Why CAD is Important for Your Product Design | MAKO Design + Invent

CAD and Why It’s Important for Your Design

At MAKO Design + Invent, we believe that it is incredibly important for our clients to fully understand and have complete transparency regarding all of the processes that go into producing exceptional new product designs and realizing their invention ideas.

When creating new products and innovative hardware designs, a key step is moving from a generic idea or sketch to a fully designed CAD model. Inventors unfamiliar with industrial design principles and processes may not know what a CAD model is or why it is essential in product development.

If you plan on inventing a product and hope to see it come to life, you will undoubtedly become acquainted with CAD product design. This article provides an introduction to this core process by defining CAD, explaining why it is important to your design, and highlighting the primary benefits it affords.

What is CAD, and Why is it Important for Your Design?

Once a designer is given a concrete idea of the product a client would like to create and the solution it should provide, they spend a great deal of time brainstorming how the product will look and function. After they have developed a few sketches in which they are confident, they move from simple concept sketching to creating CAD product design models.

CAD stands for Computer-Aided Design. As the name implies, it is essentially the use of computers and specific types of software to develop realistic models of a new product. CAD is an important part of the design process because it allows designers to visualize invention ideas in 2D or 3D to discern the specific measurements and required components needed to develop the first prototype.

Using CAD software, designers calculate the precise dimensions of each geometric aspect of the product design, how they will work together, and what materials should be used to optimize the design’s functionality, usability, and durability for its intended use. This step becomes far more complicated if a product design includes both mechanical and electronic parts.

Below is a list of some of the best reasons why using CAD is exceptionally critical when designing a new product.

The Benefits of Using CAD for Your Product Design

Higher Quality Designs

One of the primary reasons CAD is a popular and preferred method for creating designs in the product development and engineering fields is that it allows for the development of high-quality designs.

This is mainly due to the fact that CAD product design software makes it far easier to create designs with fewer errors and are more comprehensively thought through. Rather than solely relying on the designer or engineer’s mathematical abilities and comprehension of physics, complex calculations are performed by the software and can then be validated by the designer.

CAD also produces more accurate designs because the software includes an abundance of helpful tools and features, like 3D rotation! This enables designers to view and refine a product design from all angles, as well as clearly communicate the technical details of the design to the client.

Essentially, CAD software provides designers with all of the requisite tools needed to produce designs that are precise, properly scaled, as close to error-free as possible, and, thus, of a higher quality.

Increased Productivity

Hands down, one of the most impactful benefits of using CAD in product design is the definite increase in productivity. Although concept sketching on paper is still a step most designers and engineers complete early on in the product development process, using CAD software to develop more refined designs helps them save a ton of time.

In comparison to traditional methods, CAD software allows for edits or substantial changes to be made seamlessly, as well as the development of far more designs in a shorter period of time. A designer could produce a few variations of a product design using CAD in the same time it would take to produce one polished design on paper.

The extra precise calculations this type of software enables also streamlines the product design process, as less errors means less time spent reworking a design!

Easier to Read & Communicate Through

When developing a product, it is always important to have clear and consistent communication between the designer, engineer, and inventor. While designers and engineers have an advanced understanding of how design and functionality come together to make a working product – due to their experience and knowledge – it might not be as clear to the inventor.

Fortunately, CAD plays a critical role here in allowing the design team to communicate the aesthetics and core aspects of the product design, in addition to the functionality, to the inventor in a far clearer manner in comparison to if they were to try to communicate this information through drawings on paper.

Improved Internal Collaboration

Working with a big team of designers is always exciting for inventors! They get to receive a wider variety of perspectives and ideas and draw on a wider set of skills for the development of their product design. However, as we previously mentioned, communication is key.

If a team of designers are working together to create your product design, it is important that everyone is aware of the processes being followed by their teammates and any critical discoveries made. CAD product design software once again streamlines this process by making it easier for designers to share design files and collaborate.

The software also typically tracks the history of changes made to design files so designers can see what their fellow designers have added or changed and the direction the design is headed in!

Design Documentation

The final key advantage of using CAD in product design is that designs produced by CAD software are great for communicating design features to manufacturers due to the comprehensive documentation it allows for.

The software houses all of the data pertaining to how the product will be manufactured, including models of the product and each component it is made of, materials that will be used in the design, and how the parts should function together.

CAD’s enablement of design documentation is not only important because it facilitates communication between manufacturers and the design team, but also because designers can save and draw on design data for certain components when developing future designs that require the same parts. They don’t need to repeat design processes, which boosts information access and productivity.

Conclusions on CAD

It’s important to stay informed about all aspects of product design when entering the world of inventing as an inventor or startup. Understanding what CAD is and why CAD is important for product design will overall allow for a more streamlined and communicative product development process.

By familiarizing yourself with what CAD software can do, you can set clear expectations for what your initial design drafts will look like and include, and collaboration between the designers and engineers working on your project and yourself will be seamless.

The high-quality features and capabilities of CAD software have definite advantages over traditional methods of developing product designs and should be capitalized on!

If you have a great new invention and you’d like to learn more about this process, get in touch with MAKO today and visit our website to find out more. Or feel free to give us a call at 1-888-806-MAKO, and we can set you up on a call with our product strategist!

About: MAKO Design + Invent is the original firm providing world-class consumer product development services tailored to startups, small manufacturers, and inventors. Simply put, we are the leading one-stop-shop for developing your physical product from idea to store shelves, all in a high-quality, cost-effective, and timely manner. We operate as one powerhouse 30-person product design team spread across 4 offices to serve you (Austin, Miami, San Francisco, & Toronto). We have full-stack in-house industrial designmechanical engineeringelectrical engineeringpatent referralprototyping, and manufacturing services. To assist our startup and inventor clients, in addition to above, we help with business strategy, product strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. Also, our founder Kevin Mako hosts The Product Startup Podcast, the industry's leading hardware podcast. Check it out for tips, interviews, and best practices for hardware startups, inventors, and product developers. Click HERE to learn more about MAKO Design + Invent!

1 Comment

  1. Jane Arnold

    2023-07-12 at 7:29 am

    Essential tool! CAD empowers design creativity.


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