For more than two decades, computer-aided design (CAD) has been widely used in a variety of industries, from architecture and engineering to product design and manufacturing. The purpose of this technology is to create or modify digital models of three-dimensional objects, making the design process more efficient and accurate. In recent years, advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) have led to the development of new CAD tools that are changing the way designers work. In this article, we will give you 10 ways AI and VR are transforming CAD.

What are AI and VR?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is an umbrella term for a variety of computer algorithms that enable machines to mimic human intelligence. AI can be used to make decisions or recommendations in a number of settings, including finance, healthcare, manufacturing, and logistics.  

The most common types of AI include machine learning, natural language processing and computer vision. Each of these involves teaching computers to do things that normally require human intelligence, like understanding language, recognizing objects and making decisions. And in most cases, AI is able to complete these tasks faster and more competently than any human could.

Virtual reality (VR), on the other hand, is a technology that enables users to experience and engage with simulated environments. It has a range of potential fields of application, including gaming, entertainment, education and training. It can also be used for commercial purposes, for example, in marketing or product design. 

VR usually relies on specialized equipment to bring simulations to life. Gadgets such as VR headsets, controllers, and 3D cameras are essential for full immersion. However, there are some frugal and even homemade solutions that allow anyone with a smartphone to access this technology. 

How AI and VR are changing the CAD game

No. 1: Increased accuracy and efficiency. Thanks to various AI systems that draw data from existing projects, designers are able to produce more complex models in less time. In addition, with VR programs such as Enscape, design presentation has never been so easy yet true to life. 

No. 2: Better design guidance. AI and VR tools allow designers to understand the components they are working with and predict how their design will behave. Therefore, they will have a reliable partner that will help them avoid serious errors and develop the best design possible.

No. 3: More cost-efficient projects. By collecting relevant data, Revit and other machine learning software can come up with the most economical design based on defined criteria. This software will take into consideration anything from geographical position and electricity costs in the area to building materials. Therefore, you can be certain that your project is as worthwhile as possible.

No. 4: Less idle time. With the increased use of AI and VR in CAD, designers can now start and finish their work faster than ever before. Namely, both of these technologies managed to automate simple tasks that were once fairly time-consuming. For example, modern CAD programs can offer architects an array of design options based on predetermined criteria, thus significantly shortening the design time.

No. 5: Facilitating continuous improvement. With less idle time, designers can work on improving their existing projects. And thanks to AI and VR tools, this improvement has become effortless. Aside from pointing out major flaws in the design, these technologies allow users to view it from multiple angles and make subtle changes. Be they cosmetic, practical, or economical — these changes will surely bring the project one step closer to perfection.

No. 6: More realistic renderings of designs. After adopting VR in architecture, you can say goodbye to boring presentations and expensive 3D models. With a pair of specialized headsets and VR-adjusted models, architects can access realistic representations of their projects. What is more, they can present this model to their clients and get relevant feedback before the building phase.

No. 7: Easier identification of potential design flaws. The creation of virtual and augmented reality has led to more realistic model depictions, which can help teams identify potential design flaws. Furthermore, certain AI systems can analyze project data and recognize most mistakes that might occur. And although this correction system isn’t completely reliable, it is sure to reduce the number of flaws to a minimum.

No. 8: Reduced need for training. Considering all of the mentioned changes AI and VR bring to the table, it comes as no surprise that they also reduce the need for training. Namely, design and presentation processes have become heavily automatized. Therefore, new designers can master CAD without getting into the nitty-gritty details of the system. 

No. 9: Better communication with customers. Better relationship with customers is yet another advantage of modern technology. Thanks to VR, customers can access their future projects and give more informed criticism. Ultimately, such communication will result in the satisfaction of both parties and better publicity.

No. 10: Improved teamwork. Finally, both AI and VR can improve team synergy and create better workflows. For example, with the Autodesk suite, architects and engineers can work on the same project simultaneously and avoid needless misunderstandings. Furthermore, by using VR technology, designers can present their projects to contractors, which will make the final results more faithful to the model.

Final thoughts

With the help of AI and VR, CAD design is evolving quickly. These technologies are allowing designers to create more accurate models and experience their designs in a more lifelike way. So, if you want to stay ahead of the curve, try one of the CAD programs with integrated AI or VR systems. Trust us; you won't be disappointed.