Prior to the advent of computer-aided design (CAD) software, the development of any type of design or prototype was done manually. As such, development was typically tedious and time-consuming, often laden with costly trial and error. Since it digitizes and simplifies the entire design process, CAD software has all but replaced the traditional drawing board.

It s widely known that CAD software is frequently used in engineering-based industries   think manufacturing and industrial design. However, both industry-specific and general-purpose design applications are heavily utilized in virtually any industry that produces a tangible object or product. Here are just some of the many uses for computer-aided design software.

Aerospace   This high-tech industry manufactures everything from space vehicles to satellites, aircraft to missiles. The price tag on any single aerospace product can be several million dollars so CAD software plays an integral role in the initial design process. Before the product is built, every detail will be thoroughly planned using the design software.

Architecture   When creating something as large and as expensive as a building, flawless planning is a must. CAD software is used to design 2D floor plans and 3D schematics of houses, office buildings and other commercial structures. Aside from the actual architecture and layout of a structure, the software is used to determine proper specifications including measurements, volumes and weights before construction even begins.

Automotive   Sophisticated design software is used in every aspect of auto design. It s used to create prototypes of new body styles and to design auto components such as tires, engines, circuitry boards, upholstery and more.

Cartography   Long gone are the days of charting maps by hand. Modern cartographers use some form of computer-aided software to chart climate, road and topographic maps.

Civil Engineering   Urban planners use CAD software to plan urban infrastructure including bridges, parks, industrial units, office complexes and more.

Fashion   While many reputable fashion designers may opt to initially design their one-of-a-kind creations by hand, fashion CAD software is typically used in the latter portions of the design process. The software is used by clothing manufacturers to determine the most efficient cut of fabrics and to adjust the scale of the pattern for different sizes. Using virtual models, the software can even be used to show how the clothing will fit and move. Designers can then make any necessary modifications to the design.

Interior Design   Design software allows interior designers to bring their vision to life through detailed digital designs. This allows them to show clients, right down to the paint color, what the project will look like upon completion.

Landscaping   Landscapers use CAD software to conceptualize stunning outdoor creations and determine the best placement of various landscaping components such as trees, fences, gardens, patios and more.

These are just a handful of the many versatile uses of computer-aided design software. It s also used to design consumer electronics, furniture, circuit boards, jewelry, theater and movie sets, product packaging and much more. Such ubiquity across a vast array of industries ensures the longevity and necessity of CAD software in today s technology-driven world.