CATIA TrainingComputer Aided Design (CAD) is the use of computer software to design a product or an object.
Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) is the use of computer software and hardware to plan, manage and control the operations of a manufacturing plant.
Computer Aided Engineering is the use of computer software to solve engineering problems and analyze products created using CAD.
CATIA is an acronym for Computer Aided Three-dimensional Interactive Application. It is one of the leading 3D software used by organizations in multiple industries ranging from aerospace, automobile to consumer products.
CATIA is a multi platform 3D software suite developed by Dassault Systèmes, encompassing CAD, CAM as well as CAE. Dassault is a French engineering giant active in the field of aviation, 3D design, 3D digital mock-ups, and product lifecycle management (PLM) software. CATIA is a solid modelling tool that unites the 3D parametric features with 2D tools and also addresses every design-to-manufacturing process. In addition to creating solid models and assemblies, CATIA also provides generating orthographic, section, auxiliary, isometric or detailed 2D drawing views. It is also possible to generate model dimensions and create reference dimensions in the drawing views. The bi-directionally associative property of CATIA ensures that the modifications made in the model are reflected in the drawing views and vice-versa.
The first release of CATIA was way back in 1977, and the software suite is still going strong more than 30 years later. While CATIA V6 is just being released, the most popular version of CATIA is V5 which was introduced in 1998. That said, it is important to note that each version of CATIA introduces considerable additional functionality. For example, V4 (introduced in 1192) offered enhancements to the Assembly Modeling Product including easy-to-use graphical tree-based assembly management. V5 and V6 saw changes in the way data is handled. Dassault Systemes typically offers new updates, releases and bug fixes for each version. The CATIA software is written in C++. It runs on both Unix and Windows.
What does CATIA do?
CATIA provides the capability to visualize designs in 3D. When it was introduced, this concept was innovative. Since Dassault Systemes did not have an expertise in marketing, they had revenue sharing tie-up with IBM which proved extremely fruitful to both the companies to market CATIA. In the early stages, CATIA was extensively used in the design of the Mirage aircrafts; however the potential of the software soon made it a popular choice in the automotive sector as well. As CATIA was accepted by more and more manufacturing companies, Dassault changed the product classification from CAD / CAM software to Project Lifecycle Management. The company also expanded the scope of the software.
CATIA can be used at different stages of the design - ideate, draw, test and iterate. The software comes with different workbenches (“modules”) that allow CATIA to be used across varied industries – from parts design, surface design and assembly to sheet metal design. CATIA can also be used for CNC.
CATIA offers many workbenches that can be loosely termed as modules. A few of the important workbenches and their brief functionality description is given below:
Part Design: The most essential workbench needed for solid modelling. This CATIA module makes it possible to design precise 3D mechanical parts with an intuitive and flexible user interface, from sketching in an assembly context to iterative detailed design.
Generative Shape Design: allows you to quickly model both simple and complex shapes using wireframe and surface features. It provides a large set of tools for creating and editing shape designs. Though not essential, knowledge of Part Design will be very handy in better utilization of this module.
Assembly: The basics of product structure, constraints, and moving assemblies and parts can be learned quickly. This is the workbench that allows connecting all the parts to form a machine or a component.
Kinematic Simulation: Kinematics involves an assembly of parts that are connected together by a series of joints, referred to as a mechanism. These joints define how an assembly can perform motion. It addresses the design review environment of digital mock-ups. This workbench shows how a machine will move in the real world.
These are only four of the many workbenches that CATIA offers. A few of the other modules include Machining, Equipment & System, Infrastructure and Ergonomics Design & Analysis. And of course, there are many other CATIA workbenches, each important in its own way.
CATIA Training Courses
CATIA offers advanced features and capabilities across multiple domains. It provides professional, intricate and high-spec designs for those who need precise results. From a focused beginning, CATIA has grown to be complex software that can cater to most industrial CAD / CAM / CAE requirements. Developing countries like India find CATIA extremely useful, and there is a growing demand for experts in the various workbenches offered by CATIA. Moreover, the software is continuously evolving and expanding. As technology advances, Dassault keeps on adding functionality to CATIA in each subsequent version. CATIA has been adapted by many of the industry leaders. Cities like Pune, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and even some second tier cities like Satara have seen a spurt in demand for experts who have had training in CATIA. However, since the software is so vast, not to mention expensive, it becomes difficult for individuals / corporate personnel to master a few work benches, let alone the entire CATIA suite. To achieve a training level as per industry requirements, it is necessary to get proper training in CATIA. There is a plethora of books that teach CATIA. However, unless you get a ‘hands on’ experience with CATIA, the books are not adequate to gain proficiency. Understanding this need, there are academies and institutes in India that impart training for different CATIA modules. The better training institutes are certified by Dassault itself, as they use authorized CATIA versions and have a trained staff. For those who are serious about getting professional CATIA training, it is necessary to choose an institute that is Dassault accredited, and has established a reputation for providing quality training.
The CATIA suite is a powerful design tool that is growing in popularity due to the powerful functionality it offers. Since the software is vast, it is better to get professional training in CATIA to make maximum use of its features. Cities like Pune, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Satara have competent, Dassault certified institutes that offer CATIA training.