Skip to Main Content

Key CAD capabilities for design exploration


Design exploration possibilities are endless, but budgets and timescales are not. Whether you are trying to find a solution to satisfy product requirements or developing a design concept to disrupt your industry, you need to figure out what works and what does not. Generally, this is done through trial and error. But isn’t there a better way? In this ebook, we’ll examine the concept of design exploration and the key capabilities needed by your CAD system to explore design possibilities more effectively within your available time and budget.

What is design exploration?

In-depth design exploration relies on the knowledge of multi-domain experts working across multiple requirements. The development process may need to include many different geometric configurations or design candidates while also considering cost or manufacturing constraints. Often, you need to incorporate trade studies comparing design alternatives in the concept design phase. This work could involve mocking up a bill-of-materials (BOM) and running multiple simulations.

Critical CAD capabilities for design exploration

We’ll examine how critical capabilities in you CAD software solution can set your design exploration up for success, including supporting the ability to:

  • Work in a sandbox

  • Document, define, track, and manage product requirements

  • Easily reuse designs, including modification and reconfiguring

  • Effectively manage data

  • Share data through integrated tools

How can CAD be used to accelerate the product development process?

Using the right tool for design exploration can accelerate initial design efforts. Flexible tools allow designers to freely explore design alternatives without locking them into too much detail. Supplying capabilities to organize ideas, design candidates, configurations and all the other required deliverables in a coordinated fashion during this phase frees designers to focus on finding the best solution without the overhead that can be associated with that effort.

What are the benefits of using CAD software?

The right software doesn’t get in the way of invention, and instead supports and enables concept design efforts. With the right CAD tool, you have a space where you can explore new ideas without having to commit files to PLM or PDM systems. You can save time and effort managing concepts with integrated revision management to track parts, drawings, and assemblies more easily. Your CAD system can help you save time by improving design reuse, including smart search capabilities, access to standard parts or components, and the ability to work with legacy or third-party designs with the same ease as with native files. And that’s just the beginning—modern CAD tools can also support progressive capabilities purpose-built to support design exploration in new ways, providing options at the click of a button.