Computer-aided design (CAD) is the use of computer systems to assist in the creation, modification, analysis, or optimization of a design. CAD software is used to increase the productivity of the designer, improve the quality of design, improve communications through documentation, and to create a database for manufacturing. CAD output is often in the form of electronic files for print, machining, or other manufacturing operations.Computer-aided design is used in many fields. Its use in designing electronic systems is known as electronic design automation, or EDA. In mechanical design it is known as Civil design automation (CDA) or computer-aided drafting (CAD), which includes the process of creating a technical drawing with the use of computer software.CAD may be used to design curves and figures in two-dimensional (2D) space; or curves, surfaces, and solids in three-dimensional (3D) space.Computer-aided design is one of the many tools used by engineers and designers and is used in many ways depending on the profession of the user and the type of software in question.CAD is one part of the whole Digital Product Development (DPD) activity within the Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) processes, and as such is used together with other tools, which are either integrated modules or stand-alone products, such as:
- Computer-aided engineering (CAE) and Finite element analysis (FEA)
- Document management and revision control using Product Data Management (PDM).
- Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) including instructions to Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines
- Photo realistic rendering