Computer-Aided Design (CAD) Definition/Meaning:
The application of computer technology to the design of a
product, or the design itself. A computer-aided design uses as
inputs both the appropriate technical knowledge of individuals who
enter design criteria, edit results, and otherwise test and modify
the design, and also accumulated information from libraries of
standards for components, element sizes, regulations, etc., e.g.
standard ICs for a digital design system, standard pipe lengths and
fittings for a hydraulic or piping system.
Processing of the data from the inputs takes place in at least
(a) certain interactive programs are invoked by the technical
designer during the
design process, these results being generally displayed on a VDU;
(b) programs are applied that may take considerable periods of
running time to analyze tolerances, clearances, electrical
characteristics, etc., the results of these runs being displayed
back to the technical designer.
Output from a computer-aided design system consists of printouts
of specifications and other information, and machine-readable files
that are passed to computer-aided
manufacturing (CAM) systems and
computer-aided testing (CAT) systems.
Examples of output to a CAM system are computer-produced artwork for
printed circuit boards, or computer-produced tapes for automatic
component insertion and board drilling.