CAD systems are application systems for computer-aided development, design and construction technology. Computer Aided Design (CAD) refers to all systems, processes and techniques for computer-aided development and design using special computer workstations.
This includes applications for the development of electrical and electronic circuits, the layout and masking of printed circuit boards, as well as those for mechanical design. The former applications are classified as Electrical CAD (ECAD), the latter as Mechanical CAD (MCAD).
The CAD workstations have special CAD programs for design with dimensions, modeling and construction of two- and three-dimensional models. They work with databases in which standardized design elements are stored. CAD systems can be used for the design and calculation of objects, for the creation, modification and output as well as for the documentation and storage of the construction drawings.
In addition to the keyboard and computer mouse, graphic input devices include a graphics tablet, which performs the function of the drawing table, and possibly 2D and 3D scanners. Screens and plotters are available for output. CAD programs are used for graphical-interactive creation and editing of two-dimensional design plans and for model building using 3D graphics, such as 3D meshes. The 3D models are available as wireframe models, surface models and solid models. CAD programs support rotation of models to view them from different perspectives; they can also display models in different material structures. Computer-aided design is a subarea of computer-aided engineering( CAE).