History of Cad

By: deep raj

Designers have long used computers for their calculations. Initial developments were carried out

in the 1960s within the aircraft and automotive industries in the area of 3D surface construction

and NC programming, most of it independent of one another and often not publicly published until

much later. Some of the mathematical description work on curves was developed in the early 1940s

by Isaac Jacob Schoenberg, Apalatequi (Douglas Aircraft) and Roy Liming (North American

Aircraft), however probably the most important work on polynomial curves and sculptured surface

was done by Pierre Bezier (Renault), Paul de Casteljau (Citroen), Steven Anson Coons (MIT, Ford),

James Ferguson (Boeing), Carl de Boor (GM), Birkhoff (GM) and Garabedian (GM) in the 1960s and W.

Gordon (GM) and R.

It is argued that a turning point was the development of SKETCHPAD system in MIT in 1963 by Ivan

Sutherland (who later created a graphics technology

company with Dr. David Evans). The distinctive feature of SKETCHPAD was that it allowed the

designer to interact with his computer graphically: the design can be fed into the computer by

drawing on a CRT monitor with a light pen. Effectively, it was a prototype of graphical user

interface, an indispensable feature of modern CAD.

First commercial applications of CAD were in large

companies in the automotive and aerospace industries, as well as in electronics. Only large

corporations could afford the computers capable of performing the calculations. Notable company

projects were at GM (Dr. Patrick J.Hanratty) with DAC-1 (Design Augmented by Computer) 1964;

Lockhead projects; Bell GRAPHIC 1 and at Renault (Bezier) - UNISURF 1971 car body design and


One of the most influential events in the development of CAD was the founding of MCS

(Manufacturing and Consulting Services Inc.) in 1971 by Dr. P. J. Hanratty[7], who wrote the

system ADAM (Automated Drafting And Machining) but more importantly supplied code to companies

such as McDonnell Douglas (Unigraphics), Computervision (CADDS), Calma, Gerber, Autotrol and

Control Data.

As computers became more affordable, the application areas have gradually expanded. The

development of CAD software for personal desk-top computers was the impetus for almost

universal application in all areas of construction.

Other key points in the 1960s and 1970s would be the foundation of CAD systems United Computing,

Intergraph, IBM, Intergraph IGDS in 1974 (which led to Bentley MicroStation in 1984)

CAD implementations have evolved dramatically since then. Initially, with 2D in the 1970s, it was

typically limited to producing drawings similar to hand-drafted drawings. Advances in programming

and computer hardware, notably solid modeling in the 1980s, have allowed more versatile

applications of computers in design activities.

Key products for 1981 were the solid modelling

packages -Romulus (ShapeData) and Uni-Solid (Unigraphics) based on PADL-2 and the release of the

surface modeler CATIA (Dassault Systemes). Autodesk was founded 1982 by John Walker, which led to

the 2D system AutoCAD. The next milestone was the release of Pro/ENGINEER in 1988, which

heralded greater usage of feature-based modeling methods and parametric linking of the parameters

of features. Also of importance to the development of CAD was the development of the B-rep solid

modeling kernels (engines for manipulating geometrically and topologically consistent 3D objects)

Parasolid (ShapeData) and ACIS (Spatial Technology Inc.) at the end of the 1980s and beginning of

the 1990s, both inspired by the work of Ian Braid. This led to the release of mid-range packages

such as SolidWorks in 1995, SolidEdge (Intergraph) in 1996, and IronCAD in 1998. Today CAD is one

of the main tools used in designing products.


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