FreeCAD in action

Computer-aided design (CAD) refers to software used to support design processes in all types of industries. Using CAD software, an entire model can be constructed in an imaginary space. Digital representation in CAD is very similar to real life, making it accurate to a desired level of accuracy. More advanced features of CAD software allow us to run simulations to check for imperfections in the digital representation. CAD software packages exist for almost every professional sector with specialized features and tools for each one. Professional designers and engineers use CAD software for modelling and understanding the functioning of infrastructure, structures, circuits, telecommunication networks, thermodynamics, … Graphic designers use 2D or 3D CAD software to create visualizations …

Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM)

Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) uses numeric control software that encodes automated instructions for a specific machine. CAD and CAM work better when they are integrated because they provide more control over the design and fabrication process. CAM encodes automated instructions for a specific machine, processing the data for manufacturing methods like 3D printing, CNC routing, and engraving.

Are there any disadvantages of using CAD?

Disadvantages of CAD include licensing costs, design & debug time, overhead costs, and expensive hardware. CAD and CAM tools require powerful hardware to perform optimally. Graphics cards are a must-have when talking about CAD, as they directly make visualization possible. Some CAD tools benefit from multiple cores and thus speed up the design process. The use of CAD or CAM takes time, so please check the software requirements in order to choose the right hardware.


Autodesk’s experimental software Dreamcatcher is not only a visualization tool but also a generative design program.