Computer-aided design (CAD) has become a standard design tool for engineers and architects. Once used only for 2D drawing, developers have since created a way to add a third dimension to designs.
While 2D and 3D CAD software are both still needed to bring new innovations to life, more engineers turn to 3D CAD for complex applications.
Read on for a refresher on the key differences between 2D and 3D CAD and why engineers and architects most commonly prefer designing in 3D.
The Benefits and Drawbacks of Designing with 2D CAD
Whether you’re facing tight deadlines or designing single components with basic geometries, 2D CAD allows you to draw quicker and with ease. 2D CAD is ideal for projects that don’t necessarily require the functionality of a 3D application, as it can only be used to draw two-dimensional objects. The software is supported on nearly every computer, making it easily accessible to any designer of any skill level.
Engineers and architects can design plans, sections and elevations using 2D CAD software. However, they must manually update each section view whenever you change a portion of your design, which can be time-consuming and cause errors. Additionally, while certain 3D aspects can be designed using 2D CAD software, rendering capabilities are not available for these programs. As a result, designers must take an additional step to export their design into a separate program before they can render.
For many engineers, these drawbacks reduce productivity and impact profitability, which has led to an industry-wide shift to 3D CAD software.
The Industry-Wide Shift to 3D CAD Design
The days of manually updating your designs are over. Today, more engineers and architects turn to 3D CAD to mitigate the risk of human error and improve design accuracy. As users change components in 3D CAD software, 2D drawings are created and all other components are automatically updated to accommodate your alterations.
Similar to 2D, 3D CAD software enables you to design up to 45 percent faster and gives you a competitive advantage in the market. Additionally, engineers can design accurate models that can be easily transformed into physical products or prototypes. 3D CAD software also allows engineers to build realistic models and view designs from multiple vantage points by simply rotating objects. Unlike 2D CAD, designs can be rendered within your 3D CAD application to reduce production time and boost efficiency.
The only challenge that comes with 3D CAD software is the cost, which can run higher than 2D CAD software depending on the vendor. 3D CAD programs also often require a higher-performing computer. Luckily, the prices of both forms of CAD have dropped, making both more affordable and accessible by engineers of any level.
In all, 3D CAD often offers greater functionality, making it the preferred form of CAD for architects and engineers alike.
Enhance Your 3D Designs with the CadMouse Wireless
Whether you're working in 2D or 3D CAD, one of the best ways to ensure precision and accuracy is by using the new CadMouse Wireless. The CadMouse Wireless has all of the same features as the popular CadMouse—but with added mobility.
Its ergonomic design enhances comfort and offers you a dedicated middle mouse button and intelligent scroll wheel. This helps cut back on wrist pain and strain while reducing the number of clicks. It provides effortless precision due to its optimized 7.200 dpi optical sensor and a constant tactile feedback for smooth mouse movement. Despite its performance, you can work up to 2 months without charging and easily connect via Universal Receiver, Bluetooth or USB-cable.