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The Fascinating History of Computer-Aided Design

Vance - April 12, 2022 - 0 comments

Since the beginning of time, humans have been using tools to make their lives easier. The invention of the computer has allowed us to take that concept a step further and create tools that can help us design anything we can imagine. Computer-Aided Design Architecture (CAD) has revolutionized the way products are designed and manufactured. Here is a brief history of CAD.

The Beginnings

Engineers introduced the Term “Computer-aided design” in the early 1950s. However, using computers to assist in the design process dates back even further. In the 1930s, Vannevar Bush developed a machine called the differential analyzer. The differential analyzer was one of the first computers used for engineering purposes. One could use the machine to solve complex equations and generate graphs.

During World War II, the military also used computers extensively to help with the war effort. After the war ended, the military repurposed computers for civilian use.

The Birth of CAD

One of the earliest examples of CAD software was created in 1957 by Dr. Patrick Hanratty. He worked on the Design Automated by computer, which is considered, by some, to be the first CAD System that involved interactive graphics. Design Automated by computer was the first commercial CAD software system.

Because of this, Dr. Hanratty is considered the Father of CAD.


The first true CAD software program was Sketchpad. Created in 1963 by Ivan Sutherland, it was the first program to allow users to create and manipulate objects on a screen using a graphical interface.

Sketchpad allowed users to interact with the graphics by using a light pen to draw on the computer’s monitor.

CAD Through the Ages


In the 1970s, CAD only could create 2D drawings. However, in 1972 Pierre Bézier from Renault created the first program that could create curved lines. Creating curved lines was a significant development as it allowed CAD programs to use more complex shapes.


In the 1980s, 3D modeling continued to develop. In 1981 IBM introduced its first affordable desktop computer. The desktop computer meant that designers could now run CAD software on a personal computer, making it more accessible to individuals and small businesses.

During the 1980s, CAD software continued to develop and became more user-friendly. In 1982 Autodesk was founded, and in 1986 they released AutoCAD, which quickly became the most popular CAD software package.

In 1988 solid modeling was introduced, which allowed for the creation of complex shapes. The introduction of solid modeling was a significant development as it meant that one could now create objects in CAD that were impossible before.


In the 1990s, CAD software continued to develop. One of the most significant developments was the introduction of parametric modeling. Parametric modeling allowed objects to change based on certain parameters. The development of parametric modeling meant that CAD models could now be more flexible and adaptable.

Additionally, the internet began to be used by the public by the mid-1990s. The more widespread use of the internet would eventually have a major impact on the way designers used CAD. It would allow for collaboration and sharing of designs to become much easier.


The 2000s saw even more advances in CAD software. Perhaps the most significant of these was the introduction of solid modeling. Solid modeling allowed designers to render 3D objects realistically. Realistic rendering made CAD even more powerful and versatile.

Additionally, the internet continued to grow in importance and usage. The continued growth of the internet led to many new ways to share designs.

CAD Today

CAD software has come a long way since its humble beginnings in the 1960s. The latest versions of CAD programs can now create highly realistic images and even simulate how an object will move in real life.

Designers use this technology across various industries, from architecture and engineering to manufacturing and product design. It’s safe to

The History of CAD is fascinating and has come a long way since its early beginnings in the 1950s. With continued advances in technology, who knows what the future of CAD will hold!

Looking to Make More History in CAD?

Logical CAD Solutions can help! Logical CAD Solutions is an industry-leading provider of innovative Computer-Aided Design (CAD) solutions. We have a long history of helping our clients achieve their CAD goals, and we’re ready to help you make your mark on the CAD world!

Contact us today to learn more about our services, or visit our website to explore our full range of products and examples of our past projects. Let’s make history together!

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