PLM solutions.

    Windchill An example of a PLM solution that can be used for managing Pro/Engineer and other CAD data.

    http://www.ptc.com/products/windchill/

    Look at the social product development section in the demo below to see it in action.

    http://download.ptc.com/products/proengineer/wildf...

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  • 4 years ago

    AutoCAD is the CAD equivalent to Microsoft Excel - the most commonly used though not always the best for every use. The other industry standard is Microstation - these are the 2 big players. If you have the option then start with AutoCAD if you can - learn the basics on one package and the skills are transferable to all the others. OK the commands might be slightly different but if you know what you want to do then you can always find how to do it on every other system. This is much the same way that you can learn how to use a spreadsheet with excel but then once you know you can pretty much jump onto any other and work there. For TV, the models on the screen take many hours of work to produce but if the company is going to get good publicity by showing the graphics it is worth getting a draughtsman to spend 2 or 3 weeks making a good computer model and so on. Sometimes they might use 2 or 3 programmes to get the final result that you want. For example in my work (on buildings mostly though sometimes tie-figters and x-wings), I would use AutoCAD to create an accurate model in 3D and then lighting software such as litestar to get the lighting effects (AutoCAD has only recently got good at lighting - as an extra add on you have to pay for) Anyway, learn the basics with 1 software and then you can transfer the skills to others. Learn to be fast and accurate - accurate is important Learn how to visualise things in your head That all helps

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Are you asking about AutoCAD in particular, or any and all computer drafting programs?

    Here's something which would be a big help: make drafting software play nicely with Microsoft Excel and Word. There are many times when a table or block of text is needed, which has already been typed into these programs. If computer drafting programs were better equipped to import these things quickly without losing format, it would save a lot of time and frustration.

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