computer aided design. The use of computers to design products. CAD systems are high speed workstations or personal computers using CAD software and input devices such as graphic tablets and scanners to model and simulate the use of proposed products. CAD output is a printed design or electronic output to CAM systems. CAD software is available for generic design or specialized uses such as architectural, electrical, and mechanical design. CAD software may also be highly specialized for creating products such as printed circuits and integrated circuits.