Imagine being able to walk through your new home or office building, go into every room, try out different colors on the walls or make changes to the design – before it’s even built. It sounds pretty amazing, and it is. That is the world of CAD (Computer-Aided Design) drafting.

Not too long ago you would find the designer or architect bent over a drafting table using a pencil, ruler and eraser, slowly drafting every detail by hand. Today’s designers use sleek, super-fast computers and CAD software systems that can quickly and perfectly create, edit, then display finished projects in breathtaking 3-D computer renderings.

There are other software systems with similar acronyms, but they are essentially the same application with subtle differences in function. Two of these other systems, CADD (Computer-Aided Design and Drafting) and CAID (Computer-Aided Industrial Design) are the most commonly used.

From the minute you get up in the morning, almost everything you will see or touch or use during the day had its beginnings as a CAD drafting project on a computer somewhere. Your car and every part in it, your electronics, furniture, your home and office, even your deodorant jar and the packages your food comes in were more than likely drafted using CAD.

CAD drafting is now used in all phases of design across all industries. Specific industries have developed specialized applications of CAD systems.

One of the major advantages – and one of the biggest payoffs – of CAD drafting today, is the reduction in design time and therefore the amount of money it can save on a project. In manufacturing, CAD drafting helps keep design costs down which translates into cost savings for the consumer.

In residential or commercial design the amount of time saved can be enormous. As an example, let’s say you are looking for a designer or architect to design your home. The designer can create a design: (a) from scratch based on your idea or concept; (b) from photos of actual houses; or (c) based on a previous design which can be easily modified in CAD.

CAD design companies will typically have many different home or building designs available to choose from. It is easy for a client to look through the designs then select one they like. They can use the design as-is or easily customize it to their own tastes. Clients can even take design elements from different projects and combine them to create an entirely new home or building. The possibilities are endless.

Making small changes to a CAD design- for instance, moving walls, windows or even whole rooms- typically takes minutes or hours, not days. This would have been a huge and very expensive task in the days before CAD drafting.

There are many CAD design companies that can serve your residential or commercial design needs and many of them offer complete project management as well as design and drafting of the project.

CAD drafting will no doubt continue to evolve and become more powerful, and remain next to the computer as one of the most important technological developments of our age.