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Engineering drawing software, like Auto-CAD or Solid Works, enables engineers and drafters to spend more time creating and innovating mechanical or electrical drawings. Most engineering drawing software comes with a library of parts or components ready to drag and drop onto the screen. The importance of engineering drawing software is the time it can save in creating drafts for engineers, scientists, technicians and drafters. Of equal importance is the coherency of the drafts that it can produce. With applications like Solid Works, drafters can create three-dimensional drawings that are more interactive than the older drawing programs. Aside from drawing schematics and blow-up diagrams, engineering drawing software may include flow charts and process diagrams. These types of drawings are done using Microsoft Visio. Some companies have developed entire assembly procedures and parts descriptions for manufacturing using only Visio, and a little bit of programming. Engineering artwork and drafts are often stored and accessed by computer data bases, such as Oracle.
Engineering drawings are usually created in accordance with standardized conventions for layout, nomenclature, interpretation, appearance (such as typefaces and line styles), size, etc. One such standardized convention is called GD&T.
Each field in the Fields of engineering will have its own set of requirements for the producing drawings in terms line weight, symbols, and technical jargon. Some fields of engineering have no GD&T requirements.
The purpose of such a drawing is to accurately and unambiguously capture all the geometric features of a product or a component. The end goal of an engineering drawing is to convey all the required information that will allow a manufacturer to produce that component.
Engineering drawings used to be created by hand using tools such as pencils, ink, straightedges, T-squares, French curves, triangles, rulers, scales, and erasers. Today they are usually done electronically with computer-aided design (CAD).
The drawings are still often referred to as "blueprints" or "bluelines", although those terms are anachronistic from a literal perspective, since most copies of engineering drawings that were formerly made using a chemical-printing process that yielded graphics on blue-colored paper or, alternatively, of blue-lines on white paper, have been superseded by more modern reproduction processes that yield black or multicolour lines on white paper. The more generic term "print" is now in common usage in the U.S. to mean any paper copy of an engineering drawing.
The process of producing engineering drawings, and the skill of producing them, is often referred to as technical drawing or drafting, although technical drawings are also required for disciplines that would not ordinarily be thought of as parts of engineering.
There are a number of engineering drawing software applications. Mechanical computer-aided design software (MCAD) is used primarily by mechanical engineers. Solid Works is one of the most popular mechanical drawing software programs. File formatting is saved in Microsoft Structured Storage. This format includes multiple files nested in one another, including previews, images and metadata files. Those who do the drawing are usually drafters or technical illustrators. Engineers spend more time analyzing drawings and crunching numbers. Graphing/ visualization applications are used to render scientific data into a coherent drawing. Engineers convert data into visual graphs that work with relational databases and reference documents. Graphs and drawings can then be stored in an online analytical processing model (OLAP). OLAP is accessed in multidimensional views by a shared network of scientists, engineers, drafters, and technicians. Tecplot helps engineers draw out dynamic data maps. Tecplot has been used in creating 3D graphs for invisible structures such as magnetic fields and bio-engineering models. Auto CAD is still the most widely used engineering drawing software. Utilizing C++ code allows engineers and drafters to customize CAD objects, resulting in more accurate and flexible drawings. For Mac and Linux, QCAD is the popular engineering drawing software.
1: Mechanical computer aided-design software (MCAD)
Mechanical computer aided-design software (MCAD) is used by machine designers and mechanical engineers to design and develop mechanical systems. MCAD software is also used in architectural and construction applications. Some mechanical computer-aided design software (MCAD) is a simple, two-dimensional (2D) wireframe program for creating engineering drawings or schematics. Other MCAD applications are complex three-dimensional (3D) products for developing accurate and dynamic models. These 3D MCAD applications may also provide different surface-modeling options and animation techniques. Sophisticated mechanical computer aided-design software (MCAD) can also take individual components and assemble them into a proposed design so that users can determine whether the components will work together successfully.
Mechanical computer aided-design software (MCAD) may use a bottom-up or top-down approach. Beginning with a basic drawing and then building more elaborate designs is called bottom-up design. Top-down design approaches involve breaking down an existing product into single components. This approach allows mechanical designers to assess and evaluate the functionality of each individual component before assembling the new final product. Sometimes, MCAD software is used by electrical and electronic engineers for printed circuit board (PCB) design and wiring diagrams. Mechanical computer aided-design software (MCAD) also lends itself to manufacturing by graphically representing the layout of the plant or facility.
Architectural, engineering, and construction (AEC) software is a type of mechanical computer-aided design software (MCAD) with applications for drafting and drawing, visualization, or project management and scheduling. Complex visualization packages allow designers to input sketches or other technical documents such as component drawings from a vendor, maps, or photos. The AEC software operator combines all the relevant pieces to produce drawings, specifications, materials lists, and even schedules for the project. Other specialized AEC software packages may include calculations for the size and strength of materials in a particular building configuration, or the effect of wind and other environmental stresses on a particular structure. Construction engineers may select MCAD software such as AEC applications to produce maps of a proposed site, to help documents based upon property surveys. Mechanical computer aided-design software (MCAD) is designed to run on personal computers (PCs) and often uses the Microsoft Windows or Linux operating systems. Web-based MCAD software is also available.
AutoCAD is a CAD (Computer Aided Design or Computer Aided Drafting) software application for 2D and 3D design and drafting. It was developed and sold by Autodesk, Inc. First released in December 1982, AutoCAD was one of the first CAD programs to run on personal computers, notably the IBM PC. At that time, most other CAD programs ran on mainframe computers or mini-computers which were connected to a graphics computer terminal for each user.
Early releases of AutoCAD used primitive entities - lines, polylines, circles, arcs, and text - to construct more complex objects. Since the mid-1990s, AutoCAD has supported custom objects through its C++ Application Programming Interface (API). Modern AutoCAD includes a full set of basic solid modeling and 3D tools. With the release of AutoCAD 2007 came improved 3D modeling, which meant better navigation when working in 3D. Moreover, it became easier to edit 3D models. The mental ray engine was included in rendering, it was now possible to do quality renderings. AutoCAD 2010 introduced parametric functionality and mesh modeling.
AutoCAD supports a number of APIs for customization and automation. These include AutoLISP, Visual LISP, VBA, .NET and ObjectARX. ObjectARX is a C++ class library, which was also the base for products extending AutoCAD functionality to specific fields, to create products such as AutoCAD Architecture, AutoCAD Electrical, AutoCAD Civil 3D, or third-party AutoCAD-based applications.
AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT are available for English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Russian, Czech, Polish, Hungarian, Brazilian Portuguese, Danish, Dutch, Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian, and Vietnamese. The extent of localization varies from full translation of the product to documentation only. The AutoCAD command set is localized as a part of the software localization.
3:Online analytical processing
In computing, online analytical processing, or OLAP is an approach to swiftly answer multi-dimensional analytical queries. OLAP is part of the broader category of business intelligence, which also encompasses relational reporting and data mining. Typical applications of OLAP include business reporting for sales, marketing, management reporting, business process management (BPM), budgeting and forecasting, financial reporting and similar areas, with new applications coming up, such as agriculture. The term OLAP was created as a slight modification of the traditional database term OLTP (Online Transaction Processing).
Databases configured for OLAP use a multidimensional data model, allowing for complex analytical and ad-hoc queries with a rapid execution time. They borrow aspects of navigational databases and hierarchical databases that are faster than relational databases.
The output of an OLAP query is typically displayed in a matrix (or pivot) format. The dimensions form the rows and columns of the matrix; the measures form the values.
At the core of any OLAP system is the concept of an OLAP cube (also called a 'multidimensional cube' or a hypercube). It consists of numeric facts called measures which are categorized by dimensions. The cube metadata is typically created from a star schema or snowflake schema of tables in a relational database. Measures are derived from the records in the fact table and dimensions are derived from the dimension tables.
Each measure can be thought of as having a set of labels, or meta-data associated with it. A dimension is what describes these labels; it provides information about the measure.
A simple example would be a cube that contains a store's sales as a measure, and Date/Time as a dimension. Each Sale has a Date/Time label that describes more about that sale.
Any number of dimensions can be added to the structure such as Store, Cashier, or Customer by adding a column to the fact table. This allows an analyst to view the measures along any combination of the dimensions.
Sales Fact Table
| sale_amount | time_id |
+------------------------+ Time Dimension
| 2008.10| 1234 |---+ +-----------------------------+
+------------------------+ | | time_id | timestamp |
+---->| 1234 | 20080902 12:35:43 |
Multidimensional structure is defined as "a variation of the relational model that uses multidimensional structures to organize data and express the relationships between data". The structure is broken into cubes and the cubes are able to store and access data within the confines of each cube. "Each cell within a multidimensional structure contains aggregated data related to elements along each of its dimensions". Even when data is manipulated it is still easy to access as well as be a compact type of database. The data still remains interrelated. Multidimensional structure is quite popular for analytical databases that use online analytical processing (OLAP) applications (O'Brien & Marakas, 2009). Analytical databases use these databases because of their ability to deliver answers swiftly to complex business queries. Data can be seen from different ways, which gives a broader picture of a problem unlike other models (Williams, Garza, Tucker & Marcus, 1994).
The visual aspect of drawing software is a key component in assembly instructions for engineering/manufacturing companies. None of the products we use today could be manufactured accurately without engineering drawing software. Drawings are fixed point for accuracy and scaled. This means that size and dimension is scaled down (or up) for printing to paper or an electronic medium. A scaled technical drawing is a representation of something with physical dimensions. Without scaling, all drawings would have to match the exact size of the object being represented.
Three-dimensional drawing programs were developed to speed up design processes in engineering. One problem that comes from engineering drawing software is the subject of simulations. Simulation-type drawings are useful for training personnel in hazardous environments, such as manufacturing facilities where dangerous chemicals are handled. Simulation drawings are time-consuming to create, though, and may actually inhibit productivity in the long run. Drawings are more likely used in place of simulations.
A common use for engineering drawing software is in creating documentation for an engineering group. For example, a mechanical engineer puts together three-dimensional components for a new product prototype. An electrical engineer would then draw out a two-dimensional plan for power distribution in the new product. Technical illustration software or CAD is used to draw the two-dimensional plan. In the case of an electronic file, the engineer or drafter will insert hyperlinks in the three-dimensional plan, which link to a two-dimensional electrical plan for the new product. Modern engineering drawing software, including Visio, has intelligent objects that have been preprogrammed to align on the computer screen and connect lines where it is reasonable to do so. The illustrator or drafter moves objects around more than actually drawing.