Manufacturers, architects and contractors rely on 2D CAD drafting and 3D CAD drafting for production and projects. It affects both project execution and quality if the accuracy, turnaround time and quality of these drawings do not meet the benchmarks. Whether it is about manufacturing a quality product on time, or finishing a construction project within deadlines, CAD design and drafting services have a crucial role.
For large and medium-sized companies focused on freeing up core resources, outsourcing CAD drafting to India is the best option. Outsourcing saves time, reduces overall costs, decreases infrastructure liability, and provides high-quality deliverables with expertise. It also increases flexibility, as drafting operations can be scaled up or down depending on demand.
What is 2D CAD Drafting?
2D CAD drafting involves creating 2-dimensional technical drawings using a CAD platform such as AutoCAD, SolidWorks, or Autodesk Inventor. Ideally, these 2D drawings consist of three different views – top view, side view, and front view – to convey the complete product design and geometry.
In each CAD draft, the product geometry is annotated with technical details like manufacturing footnotes, tolerances, manufacturing process, and machine allowances. CAD deliverables such as fabrication drawings, manufacturing drawings, shop drawings, sheet metal shop drawings, etc., primarily utilize 2D drafting.
What is 3D CAD Drafting?
3D CAD drafting, also known as 3D CAD modeling, involves developing 3D models within a CAD environment. These models can be solid 3D models or sheet metal CAD models, depending on the product being manufactured. Various industry segments such as industrial products, furniture manufacturing, and building construction utilize 3D CAD modeling services.
What is the difference between 3D and 2D drafting?
The fundamental difference between 2D drafting and 3D drafting is that the latter adds an extra dimension of depth to height and width. This additional dimension makes 3D models more comprehensive for clear design communication across teams.
Secondly, since a 2D drawing uses only lines to depict product designs, it can only describe limited shapes. Designers need to create multiple views of the product design. With 3D drafting, all shapes and products can be easily created in a single file. This is helpful for developing complex product designs for stakeholders who are from non-technical domains.
What are the advantages of 2D or 3D CAD drafting services?
One advantage of 2D over 3D CAD drafting is that there are more experts and workers across the manufacturing industry who are familiar with 2D drawings. Most of the time, 2D drawings are sufficient to communicate design intent and share design information between design engineers and shop floor engineers. They can understand how each part fits with every other part in a multi-component assembly just by looking at the drawings.
However, design engineers often spend hours on iterative design drafting. Therefore, they often outsource it to expert CAD engineers in offshore locations. CAD design and drafting companies readily take up drafting work and free up design engineers.
Many times, manufacturing companies may have legacy designs from before the pre-CAD era, preserved on paper. This not only causes design preservation issues but also hampers the engineer’s ability to efficiently add value or recreate the part. As a result, 2D CAD conversion services have become an essential part of outsourcing CAD drafting. Although simple, it requires significant time and attention to edit the drawing details.
Why outsource CAD drafting services to India?
India remains the outsourcing hub for an array of industries, including engineering CAD drafting. CAD drafting is a time-consuming task that involves detailing and close coordination with design engineers and other product stakeholders. Some benefits of hiring CAD outsourcing companies in India include:
A team of expert CAD drafters
Excellence in CAD drafting extends beyond accuracy and compliance with design standards. It requires a deep understanding of precise geometry, drawing symbols, and clear communication of manufacturing processes.
Offshore CAD drafting teams meticulously mark slopes, depths, arc curvatures, datum symbols, orientations, and other features in manufacturing drawings or shop drawings. They utilize various parametric CAD platforms like Autodesk AutoCAD, Autodesk Inventor, SolidWorks, Creo, etc., to share accurate design intent through 2D and 3D drawings.
Enhanced quality and faster turnaround time
The quality of drawings and the turnaround time are crucial aspects of CAD drafting projects. These factors heavily influence every step of production and project execution. Lack of quality at any point results in wasted time, rework, and delays. When an outsourcing company handles a CAD drafting project, they assign dedicated teams and help overcome these challenges.
For example, offshore CAD teams work 24×7 in shifts, leveraging the time zone difference. If you share inputs at the end of your day, the offshore teams can pick up the work because it’s the beginning of their workday. They update you on work completion at the end of their day, so your work is ready on the table when you begin work the next day.
Furthermore, offshore CAD teams have years of experience and expertise. They help identify design loopholes and highlight them for elimination. They are also capable of developing design drawings that comply with internationally accepted standards such as IS, ASME, or ANSI.
Improved productivity by leveraging 3rd party software and APIs
CAD platforms, despite their multifaceted functionalities, sometimes require external applications and APIs to enhance the design process. Outsourcing companies have specialized engineers who can create customized macros and APIs for 3rd party software. These additions increase your design team’s efficiency and expand your capacity to offer add-on services.
For example, adding repetitive features such as holes in sheet metal modeling can be time-consuming. Using 3rd party software like DriveWorks or running a CAD macro can automate the command and generate the pattern quickly. Platforms like Bluebeam also allow markups in digital drawings, which are highly useful for cost estimation and quantity takeoffs.
Quick ramp-up and ramp-down of resources
The manufacturing industry experiences market fluctuations throughout the year. This means that the workload for design engineers increases during peak times and decreases at other times. However, hiring and firing resources based on varying demands isn’t a sustainable option.
Having an offshore CAD team on board allows you to tackle this situation efficiently. The outsourcing model empowers you to bring in more resources when the workload increases. They can work during busy periods and help meet timelines. When the workload reduces, the extra resources can be benched, and you don’t have to worry about costs and legalities.
How much does CAD drafting cost?
The cost of CAD drafting depends on several factors, such as expertise, level of detailing required, and the type of drawings. However, one can expect the cost to range between $120 and $150 per hour. Some CAD companies also charge CAD drafting fees based on engagement models like staff hours or the number of drawing sheets.
When searching for CAD drafting services in India, it is important to consider the following factors before finalizing the hourly rate for drafting services:
- Education and experience
- Number of iterations accommodated
- Project length
- Scope of work
- Customer reviews
Collaborating with a CAD drafting outsourcing company enhances the overall efficiency of your design team and expedites the project lifecycle. Manufacturers can dedicate their in-house design engineers to design optimization and innovation.
An overseas CAD company has a dedicated taskforce for close coordination with your teams at various stages of design development. At True CADD, we offer different engagement models for collaboration based on your project length and scope of work. Email us, and we’ll respond within 24 hours to address any queries you have regarding a project or idea.