The dramatic inclusion of computer based systems in our day to day lives is impressive to say the least. While it began as a separate device referred to as a “computer” which was used for personal and office use; today computers have expanded and are in use in virtually every utility we can think of. Most of the appliances in use today are developed with the aid of computers using the features of Computer Aided Design software. With improved processing hardware and mobile based platforms, these programs have made it easier than ever to build amazing products and ideas.
CAD software brings together thousands of different components that comprise of the object that is being built. Using a traditional model, keeping a note of all these aspects and bringing them together can be a seriously challenging task. In the past, these readily available digital components were programmed from scratch; taking away several man hours that could otherwise be used for brainstorming, innovation and product perfection.
Another issue with the traditional model is once a custom design has been built, a future programmer or engineer may not be able to continue revision and production. With the use of CAD software, all these components are standardized and can be easily understood by anyone knowledgeable with the software product. Looking in to the issue further, at times of emergency such as a product recall as in the case of faulty vehicles which are constantly experienced in the automotive industry; a traditional model can prove to be rather costly because of the complicated system that it was built on.
Today, these major hindrances are quickly becoming history and the role of engineers and designers are becoming a lot more fruitful and mind based rather than having to deal with the mechanics of design. Two aspects of technology are responsible for this changing product development climate: cloud computing and big data. Big data as the name suggests is the collating of expansive volumes of data for reference or future implementation. In the case of product creation, big data can be used to quickly query innumerable types of design information that were used in the past based on variable factors such as material, shape and usage to be used for a future project. The algorithm in use has been made more advanced so that the program itself can identify its usage and assign it accordingly to a design of a product.
For instance, a cotton shirt may be different to a silk shirt but comprise of the same attributes (similar shape, use of buttons, location of buttons, etc.) and they would both fall into one category. Apart from the textile industry; this model of automatically assigning components to a particular category based on their attributes can be used to sort relatively large amounts of data which can be used going forward. With the help of cloud computing, this vast amount of information is now accessible to CAD software which has grown to become quite intelligent and capable of figuring out the majority of aspects of a design with little instruction from the programmer or designer.
With all this information, the algorithm used can identify and group the various components available in a particular facility and indicate its usage. The software can also suggest usage of the resources of a particular manufacturing facility to create new products. With an advanced system such as this, research and development of new products can be done at a much quicker pace and achieve a greater level of advancement. Designers can now key in a single component and not only find out all variants of it available but also how it has been used in the past. As this algorithm or Artificial Intelligence is better equipped, these systems will be able to generate and spit out custom designs based on just very minimal data given by an engineer or designer.
All of this has been made possible with the availability of big data and cloud computing. With such advancement, we can see an exponential growth in terms of quality and innovation of products in the future.