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Concurrent Engineering Blog

How have CAD developments enhanced design agility?

Posted by Emma Rudeck on 29-Jun-2012 14:27:00
CAD developments

CAD tools need to be flexible, particularly in the later stages of product development cycles. Yet, traditional parametric models can make it difficult to accommodate late-stage design changes and restrict design agility. Recent CAD developments are now addressing these limitations, enabling designers to explore more design possibilities with increase agility.

What limits agility in traditional CAD?

Interdependency is a key component of parametric modelling. Yet, as more parts are added and the design becomes more complex, the design also becomes increasingly constrained. While this allows for complex design work, the interdependency also makes design alterations more difficult to make. This results in fewer design options being explored and, in cases where late-stage alterations are necessary, long man hours spend to achieve any alteration.

What are the CAD developments that are changing this?

Recent CAD developments now mean the limitations traditionally associated with parametric modelling are now more flexible and responsive:

  1. Direct changes in parametric modelling- The ability to make direct amendments within the parametric model, including pull, push and drag modifications, offers a more streamlined method to managing design agility.
  2. Documenting direct changes- As well as making amendments, it’s possible to document the direct changes made to a parametric model. This gives a more comprehensive record of the modifications.
  3. Inputting intelligence on imported models- Making changes to imported models requires intelligence to be applied. Modern CAD applications can be used to recognise the design intent, allowing for greater agility and flexibility.

What are the implications for design agility?

These CAD developments are not just about utilising current CAD technology. Enhancing design agility means more options can be explored, resulting in improved product development. It means designers and engineers no longer have to battle against their CAD tools to make changes and amendments, leading to more productive and fulfilling designing.

Discover more on the latest CAD developments by downloading the CAD Revolution eBook

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