CIRP Encyclopedia of Production Engineering

2019 Edition
| Editors: Sami Chatti, Luc Laperrière, Gunther Reinhart, Tullio Tolio

Computer-Aided Design

  • Eric LuttersEmail author
Reference work entry




Computer-aided design (CAD) is the use of a wide range of computer-based tools that assist engineers, architects, and other design professionals in their design activities. It is the main geometry authoring tool within the product life cycle management process and involves both software and sometimes special-purpose hardware. Current packages range from 2D vector-based drafting systems to 3D parametric surface and solid design modelers.

Theory and Application

CAD is used in a variety of ways within engineering companies. At its simplest level, it is a 2D wireframe package that is used to create engineering drawings. This has, however, over the last decades, been overtaken by 3D parametric feature-based modeling. Component forms are created either using freeform surface modeling or solid modeling or a hybrid of the two. These individual components are then assembled into a 3D representation of the final product; this is called bottom-up design.

These assembly...

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Copyright information

© CIRP 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Engineering Technology, Department of Design, Production and ManagementUniversity of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands

Section editors and affiliations

  • Eric Lutters
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Twente, Faculty of Engineering Technology Laboratory of Design, Production and ManagementEnschedeThe Netherlands