It might only be CAD humour and a light hearted smile within the engineering design industry but we honestly think the closest some of our younger mechanical design engineers have come to a drawing board is by undertaking a Google image search ……

The above is just an example of CAD humour, but nowadays, all of our mechanical design engineers have substantial experience in using at least one or more of the major 3D mechanical design CAD systems run internally by Nova including SolidWorks, Solid Edge, Inventor, Catia, Siemens NX (Unigraphics) as well as the ever dependable 2D Autocad.

Getting all misty eyed and reminiscing, in our early days engineering design was still very much a manual industry and at its inception Nova consisted of 10 drawing boards, a typewriter and a simple phone system.

As the pace of electronic technology development increased and IT computer hardware / CAD software became more commercially available, Nova were one of the first subcontract mechanical design offices to invest in this modern design tool called CAD – Computer Aided Design. To put things into perspective, Nova’s first CAD workstations ran on Windows 3.1.1 (the last .1 being the network edition of Windows 3.1), had <300MB hard drives and a massive 4MB of RAM ! Currently an Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max has a minimum of 128GB memory space and incorporates multiple GHz processors.

Nova initially invested in 6 seats of Bentley Microstation 2D software. The use of CAD took off quickly within the industry and AutoCAD and it’s .dwg file format became the industry standard for mechanical engineering design, something Dave realised early on and Nova invested in a number of seats, allowing more work to be achieved in less time than traditional manual methods.

NOVA DESIGN - 40 seat engineering design office

Our internal engineering design office now houses 40 seats of various CAD systems, and in addition, Nova have also invested heavily in associated design tools including Mathcad for calculations, Ansys DesignSpace for Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and a variety of CAD libraries to speed up the design process.