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Episode 52 – Why Design? Why CAD? 2D vs. 3D

This Post is primarily a podcast and attempts to answer several general questions about CAD. Why design? How does it help you? Why CAD and not pencil and paper? Why 2D CAD and not 3D CAD?

Designing things before building them does several things. First and foremost, it requires you to think through possible problems.  Often, it allows you to change and improve the design before you have purchased the single bit of material.  After the design is complete  you will be able to accurately estimate the material needed and once the inspiration become perspiration, you will be able to quickly proceed through the work.

CAD is usually an improvement over pencil and paper because the design can proceed much quicker because elements can be easily copied.  However, the greatest advantage is the design can be modified and improved much more quickly.

One advantage of designing that was not mentioned in the audio, is you may very well discover some of the things you have not thought about and do not know.  For example on the above drawing, the floor joists on the 2nd floor were not big enough.  If the design was not drawn, the question would not have been asked or thought about.  (By the way – since this design was only for our own use, the design drawing was not updated but the final design was.)

The only place where I have seen 3D CAD actually used is two ways.  It is used in real design in places where there might be tight clearance problems and this allows making sure equipment and people have access.  The second use is in “razzle-dazzle” marketing and animation sequences where manufacturers want to show off equipment designs.  The time and expense is usually not worth it to produce actual working drawings.  This is especially the case for designs for the home craftsman.

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