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computer-aided design (CAD)the use of COMPUTERS in the DESIGN of new components or products and in the re-design of existing products. Unlike hand drawings, CAD design specifications can be shown on a visual display unit and redrawn to produce different versions of the components or product. CAD can also be linked to computer-aided process planning (CAPP) to determine the best methods by which to manufacture a product. Moreover, a component or product can be subjected to various tests of strength, performance, etc. using computer-aided engineering (CAE) software without having to build prototypes; thus changes in product design can be made quickly and cheaply (see NEW PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT). CAD is particularly useful in designing and classifying components and products used in GROUP TECHNOLOGY production and in FLEXIBLE MANUFACTURING SYSTEMS. See COMPUTER-AIDED MANUFACTURING.
computer-aided design (CAD)
The use of computer software to assist in performing standard architectural and engineering design services. Products range from the most basic shareware home design and landscaping software to sophisticated systems with three-dimensional flyover and walk-through capabilities,project budgeting,and timeline creation.