Computer-aided design (CAD)

Computer-aided design, or CAD, primarily refers to the use of design applications on computer systems to assist in the:

  • creation;
  • analysis; and/or
  • optimisation

of a structure.

It is used extensively in many environments and increasingly is also used in the production and support of an idea, model or prototype.

But CAD is not just about designing: it strongly promotes the principles of collaborative work and knowledge-sharing in the built environment. CAD has recently gained a lot of attention due to BIM, 3D printing and the increase in construction projects around the world. Yet it’s still seen as a relatively specialised skill – and is one that is highly beneficial to individuals and organisations.

Beginning with an overview of the terrain, this section discusses qualifications and training appropriate to CAD, as well as recent developments in the field.

This section is maintained by Rachel Moan, a Chartered Management Consultancy Surveyor at Cheshire West and Chester Council.