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executive brief

New CAD automations increase mechanical engineering productivity

Computer-aided engineering (CAD) has played a key role in mechanical engineering for years. As technology has evolved, there has been an increased integration with digitization in this sector—enabling teams to work more efficiently in cross-disciplinary capacities. This said, about 54% of respondents in the Lifecycle Insights’ CAD Usability Study noted that their executives would like to see boosted productivity from their mechanical engineering teams. Let’s explore some of these solutions.

Automating interactions with the CAD user interface

There are some simple first steps to help realize immediate productivity gains in mechanical design—and automation within modern CAD solutions is a good place to start. These automations can mitigate increasing design complexity and boost your team’s productivity.

Employing macros for automation

Macros are custom programs that are created to perform certain tasks in the CAD solution. For repetitive tasks, these macros can save time and automatically apply necessary changes to future designs. This automated reusability saves design engineers time and boosts overall team productivity. What’s even more impressive about this solution is that no coding is required. Simply hit the record button to capture the series of steps within the CAD solution and the macro will be automatically created. Once complete, you can instantly apply the macro to future designs.

Applying artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML)

In recent years, the development of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) has changed the modern CAD solution landscape—from predictive maintenance to even changing supply chain structures. This innovative technology studies the interactions of engineers and creates algorithms to understand each individual user’s preferences and design process. Over time, these learnings can be automatically applied during the design process. Once again, these automations not only save time, but have a profound ability to boost productivity in cross-disciplinary team environments.


As engineering executives look for increased productivity from their engineering design teams, CAD automation will become an increasingly valuable tool in driving these efficiencies across organizations.