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Concurrent Engineering Blog

Three major CAD trends that you need to know about for 2021

Posted by Concurrent Engineering on 19-Jan-2021 09:45:00

Making end of year predictions will be slightly trickier this year, but our CAD experts have put together a quick rundown of the three trends they think will be vital for your success in 2021. 

1. Simulation will be a necessity, not a luxury.

One of the most significant predictions for 2021 is that simulation will be seen as a ‘need to have’ rather than a ‘nice to have’. This is something that we need to prepare for to help us get ahead of the game. Cost and efficiency are not the only reasons we need to get ahead - manufacturers view innovation as a powerhouse for impressive business results. COVID-19 restrictions have meant that many engineers cannot get into their labs for work, so this has also formed an unexpected need for simulation, that will undoubtedly carry on into 2021. 


2. Artificial intelligence and Generative Design - Vital tools for design

Artificial intelligence sounds buzzwordy; it’s a phrase thrown around a lot in 2020 but used correctly; it’s a crucial asset for getting ahead. Generative design is all about co-designing using AI; they build on each other and bring the technology to a point where it’s embedded in the company approach. 

The big selling point of generative design is that early concept design, or even final designs, are faster and more efficient. You can enter in design constraints, loads, materials and the system will respond with solutions that the user may never have considered—resulting in, higher-quality designs, efficient usage of materials and a positive impact on costs of goods sold. 

In an ideal world, the generative design tool uses the cloud, runs on a world-class engine, and integrates into the CAD software. It benefits the user, allowing them to execute multiple studies concurrently, using expanded compute power. 


3. Model-Based Definition Approach

When a company has a successful digital product model, all enterprise facets can take value from it - not only engineering.

Many companies want to pursue 3D for many reasons. Firstly, they want to avoid duplicating what already exists in 3D in 2D; this mainly prevents 2D and 3D from becoming out of sync. This version controlling isn’t just about saving time but saving the pain of its detrimental effects. 

Most modern manufacturing equipment can integrate directly with 3D. Companies who work off 3D can minimise mistakes because manufacturing can work directly from your 3D model and 3D documentation. When done right, the documentation should provide clear and decisive indications of quality requirements needed, that are harder to interpret in 2D. 

In addition to this, many other activities, such as simulation, manufacturing process development and service instruction development, are all far more successful in 3D by today’s expected standards. 


The challenges we faced in 2020 are here to stay. But, with a modern approach to design and product innovation, it's also an opportunity for companies to accelerate innovation and get ahead. 


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