Book of the Week: CAD Engineering Essentials

By on September 4th, 2018 in book

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 CAD Engineering Essentials [Source: Amazon]
CAD Engineering Essentials [Source: Amazon]

This week’s selection is CAD Engineering Essentials: Hands-on Help for Small Manufacturers and Smart Technical People (No Nonsense Manual Book 3) by Mark Lynch.

Lynch has produced a number of inexpensive and highly rated eBooks that relate to manufacturing and engineering, with this one specifically looking at CAD as it relates to small manufacturers.

The proposition of this book is that CAD has typically been used by larger enterprises for many years, and one reason for that is the expense of doing so. Costs for CAD software and in particular the hefty PCs on which to run that software were affordable for only larger operations.

Now that’s changing in that not only has the price of powerful PCs come down, but also there are plenty of powerful 3D CAD software options available. In some cases, CAD vendors are now providing their software via cloud systems that eliminate the need for fancy PCs; you can even run some of them on tablets and design with your fingers.

These changes enable lesser manufacturing operations the opportunity to get deeper into 3D CAD for their product designs. But in many cases, it’s troublesome because CAD is complex and it can be a new thing for many businesses.

The objective of this book is to attempt to overcome those barriers by introducing 3D CAD to the small business audience in a way that makes sense and shows how it can be successfully applied to a particular business.

In the Introduction, Lynch explains the potential benefits:

  • Do you want to get more out of your 3D CAD software by doing what the best performing engineers and manufacturers do? 

  • Maybe you’ve wanted to get into this for a while and are considering implementing 3D CAD, perhaps making the leap from 2D?

  • Alternatively, do you want to benefit by fully exploring 3D data in other areas, like CAM, tooling and inspection or perhaps 3D printing? 

This shows the problem: big companies have tons of experience in this area, while small companies do not. It would seem that a good strategy for a small company could be to hire a new staff member that originates in a more experienced CAD operation. Or one could start by simply reading this book.

The short book contains these sections:

  • Why CAD Engineering Is Essential For Small Manufacturing Businesses
  • The Benefits Of 3D CAD And Digital Engineering; Full Integration In The Product Development And Manufacturing Process
  • Why 3D CAD? Investmetn Justification For Small Manufacturers
  • CAD Software Evaluation And Selection
  • 3D CAD Implementations 
  • 3D Printing (Additive Manufacturing)
  • Making It Happen: CAD Engineering Action Plan

One of the most useful features could be the software evaluation and selection chapter. The number of CAD systems available today is higher than ever, and you really get only one chance to pick one, because the effort of acquiring it, learning it and integrating it into a business is so huge you don’t want to do it again.

Thus selection is very important. CAD tools are typically specialized towards particular types of designs and selecting the wrong package could generate a needlessly complex situation. There are also the factors of other features and certainly price to consider as well.

The book follows a very clear and easy to read, step-by-step approach that should be understandable by any small business leader.

Via Amazon

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!