Computer technology has been invaluable for a variety of industries and applications. It has transformed them entirely by ensuring that machines operate quickly and accurately. For example, cutting machines or an induction heating power supply can only work with accurate computer technology and software. Similarly, CAD (Computer Aided Design) technology has completely transformed the world of construction and architecture.
CAD enables construction companies and their architects to design all aspects of buildings, including the foundation and water systems. They can do this relatively quickly while improving their designs, making them efficient and much easier to examine due to 3D design capability. As a result, CAD software is an invaluable tool in construction, without which much of the construction you see around you wouldn’t exist.
But where did this great CAD revolution begin? How did it evolve from what it was before to what it is now? We will provide 5 interesting facts that will shine more light on the CAD revolution.
1-The origins of CAD can be traced to 1957.
CAD software as we know it owes its existence to DAC software. DAC was created in 1957 by Patrick Hanratty, who developed the software while working at General Electric. DAC was the first system at the time that utilized a numerical control programming system alongside interactive graphics. While users did not use this software for construction design, it eventually formed the foundation for developers to build CAD software. After all, CAD software is dependent on accurate programming and interactive graphics.
2- Sketchpad was the first system that allowed users to use the graphical user interface.
The next significant evolution for CAD software came with Sketchpad, created by Ivan Sutherland in 1963. He explained how engineers could use light pens to draw their designs directly on the CRT monitor through this software. This was a massive breakthrough in CAD software, as eventually, CAD systems would use the graphical user interface for all their systems. Even in modern CAD systems for construction, using a computer mouse and graphical user interface is a staple. This can be seen with our Autocad 3D symbols. Architects can use them for amazing 3D drawings.
3- The automotive and aerospace engineering fields first used CAD software.
Initially, CAD software was less readily available than it is now. In fact, CAD software was only used by automotive and aerospace engineers. They required extreme accuracy and the latest technology to ensure their products would operate effectively. These industries were also hyper-competitive and profitable, so they could afford to use this software. Furthermore, their CAD software was specialized in-house to ensure it would fulfill their specific needs.
4- The creation of the ADAM program was an essential evolution in CAD history.
Patrick Hanratty, the creator of the DAC program, also created ADAM in 1971. ADAM was the first commercially available interactive and integrated system that users could use for designing, drafting, and manufacturing. This program was a massive hit after developers upgraded it with more system and machine capabilities. It could eventually even run on 16-bit and 32-bit computers. This software was so crucial that nine in 10 CAD programs have their roots in ADAM.
5- CAD software saw rapid growth in the late 70s and early 80s.
In the early 70s, various 3D programs began to be developed that designers in multiple fields could purchase. This included construction engineers. Eventually, this led to more general design software being available, which could fulfill the needs of various types of designers. This was a massive revolution in CAD, and it exploded in popularity once the late 70s arrived. For the first time, multiple designers and industries could obtain this software and use it to fulfill their needs.
CAD technology is crucial for designers, engineers, and architects and has completely changed how most industries work. The CAD revolution started in 1957 with the creation of the first graphical and numerical control programming system, DAC. After that, the first system to use graphical user interfaces, which is used by all CAD systems, was developed, known as Sketchpad. Initially, CAD systems were only used by aerospace and automotive engineers that made specialized versions. After that, the first commercial CAD system, ADAM, was developed, with nine out of 10 CAD systems originating from it. Eventually, CAD systems exploded in popularity in the late 70s as general CAD software became available to designers.
We hope this article proves insightful and has shown you significant facts about the CAD revolution in construction. Thank you for reading!