Patrick J. Hanratty conceived computer-aided design and computer aided manufacturing, making him renowned as, “The Father of CAD/CAM” It is widely believed that over 70% of all 3-D mechanical CAD/CAM systems available today trace their roots back to Hanratty’s original code.
Hanratty earned a PhD from the University of California, Irvine. He worked for General Electric, where in 1957 he wrote Pronto, an early commercial numerical control programming language. Then he moved in 1961 to General Motors Research Laboratories where he helped to develop DAC, (Design Automated by Computer).
1970 he founded the company, “ICS” that produced a CAD/CAM drafting system. In 1971, building on lessons from ICS, Hanratty founded the extremely successful Manufacturing and Consulting Services (MCS. All the software was written in Fortran and it ran on almost any computer. His product was named Automated Drafting and Machining (ADAM), later AD-2000, and still later Anvil-4000.
Among well-known customers of MCS were Computervision who licensed Adam for CADDS, Gerber Scientific for IDS 3, and McDonnell Douglas who licensed it for Unigraphics. Several well-known CAD/CAM packages were developed from MCS products. Among them were Auto-Grapl, Autosnap 3D, Anvil-5000, and Intelligent Modeler.
Hanratty, currently a resident of Prescott Valley, Arizona, is married to Sandra, has two sons, a daughter and 13 grandchildren.