FEA/FEM, mass/volume calculations, and design optimization can all be applied to
another caveat of CAE tools in CAD, design ergonomics. Design ergonomics
concentrates on the human body variations and their interactions with a product
6. Several CAD programs such as CATIA have integrated ergonomic analysis
packages containing digital human mannequins, reach/accessibility analyses,
visibility analyses, etc. 8,50. In engineering design, human factors must be
considered for all users interacting with the product and products should
accommodate the intended user needs to avoid costly trial and error design
approaches 1,4,50,52. Ergonomic data is applied to critical design constraints that
address safety, productivity, health, and happiness of the user population 5,6. CAD
systems have the most ergonomic capabilities to offer during the design of the man-
machine interface 51.
Modern competitive products must be aesthetically pleasing, functional,
comfortable, and ergonomic 50,52. Thus, the literature strongly recommends an
integrated design approach combining CAD/CAE and human simulation/ergonomic
tools 1,4,8,50,51,52. User characteristics especially important to a design’s success
include visual acuity, hand-eye coordination, and reaction time 5. However,
literature suggests current CAD systems lack capabilities to analyze human-product
interactions such as providing design analysis environments or an easy way to
define human product interactions 50.
Future of CAD:
As CAD software analyses and modeling tools become more sophisticated, the 3D
CAD model will better represent the final product and better suited for design
testing/study 6,8. Future CAD software will be able to combine surface and solid
modeling, a challenge in current CAD software due to mathematic compatibility
issues between the two modeling systems 7. A growing number of consumer
products require modeling of complex curves. CAD software that combines surface
and solid modeling will grow more common to meet this need 7.
Other future CAD endeavors focus on incorporating virtual reality capabilities into
the 3D CAD architecture. For example, models can also be used in VR simulation
centers such as the Electronic Visualization Laboratory at the University of Illinois,
Chicago, the Intelligent Synthesis Environment (ISE) being developed at NASA’s
Langley Research Center, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and
the University of Virginia’s Center for Advanced Computational Technology 3.
3. The ISE allows designers and engineers to walk amongst each other and share
ideas in a virtual environment to develop scientific results with lower development
times and cost 3.