The term “CAD” is an umbrella acronym for the practice of computer-aided design, or additionally, computer-aided drafting design. CAD reaches into all areas of many facets of the world of design, from blueprints to rendering of clothing to conceptualizing a syllabus for an academic course. If you’re new to CAD, you’ll find a variety of resources available to help you learn the software related to CAD, both on your own or from field experts who will make you glad you know CAD.
1. Enroll in a community college course on CAD, such as Illinois Oakton Community College’s offerings, which include “Basic AutoCAD,” “Industrial Design Engineering,” “Basic AutoCAD for Interior Design,” “CAD Introduction to Building Systems” and “Topics in Computer-Aided Design.” Adult education courses are usually short-term and require no prior education or experience. Students who wish to pursue their CAD software education may enroll in intermediate CAD courses.
2. Pick up a CAD beginner’s manual, such as “AutoCAD 2010 for Dummies” by David Byrnes, “AutoCad 2007: No Experience Required” by David Frey, “Enhanced CAD Drawings with Photoshop” by Scott Onstott, or “Geometric Programming for Computer-Aided Design” by Alberto Paoluzzi. Look for texts with lots of code examples and screenshots.
3. Review a copy of the “Computer-Aided Design” journal, which offers the latest research in CAD software breakthroughs, such as computational geometry, computer graphics and augmented reality, conceptual design, design automation, and solid modeling.
4. Join an industry organization such as the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture or The Cad Society. Both groups offer training events, discounts on CAD materials, and membership rosters. You can search for CAD industry experts in your local area and possibly find a mentor or group to study with.