History of Design, Model Making, and CAD

History of Design, Model Making, and CAD

History of Design, Model Making, and CAD

1) Design

  • What is design?

A design is a work process which has the goal of bringing an idea or a concept into a fully finished product. There are many definitions for what designing is but they can all be summarized in this simple phrase: a design is a process of developing solutions while keeping in mind of the customers’ needs and clients’ demands. So what is a designer?


A designer is simply a person that does the act of designing. Most people can’t distinguish the difference between a designer and an engineer. Regardless of their differences, designers and engineers both play a crucial and vital role in designing and manufacturing a product.

  • History of design

Design, in general, and graphic design, in particular, is much older than we think, it dates back to the history of mankind. The very first record of a design dates back to the caveman times, approximately around 38,000 BC. This shows that humans have always been drawn into the art and communication via visual graphics.

oldest graphic design

Another ancient example of designing is the Chinese printing which dates as far back as 200 CE. The Chinese designers basically used wood in order to print and stamp their designs on silk clothes. The first logo ever made was a European coat of armor. These logos were basically symbols that represented family houses or territories. Speaking of logos and symbols in the 14th-century, King Richard the 2nd declared a law to put symbols and logos or simply signs on taverns. These signs were later used for representing companies instead of houses.

2) Model Making

  • What is the model making?

Model making or model creating is the transforming of ideas and concepts into a three Dimensional reality. In order to make a model, it is necessary to know the requirements for such tasks:

  • Education required: in order to become a professional model maker, one must first go to a university and study a course that is related to industrial design.
  • Materials required: in order to create a model, the model maker must first define what model he is making, whether that be an automobile, a toy, electronics… The materials will differ from a model to another.
  • Model making techniques: there are different types of model making; however, usually they all have one common purpose, and basically the same approach. Before a model maker creates the model, he must first create a rapid porotype. This can be done by utilizing CAD/CAM software.
  • History of Model making

Model making is probably as old as civilization. In every place where there are buildings and architecture, model making exists. Below images display examples of model making in ancient times:

model making

ancient construction device

3) CAD

  • what is CAD?

The word CAD stands for Computer-Aided Design; it is basically the use of a computer system or a workshop in order to aid designers in the creation of their products or models. CAD software can be classified into two categories:

  • 2-Dimensional CAD programs: 2D Cad program was first developed in the 70s, and it was used by major companies in various different fields and domains such as automobile, aerospace and other engineering fields. 2D CAD uses basic geometric shapes such as lines, rectangles, circles, etc. in order to produce flat drawings. One of the most famous 2D CAD Company is Autodesk.
  • 3-Dimensional CAD programs: 3D CAD program is an advanced version of the 2D CAD. This advancement and development were made due to the increase in the processing power of graphics cards and their display capabilities. 3D Cad provides tools and ways for designers to create 3D images that are realistic and can be easily moved and rotated in any direction. These designs can be later used for 3D models. Probably if not the most, definitely, every automobile or aerospace company uses 3D CAD software whether that be SolidEdge, SolidWorks, Unigraphics NX etc. 3D modeling itself can be further classified into three classes. These classes are:
  • Wire-frame models: which is the creation of skeleton-like models that appear as if they were made out of wires.
  • Surface models: which are created by joining 3D surfaces. They appear more realistic than the wireframe models.
  • Solid models: which are finally, and probably the most powerful CAD software. Solid models which are similar to surface models have additional features such as weight and density.
  • History of CAD

The history of CAD is actually much older than what we think, and it is related to the history of computers. The first computer was developed in 1943 and ten years later the first graphics were formed and were used in CNC machines and cutting tools. In the year 1964, the first commercial computer-aided design system was introduced to the market and they were used by large automobile and aerospace companies such as General Motors, and IBM. Since then, CAD has taken an enormous step forward thanks to the rise and advances in the technology and software programming.  

History of CAD software:


4) Conclusion

In conclusion, design and model making is witnessing an increase in its use and demand because has caused developers and engineers to find better ways to perform their design tasks. In the recent years, CAD has become more available to the general public and that is due to its benefits. The use of CAD can dramatically increase the productivity of designers because of eliminating waste of time, improving the quality of designers’ work over the years, and also helping designers have a better communication with the customer and the client.

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