Top Down Design

Written by Adam Blau
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Engineers go about creating their finished products through one of several means. One of these methods is to have the final product vision in mind and to create the individual components as defined by the end result. This methodology is known as top-down design.

Top-down design begins with an ending. That is, it requires the engineer to have a clear idea of the finished product in mind before the first model component is designed. Such a design method necessitates careful and thorough planning, and a complete vision of the finished product before any technical work is done in the model construction.

Top-Down Design and CAD

Some computer-aided design (CAD) software can work particularly well with top-down models. In order for a CAD program to succeed with this type of design, it is necessary to have the ability to extract or redefine a given component. What at one point in the design process may be filler material will later be redefined as a full, complex working part.

Not all CAD programs can easily handle both top-down and bottom-up designs. If your engineering needs require both of these, be sure that your CAD program has the unique set of features that are required by each of these types of designs. The more flexible your CAD program, the more types of model methodology your engineering firm will be able to accommodate.


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