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Concurrent Engineering Blog

2D CAD design: The pros and cons of digital concept designs

Posted by Emma Rudeck on 18-Jul-2012 11:11:00

2D CAD designDid you know 34% of organisations are still using paper-based methods to explore initial concept design?  While this is a valid way to begin concept work, it does have limitations. Taking the paper concept designs to the next stage of development can involve more work. Plus, it can be harder to fully investigate a range of design options. But, what is the case for making the transition to digital 2D concept designs? 

Pros of 2D CAD design

Making the move from paper drawings to using a computer is relatively to make, as the capabilities are relatively similar. While the first uses a pencil and the second a mouse and keyboard, representations made in the two mediums are comparable. On top of this, electronic sketches and drawings are much easier to share. For anyone working on a global scale, this makes collaboration more efficient and effective. Plus, digital 2D CAD designs are much easier to amend, accommodating changes in the design.

Cons of 2D CAD design

Many 2D tools are designed for creating engineering drawings rather than concept design work, so it’s important to get the right tool for the right task. Also, bear in mind, 2D CAD drawings cannot be relied on for digital prototyping and they cannot be used at all for rapid prototyping. The limitations of 2D drawings and sketches also mean that it is difficult to explore the full range of design options.

What does this mean for you?

The downside of 2D CAD design centres on prototyping, which also apply to paper sketches and drawings. While 2D tools cannot easily validate designs, 2D CAD developments make it simpler to leverage concept design data later in the development cycle. By using integrated 2D and 3D tools, it means you can utilise all the benefits of 2D as part of your concept design work, before transferring the data to your 3D tool for the next stage.

Want to know more about how advances in CAD technology are impacting on design work? Download the CAD revolution Creo ebook for all the latest industry developments.

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