Computer-aided Design

Computer-aided design software, or CAD software, is a very powerful tool that engineers use to help design and even test a product before is it physically made. Although the use of CAD software might sometimes seem unnecessary, time consuming, and costly, using CAD will at the end save a lot of money, time and will generate a better product. The ability to put together a product, to see it and test it before it is physically made reduces considerably the opportunity for error on the final physical prototype as well as the number of iterations required to get there.
Although the design process should start with a blank sheet of paper and a pencil, and should end with a working product, the use of CAD products in between these two design stages is nowadays crucial to ensure the success of the any project no matter what the scale of the project is.
Several CAD software are available. Getting familiar with one usually requires practice. Above are some pictures of a trailer hitch for a Jeep CJ-5 that I modeled with the aid of Pro-E (while practicing). I copied (and modified) the design from my Dad’s Jeep (below).
By the way, visualizing the CAD model and analyzing a little bit I already see many areas of improvement in this particular design.

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