6 CAD Technologies to boost innovation

  • Category:
    • Industry News
    • Computer Aided Design (CAD)
According to the McKinsey Quarterly Report – only 4 percent of work activities in the US require creativity . 

That’s just 19 minutes of your working day spent massaging your grey matter into a ‘eureka’ moment. The other seven hours and 41 minutes will be spent doing repetitive and routine tasks. If you’re wondering why you’re having a bad day, it’s probably because 96 per cent of your creative time is being eaten up with the mundane and the uninspired. If that’s just enough to put you in a rut – imagine what its doing for the rest of the economy? 

Imagine how many more start-ups we might have? What brilliant product design we could be using instead?  While the headlines shout about robots taking jobs (up to 30 per cent of UK jobs could be impacted - but not eliminated- by automation by 2030 ), there is an argument of what you could be doing while the robot gets busy with the boring stuff?

As Gian Paolo Bassi, CEO of SOLIDWORKS said “Automation isn’t about taking jobs but freeing up that most important asset: a human’s creativity and innovation.” 

At NT CADCAM we couldn’t agree more. Our CAD and CAM software solutions are all designed to help our customers bypass those repetitive pain points so our customers can get stuck into the job of designing. And when we last looked – creativity and sensing emotions are still human skills that cannot be automated. 

NT CADCAM customer Steeper, a leading manufacturer of prosthetics, used SOLIDWORKS so they could stop worrying about updating drawings and searching for files and instead spend more time doing outreach design work with amputees in creating an award-winning prosthetic Bebionic hand for the female market.  While Tomoe Valve Limited, which designs and manufacturers high performance Triple Offset Rotary process valves, found that SOLIDWORKS Simulation dramatically cut its time to market so it could concentrate on opening up new bespoke markets. 

Andrew Lillyman, Application Developer at NT CADCAM says, “A lot of design work is taken up with admin, slow running programmes, repetitive clicks and looking for files. We help designers and engineers shortcut all those pain points by freeing up time for them to explore deeper into the user-experience and explore more creative options to drive innovation.

“Users can be sceptical of automation, fearful even that too much will remove or dilute their role. Good automation is not about replacing the engineer but complementing the system available to them and empowering them to do what they do best, design.”

NT CADCAM has a range of design solutions to do exactly that. Here are our six favourite design tools that can free-up your engineer’s time:


All of the products in the SOLIDWORKS portfolio are geared to saving the designer time so they can get stuck into the job of designing for whatever industry you are in: Automatic creation of engineering drawings and bills of materials; automatic routing of piping and tubing/electrical cables; updating all part files with one click.  If you’re still doing this manually – save yourself some time and give us a call on 0800 250 4953. 

Engineers can waste anything from 10 to 25 per cent of their day just searching for data. SOLIDWORKS PDM solves all this and also takes away the repetitive tasks of managing data such as automating the creation of .pdfs for Word, Excel, PowerPoint or having to manually fill in the title block information. Don’t waste your time looking for files again.

3) DriveWorks
The ultimate tool in automating design re-use. Many engineers can feel like they spend their entire careers tweaking existing designs for reuse. DriveWorks automates all that. It copies the SOLIDWORKS model, modifies it based on a set of rules you’ve tapped in and ‘bingo’, you have your new model. Leaving you to get busy with something new…

4) NT Toolbox
Developed exclusively for NT CADCAM customers, the NT Toolbox is a time-saving interface that works within SOLIDWORKS, which will boost your day-to-day efficiency by automating small tasks with one new click. Watch out for our Q3 launch of seven new apps that will eradicate some of those really annoying repetitive tasks. 

5) SOLIDWORKS Model Based Definition (MBD)

Free up your creative time and let SOLIDWORKS MBD communicate your Product and Manufacturing Information (PMI) directly to the shop floor in 3D. Not only are you by-passing time-consuming 2D processes, you’ll also never lose sleep again about worrying about any potential errors in your drawings. 
Our newest 3D tool from Geometric will make optimal sheet layouts a breeze. Get the maximum number of parts from a single piece of raw material and cut scrap volume. NESTINGWorks will also automatically group and nest parts of the same thickness. 

For more details on any more of these products call the NT CADCAM team today on 0800 250 4953.

[i] McKinsey Quarterly Report 2016 only 4 per cent of work activities in the US economy require creativity.
[ii] PwC UK Economic Outlook report says up to around 30% of existing jobs are susceptible to automation from robotics and AI by the early 2030s.

Ro Pimlott - author


Ro Pimlott View profile

My role as Content Marketing Executive within NT CADCAM is to manage all digital content across our social media channels, email communications and the website.