Mechanical drafting is the art of creating 3D models with CAD or computer aided drafting and design. These computer programs design 3D models which can be read by CNC machines and other manufacturing equipment. Mechanical drafters use special programs designed specifically for designing mechanical parts. Mechanical drafting itself is oriented towards the development of machine parts and components. These files upon completion are ready to take to the manufacturer for production.
CAD has been around for years now, and is the new standard way of creating technical drawings. Some of these types of drawings include mechanical, architecture, civil, electric, MEP, and any other type of technical drafting. CAD is essentially a computer program where a CAD designer inputs information to achieve a desired design. It uses three axis as compared to two in a two dimensional drawing. X,Y, and Z represent the length, width, and depth, This is the primary difference between 2D and 3D. Once a 3D model is created it can be viewed from any angle which is a huge advantage over 2D. The design can be evaluated better, and edited at any time.
CNC machines manufacture a large amount of mechanical parts, and CAD software can tell these machines exactly what to create from the information in a CAD file. Several other ways of manufacturing use CAD to develop their product. Injection molds for plastic and other materials can be designed with CAD. Also fiberglass, and carbon fiber molds are created with CAD. These are just a few examples of what CAD does, and the list goes on and on. Just about anything around you including the computer your reading this on was developed with CAD software.
Every type of CAD software program is different. In mechanical drafting for example, it has incorporated commands for drilling, cutting, extruding, threading, chamfering, and so on. These built in commands allow the design process to go much more smoothly, and for the design to be developed more efficiently. Some architectural CAD programs have features for building walls, windows, doors, and other objects in 3D already. 2D is out the window, and the only way to do it is in 3D. Not all programs are this advanced, and there’s always going to be the people out there who swear by 2D, but when it comes to it 3D models have way more advantages than 2D.
CAD files are so much more versatile, and flexible than the old blueprints. You can transfer these files instantly to a customer through email. Also when an adjustment or update needs to take place, the CAD designer can simply open the file, and make the change. If they want they can print up thousands of blueprints overtime, and the file can be saved to your computer, flash drive, or online in a secure file. With these technological advancements in the mechanical drafting field, anything imagined can be designed.