Looking around for a job in the engineering field can be quite challenging. There are a lot of requirements that are beyond what you trained for in school. You may have seen some job postings listing knowledge in CAD as a basic skill requirement. This is enough to get you and a lot of other hopefuls wanting to enroll in a CAD course as soon as possible. But before you do so, it would be best if you learn what it is first and how it can benefit you.
What Is CAD?
According to New World Encyclopedia, CAD stands for Computer Aided Design. It is software used by a lot of professions that involve some form of design or drafting such as engineers and architects. It allows these professionals to work on their projects on a more dynamic platform than regular paper. These can be two dimensional blueprints or 3D models of what is being designed. From machinery to buildings, engineering CAD software has revolutionized the industrial designing art.
The software offers features that simplify the designing process so that even the tiniest details can be given the proper attention. Scaled measurements are more accurate thus reducing the risk of errors that may be costly in the future. The software also analyzes how the end product will perform once it is built. This ensures that every possible flaw in the design can be addressed even before it is constructed or manufactured.
In addition, Design documentation is also more efficient as CAD software for engineering include features that generate the needed information such as the Bill of materials. Engineering CAD tools helps improve the communication and relationship between the people involved in the project like contractors and other engineers. Since the designs can be exported to other software, everybody is pretty much on the same page as to how it will be implemented.
There are a variety of CAD tools available to choose from. These can range from basic software that renders 2D plans to ones that can create 3D models. Some CAD software used in engineering are available to download for free while more advanced versions need to be paid for. The price of top engineering software can be a sizeable investment and at times too expensive for individual or personal use. Because of this, it would be ideal to check engineering CAD software reviews before making a decision on which one to choose.
According to Chron, the Houstion Chronicles online version, there are various jobs that require the knowledge in CAD software. These include engineers, architects, draftsmen and industrial designers. Knowing how to use CAD software can bring a host of benefits to these professions. Below are some of these benefits that can be enjoyed by professionally trained individuals.
Engineers have different specializations from designing and constructing roads and bridges to machinery and equipment. With the knowledge of how to use CAD under their belt, they are able to explore more creative and innovative designs. This has personal benefit as they will be able to get more projects to work on and have the opportunity to work at top engineering firms.
Using 3D CAD engineering software allows engineers to design and develop products that can improve and enhance the lives of consumers. From safer bridges to more energy efficient automotive designs, the possibilities are endless.
Architects also benefit from knowing how to used CAD tools. The job of architects includes designing new buildings or repurposing existing structures. They need to fuse aesthetics and structural stability. CAD gives them the ability to tackle the complex problems that often come up in creating something attractive, cost efficient and safe. They can integrate perspective views into the drafts to make the design easier to understand and appreciate. This helps to improve the relationship between architects and clients. The latter can easily become involved in the designing process when 3D models visualize the end product.
Personal benefits that architects can get from knowing how to use CAD include more clients as their design proposals tend to be more successful. Clients respond more favorably to a virtual tour of the structure rather than a static 3D scale model.
- Interior Designers
Knowing how to use CAD has also become a necessity for Interior Designers. Most firms require even entry level apprentices to be CAD trained. This can help one to further his or her career as well as make the job a lot easier and more efficient. In addition, even individuals who are not great at drawing can still make a career in the interior design business. It has reinforced that being creative does not necessarily go with drawing skills.
The CAD design output is also aesthetically more appealing as different perspectives are made available. It can simulate how the room will look like under different light sources. It can also be viewed from different angles as the model can be rotated and revolved. CAD designs also allow clients to be able to appreciate the proposed design even more. With 3D models rendered, it is almost like taking a virtual tour of the room’s interior decoration and layout.
- Industrial Designers
To better understand the benefits of CAD in this industry, it is important that you know what industrial design is. According to the Industrial Designers Society of America, industrial design is a professional service that uses a combination of applied science and art to create products that are both functional and pleasing to look at. People in this field work on creating products and systems that improve standard of living. To be able to do this, Industrial Designers use tools such as CAD software to create accurate and easy to understand recommended designs. Using the software allows designers to ensure that the end product will be more efficient due to accurate measurements used in the planning while complying with the specifications from the client or manufacturer. In addition, the design process becomes a lot faster when it is done on CAD. From design briefing done on a 2D platform to the detail design prototype in a 3D rendering, the process is less stressful and is completed much quicker.
In all of the professions discussed, there are a couple of common benefits enjoyed. Efficiency and profitability are all improved with the use of CAD software.
Finding a CAD Course
Because you’re skill in engineering CAD software can mean a huge work advantage, you want to make sure you get the best training. With so many CAD courses available online and local colleges, choosing which one to go to can be quite confusing. To help you out, here are some factors that you would need to consider.
- Type of Training
One of the first things you would need to decide on is what type of training will fit your schedule and learning style. If you have a busy schedule which makes it difficult for you to attend regular classes then an online course may be perfect for you. It is also ideal for individuals who are able to learn with minimal supervision. Most online courses offer projects that you can practice on so a kinesthetic learner may find this suitable.
However, if you have a more flexible schedule and prefer to learn the traditional way, you can opt for regular classroom training. Local colleges or CAD training centers in your area may have classes that would fit in with your free time. This type of learning can benefit audio, visual and kinesthetic learners. It usually includes lectures, manuals and hands on practice projects. One other advantage traditional classroom training can bring is the personal interaction and support you will be getting from your instructor as well as your peers.
There is a third option that most colleges offer nowadays. It is a combination of online and classroom type learning. Digital School, a technical design college with years of experience in running CAD courses, calls this Blended Learning. Modules are sent out through email. Students can work on these in their free time and then come to class to discuss questions they may have. Most adult learners prefer this type of training course as they get the best of both worlds.
- Curriculum Focus
Based on the information discussed earlier, you can see that the software has different applications. So, when searching for the course to enroll in, it would be beneficial for you to review what the curriculum will be focused on. You will need to find a course that has a curriculum focused on the application of CAD to your industry.
Most universities, colleges and online training programs provide a course outline that you can use in assessing if it is the perfect fit for you. While the basics of CAD is pretty general, you will want to learn how these can be maximized for the field you will be using it in.
For traditional classroom courses, learning who the instructor is and what their field of specialization will also help you in determining if it is the right one for you. Instructors who specialize in a similar field as yours are more likely to be able to provide you with the information you need.
- Degree Offered
There are various types of programs to learn engineering CAD software. According to an article on the guidelines on choosing a CAD course on study.com, an online learning center, you can pick from a certificate program or an associate’s degree. The certificate program offers basic training that includes drafting and CAD layers and line types. Completing this program will give you sufficient knowledge to be eligible for entry level positions.
The associate’s degree on the other hand offers a more technical approach. The course also provides training on how to collaborate on designs to help you in your professional relationship with your colleagues.
With so many benefits that you can get professionally from knowing how to use CAD, learning it would certainly be a worthy investment. To start exploring this useful software, check out the list of engineering CAD software on Crowdreviews.com to get more information.
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