Product and Mechanical CAD Design, Drafting and Engineering

The skills and software tools available to mechanical design engineers and mechanical drafters, and as a result of 3D modeling CAD services and design in general have come a long way since their early days in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. 3D design software is very advanced and extremely efficient in creating drawings quickly and accurately. Designing in 3D versus 2D saves your project incredible amounts of time and possibly wasted money down the road by making sure all parts fit perfectly in a 3D virtual environment. 3D software can analyze the assembly and determine if there are any interference’s before making any physical parts. Once the interference’s are found, the 3D model file can be modified to eliminate interference and a clean functioning design will be manufactured. Before 3D CAD software existed it was very common for a designer to overlook interference and discrepancies especially in a complicated design prior to manufacturing. With 3D CAD software, this is no longer possible.

3D CAD software also does very accurate FEA/FMA analysis. FEA (finite element analysis) is the process of determining a part’s strength. Do it’s dimensions need to be bigger or smaller for the intended design purpose? You can easily determine this with FEA by inputting the expected forces, materials properties and many other variables and save materials, manufacturing time and project cost by making very efficient parts!

Some popular 3D CAD software products we use include; Solidworks, Autodesk Inventor, Catia,Unigraphics NX, Pro-E Wildfire, SolidEdge, AutoCAD and  Microstation. Basically each software package offer the same features. They all have similar functionalities but each software is better at doing different things, however, most of the parts J – CAD Inc. creates are done in Solidworks, Inventor or Catia.

Reverse engineering a design

Beyond designing a product from scratch based on your ideas, concepts and sketches, JCAD also has the capacity to reverse engineer products that are already in existence. This allows you to see how products work, and to create variations or improvements to take the industry to a whole new standard of innovation.

What industries do we work with?

JCAD works with a wide range of industries and clients from around the globe in sectors such as industrial design, injection molding, product design, engineering firms, automotive industry, aerospace industry, prototype design, patent drawings.

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What are Mechanical Drawings?

A mechanical drawing is a type of technical drawing used to visually communicate how mechanical components and machines function, and facilitate their construction.

Technical drawings function like a language; they begin with the understanding of graphical projection, and have the intention of representing a three-dimensional object on a two-dimensional surface in a certain way, so that another person or software can understand all the properties of the part.

2D drawings: Two-dimensional drawings are made with orthographic views, with the intention of showing two of the three dimensions of the object. When drawing a component in 2D, it’ll often be represented in different views, in order to have every dimension of it represented.

3D drawings: Three-dimensional representations are made so that all three dimensions of the object can be seen in the same drawing. They can also be unable to show all of the dimensions when drafting a complex or irregular part.

Mechanical drafts are often done in scale, which means adjusting the size of the drawing in the plane in proportion to the real dimensions of the part.

Every technical done should be done in reference to certain drawings guidelines, depending on its type. Many of these guidelines are coded in an international standard called ISO 128.

When Should I Get a Mechanical CAD Design / Drawing?

Whenever trying to start a manufacturing project, mechanical design is a must. When dealing with physical products, there any many situations where you will need it specifications on a draft, not only to manufacture, they will be needed in almost every step of the way; the creation and development of the initial design, prototype creation, patent drawings, production, etc.

All of these steps require mechanical drawings to be made before bringing any product to the market.

Depending on the complexity Mechanical designs and drawing require a fair share of experience to be elaborated properly, and technical skill and knowledge within the industry are a must.

You’ll eventually need mechanical drawings if you’re an inventor, or have an idea for a new product. If you need product design documents, patents, or just design specifications.

There’s no doubt that if you need a quick and well-done drawing to elaborate a project, you should hire a Mechanical CAD designer to help you out.

How Much Does a Mechanical Drawing Cost?

Mechanical CAD drafters have a good deal of responsibility, they have to perform a highly technical job, and at the same time they have to deliver perfect drawings, every time, there’s no room for mistakes (outside of the tolerance values). Because when mistakes carry on in a production process, they can be really expensive. When designing, quality and reliability are worth gold.

The costs of mechanical drawing will be often set by the number of work hours required, freelance CAD drafters have hourly fees anywhere between $30 to $100+ per hour, and this a matter of evaluating factors like the size of the sheet, the drafters personal cost for such project, and his speed and efficiency with the software.

If it takes an average not-so-experienced drafter about 2 hours per sheet, each one would be $80, that’s a rough estimate of the price per sheet you would get from a standalone drafter’s mechanical drawings. But it isn’t always that easy.

Standalone drafters don’t have all the strengths that a CAD design company can have, and the certainly can’t guarantee as much as professional services can, even if they try to compete.

There is so much value in the execution of CAD drawings when done by a qualified and experienced team, where every designer has a good deal of knowledge under his belt and it can be very easy to find the correct drafter for you: one that has worked in a project similar to yours, knows what you need and even sometimes what you could improve.

When there’s a deadline you need to meet, you really shouldn’t go with the risk, and hiring a faster (costlier) drafter, that is certain to meet your deadline can be the only option you have.

You don’t want to get a poorly handled job and then have to make changes to it again and again until it’s perfect. Although most drafters will fix any mistakes they made for free.

How Long Does it Take to Produce a Mechanical Drawing?

This is really a tough question, there are just too many variables when it comes to estimating the time it will take for a CAD design project, but the main ones are:

  • The type of the project.
  • How much is unique or complex about it
  • The designer’s experience, and how well he knows the CAD software to be used.
  • The number of corrections/adjustments needed, if any.

So it’s really hard to say for sure how long it’ll take, but if working with professional CAD services, they can give you guarantees for meeting your deadlines, and you can expect your project to be done in 3-10 business days, or more if it is a large one.

If you hire a CAD design company (like us) you can call them and work around a deadline for your project, even if it seems complicated to do quickly, a CAD services company might be able to place manpower needed to finish your project in time.

What is Meant by Reverse Engineering?

When we talk about reverse engineering, basically we refer to the duplication of a product by working backwards through its manufacturing process with the assistance of software, in order to obtain information from the original design to understand it for the creation or upgrade of another one.

As CAD technology progresses, there always new tools and ways to optimize, in order to make better products, it has come to a point when we can extract all the information available about a physical object to be able to obtain a 3D model, and then evaluate it in several ways to find out everything there’s to know about it, this has allowed reverse engineering to prove itself as an extremely valuable resource for innovation.

Doing reverse engineering can sometimes be a rather complex art; the first step is to analyze the interconnected relationships between components of a product and the second is to map the component to obtain a point cloud of its three-dimensional data. And those aren’t easy things to do.

In order to map a physical object, it has to be examined with laser scanners or computed tomography, this way a geometrical map can be created based on the surface data obtained. This data then creates a polymesh object, the polymesh is then refined and rendered to obtain the final model which is going to be analyzed.

What is the Purpose of Reverse Engineering?

Reverse engineering isn’t at all unusual, and it has been used in almost every aspect of technological advance, everywhere from construction to software development, henceforth it has been a fundamental point of start for many innovation and growth techniques.

Many times, rival manufacturers use reverse engineering to step up the game, and get ahead of their competitors by analyzing their product to find ways to improve it, and then make a better one.

Is Reverse Engineering Legal or Illegal?

Reverse engineering can sometimes come out as unethical, and some people consider it to be that way. It certainly is when DONE with the purpose of copying someone else’s work to sell it, but that’s not the way to apply it.

In the United States, reverse engineering a product is completely legal, if done right. Even if it is protected by trade secrets. Of course, that in order to reverse engineer a product, you must obtain it legitimately.

That means that, as long as the competitor’s product is out in the market, you are able to reverse engineer it.

We consider reverse engineering as a way to have a base to start from, and then apply significant changes or upgrades to make it fit our personal expectations, and works towards our ideas.

Here are some typical sketches we get from clients and what we turn them into