CAD software has become widely used for 3D drafting in many industries, including architecture, medical engineering, aerospace, corporate research and development, and many more. CAD programs are now a key resource for many large companies and corporations, allowing them to create more intricate and accurate designs, and to finish them faster and more efficiently. But big business isn’t the only place where CAD has become an important catalyst for innovation. Because CAD allows people of limited training and resources to create detailed, highly accurate designs, individuals have also used computer aided design programs to create innovative creations that are having positive impact on people’s lives.
In this entry, a continuation of part 1, we’ll highlight some of these individuals who have used CAD to create amazing inventions with the help of CAD programs.
- Colorado teenager creates a prosthetic arm for less than $1000 – Easton LaChappelle, like many kids of his generation, liked to build things out of Lego. Unlike most of his peers, however, Easton took his interest in amateur design well beyond just building castles and spaceships out of colorful bricks. After trying out some designs for a homemade prosthetic arm build from Lego blocks, servo motors, and fishing line, Easton built upon his discoveries and turned to 3D printing to create a more fleshed-out version. The result: a fully functioning, realistic-looking robotic prosthetic arm, which can be built from materials that cost less than $1000 total. As a result of his creativity, LaChappelle went from a then-17 year old teaching himself how to use CAD to make 3D printable designs, to a young adult with a NASA internship who was invited to the White House to demonstrate his invention for the President. Seeing as the robotic prosthetics on the market can cost as much as $80,000, it’s likely that Easton’s low-cost design will soon be changing patients’ lives by providing them with affordable, functional replacement limbs.
- Cancer survivor without a college degree designs a particle accelerator – At the age of 52, Matt Riffenburg is currently pursuing his first college degree. He previously worked for a Pennsylvania biotech company and, while working there, used CAD to learn the engineering and manufacturing skills to come up with in-house maintenance and development solutions to keep the company running. While at the company, he built centrifuges, heating and cooling units, conveyors, and fluid bed dryers. Riffenburg only began studying design and engineering in his 30s, purchasing CAD software to teach himself how to design and invent machinery. Despite suffering both a layoff and a brain tumor, Riffenburg persevered and continued with his CAD studies even while recovering from brain surgery, and eventually ended up working at the Cornell Laboratory for Accelerator-based Sciences and Education, designing advanced machinery for Ivy League scientists and researchers.
With the help of CAD software, these individuals were able to develop innovative, practical devices that will have a positive impact on the world around them. The way that CAD allows users to create and innovate with ease is one of the reasons Q-CAD has used computer aided design since the beginning. To learn more about how we use CAD for the benefit of our clients, call us today at 800-700-3305.
Computer aided design (CAD) software is one of the best tools available for designing accurate 3D models of buildings, cars, medical technology, and many other products. CAD drafting is used by small independent firms, large international corporations, and individual consumers the world over, and allows all of them to create innovative new products and designs quickly, cheaply, and efficiently.
So many different people and organizations are using CAD software in so many innovative ways that it will be the subject of two blog posts. While the second post will focus on how individual users are creating new and exciting products to better their lives, this first post will focus on the major industries that have embraced CAD software and used to find unique ways to develop new products.
- Cloud-Based CAD Software – The cloud is the latest innovation changing how businesses and other organizations organize and manage their IT, and has allowed them to achieve new levels of efficiency and productivity than ever before. CAD software hasn’t been left behind in this technological sea change; many companies have begun using cloud-based computer aided designing software that allows them to even better harness the power of computer-assisted planning and development. Through the cloud, employees and contractors can use the software from anywhere. This development has helped CAD software spread into even more widespread usage across a variety of industries.
- Developing New Automotive Technology – One of the industries that have embraced CAD software is the automotive industry, which uses the technology to innovate while also becoming more flexible and environmentally friendly. One of the great success stories of CAD in the car industry is the company Riversimple, which used CAD software to develop a new model of hydrogen fuel-cell-powered car. The company’s aim was to create a vehicle that had zero environmental impact, and CAD software helped them in that mission by allowing them to design and manufacture their gas-free car’s electrical systems and wiring harnesses.
- A Motorcycle for the Future – Similarly to Riversimple, Harley Davidson was recently looking for a way to realize its company mission of creating an electric motorcycle that maintained the famous looks and sounds that have made their bikes famous around the world for decades. This new generation of eco-friendly Harley was able to be made thanks to CAD software, which the company used to design and manufacture prototype parts that could be tested and fine-tuned to perfection. Without the use of CAD software, Harley Davidson’s new bike would have taken many more years to manufacture.
- Saving Lives in the Healthcare Sector – CAD software isn’t just being used to make better products; it’s being used to save lives. Heart disease is a major international health problem, and many of the medical procedures required to treat it and its effects can be risky to patient health. Treating the disease will soon become even easier, though, thanks to Dassault Systeme’s new procedure for creating 3D simulated hearts. These CAD-created models allow doctors to create personalized models of patients’ hearts, allowing doctors to study exact replicas of each organ they are working to treat. These heart models will help doctors diagnose and treat heart conditions, and teach their patients how to manage and prevent them.
Like these innovative companies, Q-CAD uses CAD drafting software to more efficiently create its products. To learn more about what we do and how CAD software allows us to do it, contact us at 800-700-3305.