Difference Between Computer Aided Design And Drafting?


Q: this is a very basic question and before posting it here i searched a hell lot on net but nowhere i could find the exact difference between CAdrafting and CADesign. every site i encountered refers them as CADrafting/Design combined or goes on saying they are commonly referred as CADD..but there ought to be some difference between design and drafting.. so what is the difference between drafting and design??? I myself feel that drafting refers to only sketching and design referes to calculating the dimensions (i.e designing the components using computer)using the integrated material and etc database in the CAD package but since this process is referred to as CAE then what is left for CAD for a definition?? or is design here related to some industrial kind of designing?? i.e only related to the appearance of the model.. is autocad a CADrafting package or CAdesigning package..?

A: -CAD packages can be used for designing whether they be 2D or 3D. And they can all be used for drafting (formal drawings of parts for manufacture and assembly). So think of 99% of them as being Computer Aided Design & Drafting programs. I think what you may be wondering is what CAD packages are better suited for different tasks and that really depends on what your needs are. For instance, if you are going to be doing 2D layouts and formal drawings, AutoCAD would probably be your best choice for numerous reasons. If you are going to be doing 3D modeling of sheet metal parts, molded plastic parts, machined metal parts, etc. and assemblies that consist of less than 10,000 parts then a program like SolidWorks or SolidEdge or Inventor would be a great choice. If you are going to be doing those things on more advanced parts (i.e. aircraft bodies) as well as advanced product lifecycle management then a higher-end CAD package such as Pro/E, Catia or Unigraphics should be considered. Those programs have modules that are specialized to specific types of designing and all can draft drawings as well. There are also other things to consider such as ease of use, initial cost and maintenance cost of software, cost of training, cost of employees, interfacing with suppliers and customers, etc. -The way a major OEM like Boeing defines the difference between design and drafting is that design is performed by an Engineer, this would be the concept design modelling including all major manufacturing features and full 'Fit and Function', the drafting is done by a Techie, who would be given the solids and create the 2d drafting under the Engineers supervision. Of course, payscales are reflected in this setup and the argument of whether this is really an efficient setup of manpower exists. In Europe for example, the Engineer does a 'Cradle to Tombstone' job on the part as this is considered most efficient, it also does not require duplication of labour. Drafters as they were called in England, who were mainly women not trained in engineering, were phased out over 30 years ago. This of course may not equate to Solidworks or the CAD community definition.

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