Two Interesting Insights From ‘CAD Trends’ Survey

Updated Apr 14, 2017
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A recent survey looking at CAD trends has revealed some interesting and sometimes surprising thoughts users have surrounding CAD technology. Research group Business Advantage’s ‘CAD Trends’ is an annual survey which aims to help the CAD industry better understand how CAD software is being used, and improve the experience for the hundreds of thousands of people for whom CAD is central to the work they do every day.

While the survey was wide reaching, we’ve spotted a couple of points we think highlight some important things about the way CAD is used.

2D Drafting as Important as Ever

Over the last few years, most of the headlines surrounding CAD have been related to 3D printing. Allowing you to create real, usable versions of your designs in record time, 3D printing is seen by many as the future of manufacturing in all kinds of fields—especially now that it has overcome some of its initial hurdles, with multi-material, multicolor 3D printing now a reality. While this technology is undeniably exciting, and offers unique and theoretically limitless opportunities for design, CAD users seem to still think 2D drafting is the most important application for CAD software.

Over two thirds of respondents to the survey reported that, for them, 2D drafting was still highly important for their work. Breaking down the figures shows how 34% employ CAD software to develop both 2D drawings and 3D models, while a whopping 39% CAD software exclusively for 2D drawings. These figures should come as little surprise to those who understand the far reaching uses of CAD software, which sees anyone from kitchen interior designers to fire safety planners developing 2D designs.

With 2D still at the forefront of CAD usage, Scan2CAD’s image converting software is a central pillar for aiding designers get the best results they can.

Better CAD/CAM Integration

Despite the clear tendency toward 2D applications for CAD, ease of development of final products is an important factor to many users. With a huge increase in the use of CAM (computer aided manufacture) software over the last year – estimated at 39% – it’s clear that the relationship between CAD and CAM has never been more important.

Of those planning to use CAM, 60% of the respondents to the survey spoke of the need for greater integration between CAD and CAM software, so that machining instructions could be created more easily. The journey from ideas to finished products is never smooth, but these results yet again demonstrate the CAD industry’s responsibility for making the process run as smoothly as possible.

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