What is a CAD Librarian?
Whether you’ve learned CAD and are looking for a job in the industry or are an amateur designer, the term CAD librarian is something that you’re almost certain to come across. The term typically defines a person who works for a large company designing reusable blocks and models, which can be used to create an internal or external CAD library.
The CAD librarian develops frequently used and reusable pieces, which are then made available to designers and engineers, who can use them as bases for pieces that they build often. The idea is that with a library of basic pieces like fans, screws, ports, openings, and other commonly used parts, the company speeds up the design process, reduces the manual labor in the design process, and reduces repetitive design.
This involves a multi-step process of design, control, and distribution.
Designing CAD Parts
A CAD librarian must be a skilled designer who can create new parts and blocks that engineers and designers can use. This means designing parts that comply with industry standards to the specifications and safety standards required by that company. These parts are then often compiled into a single use library, which is made accessible to engineers.
Updating CAD Parts
Once you’ve developed a library, it is important to continue updating parts, manage lifecycles, and change basic parts as new designs emerge. CAD librarians are typically in charge of this process, which involves updating base designs, removing old models, and ensuring that everything is efficient and up to date.
Distributing the CAD Library
In most cases, CAD library distribution means using a CAD library program or solution, managing access to those solutions, and managing use and versions. Most librarians use either a custom program developed by the company or a specific solution such as Altium Vault.
Collating Existing Material
In some cases, CAD librarians review free CAD libraries and purchased CAD designs and collate it into a single library, which can be more easily accessed by engineers.
Working in teams often means that job roles are split into several and a CAD librarian may work with a team of engineers who create CAD designs and blocks and will primarily work with organization, data management, and lifecycle management instead of design.
In short, a CAD librarian typically handles both file management and file development – controlling every part of the process between development and distribution to engineers. In a small company, the CAD librarian is typically a role taken on by a head designer, with no specific role set aside for the tasks. In very large companies and universities, the CAD librarian will take on smaller roles, such as specific data management, design, etc., rather than doing everything – and will instead work with a team to achieve the same tasks on a much larger scale.
While CAD librarians typically work internally in a company, they may also work for CAD library and catalogue solutions, which enable them to develop for general use rather than for specific company use. However, the general tasks and job requirements remain the same.