By Elvis R. Sverko
It’s a new year. So Happy New Year everyone!
Now, how do we make this new year, a better year than last year? Well, one thing that seems to be a hot topic everywhere I look is “Creativity”, and creativity in anything and everything, ( “Use the Kindle Fire as a Creative Device” from December 2011 from Wired.com; “Buff Your Brain” from the January 9, 2012 edition of Newsweek; “How to Lead a Creative Life” from the December 2011 edition of Fast Company.)
To make anything new, you need to be innovative. To be innovative, you need to use your creativity.
Most engineers/designers/architects/etc. know they need to be creative to make new products, or make older products better. They have many tools at their disposal, from pencil and paper, to wood or metal, to CAD. But mostly they use their imagination to come up with the new idea, and then use these tools to bring them to life.
But sometimes, it’s not just about using a tool to make something new and innovative. Sometimes you have to use the tools in a creative way.
CAD is no exception. There are specific functions that CAD can perform, from drawing lines and circles, to making 3D solid models, to performing simulation such as Finite Element Analysis. Some CAD packages include libraries of standard parts that you can use in your model (such as with Autodesk Revit, you have a library of types/shapes/sizes of windows to include in your architectural design). There are also standards that in many cases at many companies that must be met. These standards might be in the styles used for drawings, or industry standards that need to be met.
But in many cases, you can be creative in the way you use CAD.
If you need to make a cylinder, you have different methods of doing so. You can extrude a circle, or rotate a rectangle (as shown using Autodesk Inventor below). Or there may be other ways as well. But both of these methods create identical cylinders. The difference is in their method. Your choice may come down to what information you currently have, or may need to change, or it’s just completely up to you. But the point is, you can be creative in how you model something in CAD.
It doesn’t have to be in the tools you use, that you can be creative. Sometimes it’s simply in how you look at a model. In many 3D solid modeling CAD programs, you can turn the visibility of objects off, change the view style, rotate, or adjust snapping methods to more easily see and select an object in the model. The point is, there isn’t only one way to perform a specific task using CAD. Use your creativity in the process to make it better.
We’ll look at other creative ideas in using CAD, and CAD training in future posts. But until then, use your creativity in not only what you design, but how you design it, to make this new year a better year.
“Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things.” – Theodore Levitt