Fast and simple access to component part CAD drawings is vital for engineers to design machinery. Accurate 3D visualisations also help buyers make quick decisions. WDS Components freely presents its library of 20,000-plus product drawings in a variety of CAD and non-specialist file formats to help component users speed up their design process. Sam Wilkinson, design engineer at WDS Components, explains how easy access to component CAD drawings enables faster design.

Computer-aided design, better known as CAD, is used today throughout all industries to increase the speed and reduce the cost of design. While an engineer uses CAD on a daily basis to develop new designs or make modifications to existing developments, it’s vital that they have access to CAD files of the component parts used on their design.
3D CAD drawings improve the quality of design with the ability to create an accurate model to guide development. They increase the speed of development, removing the need to wait for actual product samples before integrating them into designs and increasing time to market. They also reduce the cost of development, removing the need to procure a variety of components before identifying the right specification. CAD models are of course also required when specifying components and standard parts in industries including aerospace, automotive and rail.
A choke point for the design engineer is often the access to the files they need. Most significantly, this includes the availability of drawings, which may not cover the entire product range, or may not include the full selection of items, such as different sizes within a component product family. For this reason, WDS presents virtually its entire range of components in CAD format, including products such as toggle clamps, gas struts and cam levers, amounting to over 20,000 drawings.
To improve the ease and speed of access to CAD files, WDS includes the entire library free of charge on With no cost and open access, as many files as required can be downloaded. To save time for the customer, only a single log-in is needed to access and download the library as opposed to making a specific request each time a CAD file is required.
WDS has identified that on some websites, CAD download speeds can be slow. By uploading the 20,000 strong CAD file library to its servers, WDS has removed this problem – guaranteeing fast downloads and removing any ‘lag’ from the process. WDS has used a 3D system CAD since 2000 and the company’s design engineers use the industry standard SolidWorks 3D CAD software, maintaining pace with the latest developments such as anticipation of the upcoming release of SolidWorks 2021. The highest level of technique and technology mean the most accurate, streamlined drawings and models are created. At the same time, WDS offers compatibility across a wide variety of nine CAD packages, including CATIA V4 and V5 which are used predominantly in the automotive and aerospace industries. WDS can also achieve file compatibility should a customer use a specific, niche CAD software.
Not all CAD requirements are for design engineers, for example buyers without specialist software who may need to see critical dimensions or confirm component aesthetics. Each component on the website includes a 3D rendered model which can be examined from all angles, as well as 2D CAD drawings and high-resolution product images. 3D PDFs are easily accessed with Adobe Acrobat and some CAD files can be viewed by using non-specialist software such as Draftsight, eDrawings or DWGSee.
Developments in CAD continue to enhance the speed and capability of engineering design. This means that fast, simple access to a complete library of component part CAD drawings will remain crucial. For that reason, CAD file support will remain a key offering from WDS Components.