Computer aided design (CAD) applications are software tools that assist in 3D mechanical design. These tools have powerful features to allow for complex designs by skilled users. Because they are designed to afford experts both precision and flexibility, CAD controls can present a steep learning curve to beginners who are just starting to incorporate CAD into their workflow. In contrast, physical construction -- e.g., building with cardboard boxes -- feels highly intuitive and can be experienced as a form of play. Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS challenged our team to prototype some way of simulating the ease of physical construction through the computer screen, allowing users to virtually prototype at the speed of thought. The team created a novel approach to CAD manipulation that leverages a user’s cell phone to create intuitive and natural CAD interactions.
Lynn Andrea Stein