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CAD for architecture and construction - Computer-Aided Design

CAD for architecture and construction - Computer-Aided Design

Computer-aided design (CAD) is the use of computers (or workstations) to aid in the creation, modification, analysis, or optimization of a design. CAD software is used to increase the productivity of the designer, improve the quality of design, improve communications through documentation, and to create a database for manufacturing. CAD output is often in the form of electronic files for print, machining, or other manufacturing operations. The term CADD (for Computer Aided Design and Drafting) is also used.

CAD may be used to design curves and figures in two-dimensional (2D) space; or curves, surfaces, and solids in three-dimensional (3D) space.

CAD is an important industrial art extensively used in many applications, including architectural design, prosthetics, and many more.

Software for architecture - systems designed specifically for architects, whose tools allow you to build drawings and models from familiar objects (walls, columns, floors, etc.), to design buildings and facilities for industrial and civil construction. These programs have the tools to build three-dimensional models and obtain all the necessary working documentation and support modern technology of information modeling of buildings.

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Compare: CAD for architecture and construction - Computer-Aided Design

Characteristics

Geodetic surveys

Geological survey

Working with laser scanning data

Working with scanned (paper) materials

Conceptual design

Plot plan

Car roads

External engineering communications

Railways

Bridges

Artificial constructions

Construction preparation and planning

Professional visualization

Architectural modeling

Simulation of building structures

Simulation of internal engineering systems

Advanced Modeling

Presentations and visualizations

Calculations and analysis

Documentation

Collaboration

Application Programming Interface (API)

Technological design

Project Data Management

Archival Design Support

File formats

  • N/A
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  • Import measurement data from instruments
  • Automated field coding processing
  • Traverse levelling
  • Leveling networks
  • Export of design data for loading into devices (removal to nature)
  • Existence of the updated library of conventional topographic signs
  • Forming plans and statements in accordance with Russian standards
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • Manually filling data on productivity in tabular form
  • Importing data on productivity from external files/databases
  • Automated drawing productivity on the plan
  • Automated well field formation in 3D
  • Automated construction of surfaces by geological layers
  • Availability of tools for editing constructed surfaces (lenses, pinching out)
  • Automated application of geology data (wells, hatching of geological layers) on profiles and sections
  • N/A
  • Import data from scanners
  • Automated data processing (noise removal, filters)
  • Constructing surfaces according to scan data
  • Scan data analysis with visualization of results
  • Measurement from point cloud data
  • Automated acquisition of models and point clouds from digital photography
  • Exporting models to 3D formats
  • Import data from scanners
  • Automated data processing (noise removal, filters)
  • Constructing surfaces according to scan data
  • Scan data analysis with visualization of results
  • Measurement from point cloud data
  • Automated acquisition of models and point clouds from digital photography
  • Exporting models to 3D formats
  • Import data from scanners
  • Automated data processing (noise removal, filters)
  • Constructing surfaces according to scan data
  • Scan data analysis with visualization of results
  • Measurement from point cloud data
  • Automated acquisition of models and point clouds from digital photography
  • Exporting models to 3D formats
  • Import data from scanners
  • Scan data analysis with visualization of results
  • Measurement from point cloud data
  • Exporting models to 3D formats
  • Importing images in raster formats
  • Geometric distortion tools
  • Monochrome (black and white) vectorization tools
  • Monochrome (color) image vectoring tools
  • Hybrid tools for editing bitmap objects in image
  • Export of processed images with format and quality settings
  • Symbols recognition
  • Text Recognition
  • Bitmap merging
  • Importing images in raster formats
  • Geometric distortion tools
  • Monochrome (black and white) vectorization tools
  • Monochrome (color) image vectoring tools
  • Hybrid tools for editing bitmap objects in image
  • Export of processed images with format and quality settings
  • Symbols recognition
  • Text Recognition
  • Bitmap merging
  • Importing images in raster formats
  • Geometric distortion tools
  • Monochrome (black and white) vectorization tools
  • Monochrome (color) image vectoring tools
  • Hybrid tools for editing bitmap objects in image
  • Export of processed images with format and quality settings
  • Symbols recognition
  • Text Recognition
  • Bitmap merging
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • Import of 3D models, point clouds, rasters and GIS/CAD data
  • Building a realistic 3D model of existing infrastructure
  • Preparation of options for project concepts in a 3D model environment
  • Quantitative comparison and evaluation of project options
  • Preparation of high-quality visualization (renders, videos)
  • Organizing of the project discussion with the addition of georeferenced comments in the model
  • Projects publishing on the Internet
  • Access project data from mobile devices
  • Conceptual road design
  • Import of 3D models, point clouds, rasters and GIS/CAD data
  • Building a realistic 3D model of existing infrastructure
  • Preparation of options for project concepts in a 3D model environment
  • Quantitative comparison and evaluation of project options
  • Preparation of high-quality visualization (renders, videos)
  • Organizing of the project discussion with the addition of georeferenced comments in the model
  • Projects publishing on the Internet
  • Access project data from mobile devices
  • Conceptual road design
  • Import of 3D models, point clouds, rasters and GIS/CAD data
  • Building a realistic 3D model of existing infrastructure
  • Preparation of options for project concepts in a 3D model environment
  • Quantitative comparison and evaluation of project options
  • Preparation of high-quality visualization (renders, videos)
  • Organizing of the project discussion with the addition of georeferenced comments in the model
  • Projects publishing on the Internet
  • Access project data from mobile devices
  • Conceptual road design
  • Use of conceptual design data
  • Automated calculating the volume of excavation work on a model
  • Recalculation of volumes in model editing
  • Calculating and designing cartograms
  • Dynamic connection between cartogram and a model
  • Designing streets and driveways in the form of dynamic 3D models
  • Calculation of areas and volumes of materials according to a model
  • Registration of the plan of improvement with receipt of statements
  • Making a master plan for engineering networks
  • Grid layout plan
  • Plan of the relief organizat
  • N/A
  • Use of conceptual design data
  • Automated calculating the volume of excavation work on a model
  • Recalculation of volumes in model editing
  • Calculating and designing cartograms
  • Dynamic connection between cartogram and a model
  • Designing streets and driveways in the form of dynamic 3D models
  • Calculation of areas and volumes of materials according to a model
  • Registration of the plan of improvement with receipt of statements
  • Making a master plan for engineering networks
  • Grid layout plan
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • Using conceptual design data
  • Tracing in automated mode (based on predefined constraints and standards)
  • Tracing in manual mode (element by element)
  • Construction and design of the longitudinal profile of a road
  • Construction and design of transverse profiles
  • Creating a project profile of a road in automated mode (based on the specified restrictions and standards)
  • Creating a project profile of a road in manual mode (elementwise)
  • N/A
  • Using conceptual design data
  • N/A
  • Using conceptual design data
  • Network tracing in plan
  • Network tracing in 3D
  • Availability of a replenished library of pipes and equipment
  • Automated receiving of a longitudinal profile on a network
  • Automated receipt of tables and statements on a network in accordance with Russian standards
  • Calculation of volume of earthworks for laying network
  • Dynamic recalculation and updating of tables and statements in a network editing
  • Checking networks for violation of regulatory distances (collisions)
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • Tracing in manual mode (element by element)
  • Construction and design of a longitudinal railway profile
  • Construction and design of transverse profiles
  • Creating a project profile of a road in manual mode (elementwise)
  • Development of a railway structure based on a library of standard elements
  • Presence of a library of finished structures
  • Building a dynamic 3D model of a railway
  • Automated calculation of volume of earthworks and materials based on a dynamic model
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • Using conceptual design data
  • Detailed design of a bridge structure
  • Receiving a set of design documentation
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • Calculation of volume of surface runoff by a model
  • Automatic selection of culverts diameters
  • Dynamic connection between projected culverts and road model
  • Detailed design of structures
  • Automated release of design documentation for a model
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • Creating a summary model of an object using 3D-models of related specialties (architecture, structures and engineering networks, etc.)
  • Drawing up a detailed construction schedule
  • Verification of a consolidated project for collisions
  • Visualization of a construction process
  • Integration with Microsoft Project / Primavera
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • Using infrastructure project data
  • Using texture libraries
  • Arrangement and adjustment of light sources
  • Creating animation objects
  • Creation of professional renders
  • Creating professional videos
  • Using infrastructure project data
  • Using texture libraries
  • Arrangement and adjustment of light sources
  • Creating animation objects
  • Creation of professional renders
  • Creating professional videos
  • Walls, stained glass, floors, roofs, ceilings and columns
  • Downloadable family components (doors, windows, etc.)
  • Variants of a project
  • Premises and zones
  • Platform modeling
  • Stairs and ramps
  • Fencing
  • Structural modeling
  • Details
  • Assembly
  • Walls, stained glass, floors, roofs, ceilings and columns
  • Downloadable family components (doors, windows, etc.)
  • Variants of a project
  • Premises and zones
  • Platform modeling
  • Stairs and ramps
  • Fencing
  • Structural modeling
  • Details
  • Assembly
  • Walls, stained glass, floors, roofs, ceilings and columns
  • Downloadable family components (doors, windows, etc.)
  • Variants of a project
  • Premises and zones
  • Platform modeling
  • Stairs and ramps
  • Fencing
  • Structural modeling
  • Details
  • Assembly
  • Walls, stained glass, floors, roofs, ceilings and columns
  • Downloadable family components (doors, windows, etc.)
  • Variants of a project
  • Premises and zones
  • Platform modeling
  • Stairs and ramps
  • Fencing
  • Structural modeling
  • Details
  • Assembly
  • Bearing walls, floor slab
  • Bearing columns, beams and braces
  • Sloping columns
  • Farms
  • Reinforcement, armature bar modeling
  • Bearing walls, floor slab
  • Bearing columns, beams and braces
  • Sloping columns
  • Farms
  • Reinforcement, armature bar modeling
  • Bearing walls, floor slab
  • Bearing columns, beams and braces
  • Sloping columns
  • Farms
  • Reinforcement, armature bar modeling
  • Bearing walls, floor slab
  • Bearing columns, beams and braces
  • Sloping columns
  • Farms
  • Reinforcement, armature bar modeling
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • HVAC systems
  • Mechanical equipment
  • Pipeline and sanitary systems
  • Manufacturer database items
  • Power and lighting systems
  • HVAC systems
  • Mechanical equipment
  • Pipeline and sanitary systems
  • Manufacturer database items
  • Power and lighting systems
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • Creating groups for duplicate items
  • Families editor
  • Modeling in context
  • Roofs with edited form
  • Global options
  • Conceptual forms, adaptive components
  • Creating groups for duplicate items
  • Families editor
  • Modeling in context
  • Roofs with edited form
  • Global options
  • Conceptual forms, adaptive components
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • Sketch lines
  • Shadows, natural shadows
  • Architectural dimming
  • Moved items
  • Realistic display styles
  • Orthogonal and perspective views, rounds
  • Line smoothing
  • Eliminating invisible items
  • Cloud visualization
  • Photorealistic materials
  • Built-in visualization
  • Decal
  • Ray tracing (visualization in an active window)
  • Sketch lines
  • Shadows, natural shadows
  • Architectural dimming
  • Moved items
  • Realistic display styles
  • Orthogonal and perspective views, rounds
  • Line smoothing
  • Eliminating invisible items
  • Cloud visualization
  • Photorealistic materials
  • Built-in visualization
  • Decal
  • Ray tracing (visualization in an active window)
  • Energy calculations
  • Squares analysis
  • Analytical model
  • Structural loads and boundary conditions
  • Heating and cooling loads
  • Form calculations
  • Insolation calculations
  • N/A
  • Energy calculations
  • Squares analysis
  • Analytical model
  • Structural loads and boundary conditions
  • Heating and cooling loads
  • Form calculations
  • Insolation calculations
  • Energy calculations
  • Squares analysis
  • Analytical model
  • Structural loads and boundary conditions
  • Heating and cooling loads
  • Form calculations
  • Insolation calculations
  • N/A
  • 2D node lines, 2D node components
  • 2D node lines, 2D node components
  • Change tracking
  • Dimensioning, marking, annotation and text
  • Stages
  • Specifications, bill of materials
  • Embedded specifications
  • Panel specifications, pipe and duct loss reports
  • Filters of view
  • Graphic specifications of columns
  • 2D node lines, 2D node components
  • Change tracking
  • Dimensioning, marking, annotation and text
  • Stages
  • Specifications, bill of materials
  • Embedded specifications
  • Panel specifications, pipe and duct loss reports
  • Filters of view
  • Graphic specifications of columns
  • Check for intersections, copying/monitoring
  • Collaboration (multi-user environment)
  • General coordinates in projects
  • Creating file links from other Revit applications
  • Stamps and specification items in related files
  • Copying and pasting items from links
  • Setting visibility of related models
  • N/A
  • Check for intersections, copying/monitoring
  • Collaboration (multi-user environment)
  • General coordinates in projects
  • Creating file links from other Revit applications
  • Stamps and specification items in related files
  • Copying and pasting items from links
  • Setting visibility of related models
  • Check for intersections, copying/monitoring
  • Collaboration (multi-user environment)
  • General coordinates in projects
  • Creating file links from other Revit applications
  • Stamps and specification items in related files
  • Copying and pasting items from links
  • Setting visibility of related models
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • SDK of API
  • Third Party API Add-ins
  • Macroses
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • Automatic pipeline tracing
  • Parametric equipment modeling
  • Simulation of building structures
  • Calculation of weight and center of gravity
  • Fixed Pipeline Modeling
  • P&ID data verification
  • 2D pipeline drawings
  • Isometric drawings of pipelines
  • Import Inventor hardware models
  • Specifications
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • AutoCAD 2013 format drawing (* .dwg)
  • AutoCAD 2010/LT2010 format drawing (* .dwg)
  • AutoCAD 2007/LT2007 format drawing (* .dwg)
  • AutoCAD 2004/LT2004 format drawing (* .dwg)
  • AutoCAD 2000/LT2000 format drawing (* .dwg)
  • AutoCAD R14/LT98/LT97 format drawing (* .dwg)
  • AutoCAD Design Standards (* .dws)
  • AutoCAD drawing template (* .dwt)
  • AutoCAD 2013 DXF Format Drawing (* .dxf)
  • Drawing format 2010/LT2010 DXF (* .dxf)
  • Drawing format 2007/LT2007 DXF (* .dxf)
  • Drawing format 2004/LT2004 DXF (* .dxf)
  • N/A
  • Autodesk DWG (*.dwg)
  • Autodesk DXF (*.dxf)
  • Adobe PDF (*.pdf)
  • Rhino (*.3dm)
  • SketchUp (*.skp)
  • STL (*.stl)
  • N/A
  • Navisworks (*.nwd,*.nwf,*.nwc)
  • 3D Studio (*.3ds,*.prj)
  • PDS Design Review (*.dri)
  • ASCII Laser (*.asc,*.txt)
  • CATIA (*.model,*.session,*.exp,*.dlv3,*.CATPart,*.CATProduct)
  • CIS/2 (*.stp)
  • MicroStation Design (*.dgn,*.prp,*.prw)
  • DWF (*.dwf,*.dwfx,*.w2d)
  • Autodesk DWG (*.dwg)
  • Autodesk DXF (*.dxf)
  • Faro (*.fls, *.fws, *.iQscan, *.iQmod, *.iQwsp)
  • FBX (*.fbx)
  • IFC (*ifc)
  • IGES (*.igs,*.iges)
  • Inventor (*.ipt,*.iam,*.ipj)
  • JTOpen (*.jt)
  • Leica (*.pts,*.ptx)
  • Informatix MAN (*.man,*.cv7)
  • NX (*.prt)
  • Parasolid Binary (*.x_b)
  • N/A
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The most popular products in category CAD for architecture and construction - Computer-Aided Design All category products

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Graphisoft SE

Graphisoft SE

A subsidiary of Nemetschek, Graphisoft SE develops Building Information Modeling software products for architects, interior designers and planners,... Read more
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F.A.Q about CAD for architecture and construction - Computer-Aided Design

What is a CAD drafter or CAD Designer?

Everything around us manmade begins with an idea in a written plan. When these plans require illustrations or drawings to convey meaning, a CAD drafter is needed to prepare these ideas in graphic forms of communication. Drafters translate ideas and rough sketches of other professionals, such as architects and engineers, into scaled detail (or working) drawings. A CAD designer often prepares the plans and rough sketches for an architect or engineer. The designer has more education and thus more responsibility than the drafter but less than an architect or engineer.

What software do architects use?

Before computer-aided design software, architects relied solely on hand drawings and handmade architecture models to communicate their designs. With the evolution of technology and the architecture industry, architectural drafting software has changed the way architects plan and design buildings. Implementing 2D and 3D architecture software allows designers to draft at greater speed, test ideas, and determine consistent project workflows. Advancements in rendering software provide architects and their clients with the ability to visually experience designs before a project is realized.

Is CAD 2D or 3D?

A common misconception surrounding CAD is that it is a 3D architecture software modeling tool only. However, CAD can be used as a 2D drawing tool as well. Construction designers might use a CAD tool that only works in 2D while architects might work in a 3D software architecture tools that has a 2D converter. It is highly dependent upon the actual platform used. This can be convenient because a company might only use a 2D tool and can pay for that tool alone. However, as construction centers around 3D modeling software for architecture and informational models, it will be harder for companies only to use a 2D tool.

What is CAD used for in construction?

There are a lot of uses for CAD in construction. Subcontractor’s designers can take the drawings made by the architect and add in additional needed details to ensure constructability. From there they have a plan that they can work off of and check their work against. Companies have already done this to a degree of success. Some companies were able to use a combination of drones and 3D models to notice issues with the construction. Specifically, a company can overlay their live drone footage with the model. They could note that the foundation would be off and make corrections.

Architecture planning software benefits contractors because the drawings and plans can be easily stored in the cloud. This allows for contractors to use their plans at any location. Also, if they are included in a shared file for the project, they can easily see changes to the plans. So a subcontractor could quickly determine which changes were made, by who, and how it will impact construction.

Another benefit of professional architecture software is it is more accurate than manual drawings. It’s easier for construction design software  then it is when it’s manual. And it’s easier for subcontractors to add details into than it is in manual drawings.

What architects’ tools have been transformed by technology?

Working methods that previously resulted in only the documentation of an idea are now moving toward the realization of a full virtual copy of a building and all its complex components before a single nail is hammered. As such, architects’ tools that used to be physical, like pens and pencils, are now mere basics in a virtual toolbox with capabilities an analog architect couldn’t even fathom.The breakneck pace of this change is good reason to reflect on the history of these architect software virtual tools by comparing them to their physical forebears.

 

  • Drafting Arm vs. Dynamic Input. Appearing like an alien appendage affixed to a drawing board, a drafting arm originally consolidated a variety of tasks completed with separate rulers, straightedges and protractors into a single versatile tool. AutoCAD’s crosshair reticle, for example, once relied on manual input with compass-style designations before it featured point-and-click functionality with real-time metrics following it around the screen.
  • Tape Measure vs. Surveying App. Documenting an existing building in order to plan its transformation is likely one of the most frequent tasks architects complete. Until recently, the only way to correctly do this was by hand, with a tape measure, pen and paper. Since the advent of infrared scanners, depth-sensing cameras and software that can communicate with them, the time-intense process of surveying an existing space has been cut to a fraction of what it once was.
  • Drafting Template vs. Premade 3-D Models. In the days of hand-drafting, adding furniture to a drawing meant choosing an appropriately scaled object from a stencil and tracing it. Today’s sophisticated equivalent that architecture software programs offer allows an infinite number of premade models to be brought into a wide range of design software with a single click. Despite technological advances in this practice, the old method may actually be advantageous due to its reliance on abstraction because choosing realistically detailed furnishings for an early design scheme often prompts cosmetic decisions long before they need to be made.
  • Electric Eraser vs. Undo. The most simple, and, for this reason, the most underappreciated, transformation an architect’s tools have undergone between physical and virtual methods is the ease with which one can now reverse the work they’ve done. Allowing what essentially amounts to time travel, the Undo function is universal to almost all software programs and as such is often taken for granted. Prior to this wonderful invention, the savviest architects wielded handheld electric erasers allowing them to salvage large drawing sets in the event of a drafting mistake or last-minute design change.
  • Blueprint Machine vs. Inkjet Plotter. If you hang around an architecture firm long enough, you might hear older designers talk about using a blueprint machine. Originally the premier method for producing copies of drawings, blueprint machines involved rolling an original drawing through a chemical mixture that reproduced the image on a special type of paper. For some time now, digital plotters have removed manual labor from the equation, being fed information directly from a virtual drawing file.
  • Digitizer Tablet vs. Touchscreen Workstation. Early iterations of digital drafting were often paired with a digitizer: a special keyboard that could choose commands or be directly drawn on. Software used in architecture eventually got better at incorporating a keyboard and mouse, but nowadays the tide might be turning back to a hands-on approach as devices like Microsoft’s Surface Studio are pushing an interface with touch-heavy tools just for architects. Though currently limited to apps for sketching and drawing review, the way architects work could be changed forever if a large influential company like Autodesk or Graphisoft were to fully embrace touchscreen capabilities.