CAD, short for Computer-Aided Design, refers to apps that allow designers to create 3D models of their work on a computer. CAE, short for Computer-Aided Engineering, refers to apps that help engineers take a CAD design, then apply engineering principles to it.
Before CAD was possible, engineers would draw their designs from three different perspectives on a sheet of paper.
The advancement and development of CAD have radically changed the way designers work. Designers can view an accurate model of their design from every angle, not just three. What’s more, designs are far less prone to errors and miscommunications.
CAE software then moves an initial design into a practical, manufacturable state. This includes considering measurements, materials, and the design’s individual components. Calculations are also applied to ensure that the model meets physical constraints.