Custom programs and customization have been successfully developed for various CAD systems. The result has been efficiency improvements but more important, errors can be eliminated.
The fair number of these development efforts have been for Autocad through the use of AutoLisp. Customization programs for Autodesk, Inventor, and Solidworks have been developed using VB.Net.
The "on screen" Template, (shown) is a typical example of a number of the custom programs and functions that have been developed. The tool template shown includes four categories of functions. The upper Left quadrant provided excellent "view control" in a 3D environment. The upper Right quadrant provided a number of "construction line" tools for developing sketches. The lower Left tools managed layers. The Lower Right provided good User Coordinate System, UCS control in 3D environments.
A category of applications that has also been developed is the integration of CAD automation into manufacturing processes. Few clients have taken advantage of these opportunities. One proposed example was a 3-Axis grinding machine for irregular shaped parts. The challenge of that application was to easily and accurately "define" the exact tool path of a grinding wheel to obtain a desired shape. Because the Client’s parts were in a 3D CAD environment, the interface program generated the tool path from the features that are designated by the CAD operator. Once a file was generated it could be downloaded into the grinder's control system, resulting in manufacturing of some very complex shapes.