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Beyond “CAD” - Applications of Intelligent CAD Systems

Learn how intelligent CAD applications can be used to drive business.

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Beyond “CAD” - Applications of Intelligent CAD Systems


For many users, “CAD” can seem a reasonably cut-and-dried phrase. Like the drawing boards of the 1980s, CAD systems can give the impression of being representational tools only, showcasing dumb lines and colours. However, this way of thinking overlooks the possibility of CAD software, or more specifically intelligent CAD systems, as an innovation centre within the wider business operation. 

Having been in the CAD game for over 35 years, Cadlogic is well aware of the business applications of intelligent CAD… especially when paired with wider business processes and systems. In this post, we’ll showcase some examples of intelligent CAD applications and benefits within sectors like construction and manufacturing as a strategic tool to drive business goals directly.

Maximising Construction Sales with CAD Software 

The obvious use case for CAD within the construction industry is the initial design and visualisation of the built environment. But how could CAD system software be used for another aspect of the value chain, e.g., Sales?

Let’s take the example of a building materials vendor. Traditionally, the vendor would receive a model, some drawings, or simply a specification of the required structural element. The vendor would then attempt to fit their products to the specifications needed by applying their engineering procedures and putting together a quote. In each case, this requires manual work from the vendor.

In some cases, this may even be part of a tender, meaning this overhead may not guarantee a sale. The vendor trying to “fit” such materials to the design may experience further complexity when a more optimal use of materials might be achieved through a tweak to the design itself. This may further reduce the chances of getting the sale.

Imagine the vendor invested in an intelligent CAD system that it supplies to the developer directly. The system allows the developer to make detailed designs and costing for the materials provided by the vendor. 

For developers, such a tool is an attractive asset as it allows them to optimise these areas of their designs using pre-programmed engineering rules and to see accurate costing estimates through an iterative process. However, for vendors, this serves as a powerful sales tool, greatly increasing the chance of a sale while cutting the overhead to reach that sale. 

Cadlogic has provided several tools like this to its clients in the Construction sector and beyond. Applying intelligent CAD as a strategic tool in an innovative sales cycle leads to a strong competitive advantage. 

Benefits of the intelligent CAD system for construction include:

  • Reduction of overhead through automated design software and engineering of materials,
  • Vast reduction of sales cycle through automated schedules and pricing, and quick-order processes,
  • Grow stronger partnership with clients through closer collaboration and grow sales pipeline through attractive asset offerings,
  • Greater flexibility within the design process through tech ownership.

Manufacturing Solutions with Integrated CAD Systems

In manufacturing, CAD drawings or models serve as the starting point for production. In the case of made-to-order, such models may need to be created from specifications or details from a customer order reference, which may take time and effort to reach with standard tools. 

In other cases, they may be passed directly to the manufacturer from the client. Whether it's a simple AutoCAD drawing or a more complex Solidworks model, the manufacturer must deconstruct the design into parts that are readable to their production equipment, e.g., cutting lists. 

In each case, the design is often passed along the production lifecycle manually, with each stakeholder taking what is needed and making the necessary tweaks, often in silos. The typical production lifecycle, therefore, has a “disconnected” process, and the standardised CAD tools act merely as the medium to view the relevant production information, despite being integral to the entire lifecycle. 

While this process may “do the job,” it is hardly optimised, further presents obstacles to scalability and flexibility, and, of course, accentuates the possibility of human error. 

Implementing an intelligent CAD system can significantly reduce design errors in manufacturing, as well as unlock the ability to scale up operations. Such a system would allow the manufacturer to position the CAD design as a centralised and continuously integral part of the operational chain:

First of all, parametric drafting methods may be introduced to provide user-friendly inputs and UIs that cater for repetitive forms and designs, saving time. 

Using the same input methods, intelligent data can then be applied to the specific parts of the drawing such that they no longer act as simple graphical lines and shapes but also carry information about their assembly, production order, or even production status.

This approach allows an intelligent CAD tool to integrate with existing processes easily. For example, cutting lists and machine instructions may be automatically created, and tailored reports and assembly instructions may be automatically passed to different stakeholders along the chain. 

Further, existing systems, such as production management tools, can be updated based on the status and stage of the production, including sending automated notifications to stakeholders regarding their pending tasks.

Even beyond the immediate operation, further integration can take place to drive a connection with the wider management and business processes around the production. For example, the system can be integrated with CRM tools (Customer Relationship Management software) and SCM tools (Supply Chain Management software) to directly connect them to the design and production, allowing advanced planning both upwards and downwards in the process.

Once again, such an application of intelligent CAD transforms and integrates the entire production lifecycle digitally, using the design itself as the central source of reference as it is meant to be and removing the risk of error along the way. 

Benefits of an intelligent CAD system for manufacturing include:

  • Improved design capability with tailored templates and drafting methods,
  • Integration of workflow across all stages providing smoother operations with greater visibility,
  • Reduction of human error within the production lifecycle,
  • Greater planning capability and scalability of operations.

Discover Cadlogic’s case study of intelligent CAD systems in the manufacturing sector here.

If you’d like to learn how intelligent CAD systems can transform your business, get in contact with us. We'll see what we can do to help.