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Top-down design is a methodology used in CAD to simplify the development of products with complex interdependencies and relationships between components.
Take an electric sports car, for example. As a machine, it needs to be functional and practical. The silhouette of the car is smooth and streamlined to lower drag and conserve battery power.
Beneath that exterior is the battery, along with a mess of wiring, computer chips, sensors, screens, and countless other parts.