Computer-aided design

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Computer-aided design (usually denoted by the acronym, CAD) is the name given to software used to help engineers design systems; the concept (as with most software) is to remove the burden of non-imaginative 'book-keeping' effort, to allow the designer (and a smaller group of workers, overall) to focus on the higher-level (and more 'value-added') work.

An important precursor was the Sketchpad system of Ivan Sutherland (which itself was based on prior work at Whirlwind, later used in the SAGE system), which was a key step in the development of graphical user interfaces; necessary for efficient interaction with a CAD system by the engineer working with it.

Among the first ones created were targeted in the digital circuit design area (such as SUDS), although similar ideas had appeared in other fields as well. CAD tools now exist, and are widely used, in all fields of engineering (and related/similar fields, such as building architecture).

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