1961: Computer Aided Design – Cambridge, Massachusetts
Innovation: Computer Aided Design (CAD)
Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
By: Ivan Sutherland
Computer Aided Design combines computer graphics with application software to enable users to create, modify, analyze and optimize designs. CAD is used in classrooms and businesses worldwide and has advanced greatly since its beginning in 1961. Ivan Sutherland of Massachussets Instiute of Technology created the first CAD program, Sketchpad, with inspiration from Servo Mechanisms Laboratory numerical control. As programming and research developed in the 70’s and 80’s CAD moved beyond 2D and 3D drafting to include more engineering application features. Today’s CAD has become a very accessible product that allows users to work from personal computers to quickly and efficiently create designs in a number of different industries.
Today’s CAD user most likely uses software systems such as AutoCad for 2D drawing and modeling. More powerful programs such as Pro-E for design and ANSYS for structures allow for much more complex analysis.