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3D Modeling & CAD for Motorsport: What is CAD?

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What is CAD?


00:00 - CAD stands for computer aided design, and as you can probably guess by the name, it refers to computers being used to assist in the design process.
00:08 Originally developed to increase the productivity of the designer, by leveraging the processing speed of the computer, CAD software allows the user to digitally model real world parts and assemblies.
00:21 From a basic standpoint, this allows the designer to visualise their design by getting it out of their head and into the model space, in the form of anything from basic 2D drawings to 3D models with complex surfaces and features.
00:36 The models are constructed from a collection of bodies or features that are generated from the tools available in the software.
00:45 The sketch tool seen here for example is used to create a cross section on a plane and then the extrude tool can be used to turn this 2D profile into a 3D body.
00:55 By digitally creating these models we can far better understand the design, how it will function and how it might interact with other components and surfaces around it.
01:03 CAD isn't just about creating a model though, that's just one of the first steps.
01:07 Thanks to the power of modern CAD software and its inbuilt analysis tools, a model can be used extensively to better understand your design.
01:16 By inputting a few material properties like density for example, we can quickly find the mass of a part which we all know is a crucial factor in motorsport.
01:25 Motion analysis is another important aspect of CAD that can be really useful for automotive mechanical systems.
01:32 By creating assemblies with fixtures or joints to simulate their real life constraints, we can understand how they will move together, answering questions like how far can a suspension part move before it contacts another part? Or what is the motion ratio between the spring and the wheel? Some CAD programs also integrate what's called finite element analysis or FEA for short.
01:55 This is used to simulate how model will respond when subject to real world loads under given conditions.
02:02 Although FEA is a fairly advanced method and not particularly useful without sound engineering knowledge, it's still very good to know how it works and with that in mind, we will be discussing it later in the course.
02:14 The speed at which a user can modify models in CAD allows for much faster optimisation of the design when compared to freehand drafting or creating and modifying prototypes.
02:24 If we consider hand drafting technical drawings, the scale and placement of view of the sheet and the actual component design needs to be determined before the drawing is even created.
02:35 Whereas with CAD, these aspects can be adjusted as required while creating the final draft.
02:41 Software like Fusion 360 helps us quickly generate technical drawings of our designs and produce files for manufacturing methods like 3D printing, laser cutting, CNC milling and more.
02:52 As with most computer based technology, CAD is developing rapidly and will only become a more and more commonly used tool in the automotive and motorsport space as time goes on.
03:03 To summarise, here are the key points from this module that are worth remembering.
03:07 Computer aided design is a method of using computer software to digitally model real world parts and assemblies.
03:14 CAD allows us to create, modify, analyse and optimise our designs with increased speed, accuracy and documentation.
03:22 It's revolutionised the design process and has quickly become an invaluable tool to anyone who takes the time to learn and understand it.

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