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3D Computer Modelling


Computer Aided Design (CAD) is an exciting area where ideas and designs are transformed into 2D and 3D models that can be rendered, animated, manufactured or tested. It is commonly used in industries ranging from aerospace to film making.

'Smart' industries use some sort of CAD system, whether it is for graphical illustration, engineering simulation, digital image manipulation, fashion design or education.

At the IEC and the Department of Design and Technology at Loughborough University, we use CAD for a range of activities including model making and visualisation.


We are very interested in using CAD and Computer Aided Manufacture (CAM) to produce 3D models. These models can be painted so that they look like a real object, for example, the telephone shown above. They can also be used as moulds for other things, such as vacuum forming, injection moulding or casting. A particularly good example of using CAD/CAM to produce moulds is our injection moulding project.

If your are interested in seeing how you could use CAD/CAM, see the Free Resources page for continually updated project ideas.


3D CNC Routing CNC Routing a 3D surface model of an answer machine from blue foam model making material.
3D CNC Milling CNC Milling a 3D surface model of a computer mouse. Ideal modelling materials include Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF), Blue Modelling Foam and Ureol.

If you wish to look at examples of CAD work that students have done in the Department of Design and Technology, see the Department's Student Design Activity page (opens in separate browser).


The current CAD/CAM system we use for 2D and 3D modelling and manufacturing consists of:

- AutoDesk Mechanical Desktop

- Open MIND HyperMILL and HyperVIEW

- Microsoft Windows NT Workstations

- Denford and Boxford CNC Machinery


In addition to CAD/CAM, we are also interested in other aspects of computer assisted modelling, particularly, electronic design and simulation. Such systems allow you to design electronic circuits, simulate and test the circuit without having to breadboard it, and manufacture the printed circuit board (PCB). Currently we use two software systems to teach undergraduates Industrial Design students.

Crocclips Screen Shot Crocodile Clips is an electronic circuit design, simulation and testing package, allowing analogue and digital circuit design without having to bread board the circuit.
PCB Wizard Screen Shot PCB Wizard allows students to design and manufacture circuits that are either created in PCB Wizard or imported from Crocclips. Combined, these two software products enable students to design and make a wide range of electronic circuits and systems.
Working Model is a desktop dynamics/kinematics motion simulation package that is used to simulate mechanical structures and assemblies created in the CAD system. Using Working Model, students can simulate and analyse the mechanical and structural integrity of their design.