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Conceptual differences: TAD and CAD
Let us see how TAD is different from other CAD software.
Unlike CAD, TAD uses a different paradigm to go about modeling. In TAD, you are not forced to think of a shape first and then go about creating that shape. Instead, TAD will give you a starting shape such as a rectangle, square, or a triangle. You then quickly move into other aspects of the design holistically.
On the other hand, drafting software is often interrupting your design thinking. Once you think of a shape; you would then need to break up that shape in your mind. Then think of the graphic commands for that shape. Should I use a poly line here? What if I use a rectangle command? and so on.
Notice how you get pulled away from the logic of the design; into the way the drafting software works. Your thinking becomes strongly visual – other aspects of the design recedes into the background.
That is the reason there can be a lot of difference between a drafting software expert and an amateur. It takes time to get away from the internal chatter of the commands of the software; and start concentrating on the actual designing.
On the other hand; TAD allows you to quickly build up the logic of your design. What is the name of the shape you are now inserting? Which class should it go into? What other logical elements would you need in your design? These are all questions directly related to your design. They need not be shape related.
Quite often you can even start taking decisions such as – what is the distance between here and that element? Is the area of this shape roughly right? Is this shape roughly in the correct location? and so on.
Of course; the final shapes may be different from what TAD gave initially. You can use the editing commands in TAD to lovingly edit the previously created default shape; till the shape is exactly what you had in mind. You can even precisely locate the elements at the exact positions with respect to each other.
The best part is that TAD does not dictate how you go about assembling your design elements. You can start your design in many different ways. This kind of software is called a “loosely coupled” system – It does not have any rigidity or order that it would strictly enforce.
That is why TAD is such a joy to use in very early stages of your designing. Those are the times when you;; frankly, may not even know what are the geometric details of the shapes you want to use. All that can come whenever you are ready.
And if you really wanted to work on the shape right from the beginning; TAD will say “Be my guest”, and you can do that exactly like a regular CAD software.
In short; TAD respects a logical way of looking at the design process. TAD allows you to move your design from the rough to the accurate. At your own pace. It does not force your hand to continually keep thinking of graphic shape commands.
Later on, we will see that this loosely coupled way of working of TAD allows very flexible design iterations.
Press F1 inside the application to read context-sensitive help directly in the application itself