Art

CAD Courses

By Mariza Halliday - Last update


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What is CAD?

CAD, or Computer-aided design, is the use of computers to aid in the creation, modification, analysis, or optimisation of a design by creating computer models that are defined by geometrical parameters. These models typically appear on a computer monitor as a three-dimensional representation of a part or a system of parts, which can be readily altered by changing relevant parameters.

Used by engineers, architects, and construction managers, CAD has replaced manual drafting. It helps users creating designs in either 2D or 3D so that they can visualize the construction. CAD enables the development, modification, and optimization of the design process.

What 3rd level courses are available?

Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering courses in CAD in the following subject areas:

  • CAD & 3D Modelling – The aim of this programme is to equip candidates with the understanding and principles of the 2D & 3D drawing environments in terms of hardware, software and physical surroundings.
  • AutoCAD With Revit – This comprehensive AutoCAD course covers a range of AutoCAD functions such as drawing and editing, manipulating objects, hatching and more.
  • AutoCAD – Learn how to set up and use AutoCAD software for the production of a wide variety of drawings.
  • AutoCAD-2D Course: Introduction – This AutoCAD-2D course is suitable for learners looking to gain the knowledge, skill and competence to utilize computer technology as a design tool and a presentation media.
  • AutoCAD 2D Introduction – Become familiar with the necessary techniques required to produce and edit drawings of medium complexity and prepare drawings from output to hard copy on AutoCAD 2D.
  • AutoCAD 2D Advanced – Learn how to use AutoCAD 2D from conceptualisation and production of working drawings to the production of virtual reality images.
  • Professional Design – AutoCAD Advanced/3D Modelling – This programme is designed for professionals who are already familiar with AutoCAD, it focuses on drawing, specifications and 3D-Modelling.

Studying CAD

There are many courses in CAD that may take place over a few days, weeks or even 1 year to 4 years depending on the course and modules selected. There are also part-time courses and night courses available so you can be sure to fit in your studies no matter what your schedule is like.

Courses will cover theory work through lectures, assignments, tutorials and taught modules. Assessments will take place on a continuous basis with written examinations and practical assignments combined in order to achieve a qualification.

You could also consider work experience or a work shadow in the industry. Employers usually require relevant engineering knowledge and experience in using CAD software. Large engineering and construction companies typically offer summer placements and year-in-industry placements to students on relevant degree programmes. These can provide industry experience and give you opportunities to use computer-aided design software on real-life projects.

Work Experience will not only give you the opportunity to obtain a deeper knowledge and understanding of the industry, it will also give you a chance to do some essential networking with other industry professionals and gain valuable contacts for the future.

Career options

After completing a CAD course you will be able to get started in a career that uses specific knowledge of engineering, IT and mathematical skills to design buildings, machinery, products and parts.

A CAD technician, also known as a draughtsperson, uses CAD software to create technical drawings and plans for products and parts used in the engineering, construction and manufacturing industries.

You’ll work with architects and design engineers to understand the requirements of their initial designs and turn them into accurate and detailed technical drawings in 2D and 3D models. These drawings are used at all stages of a project, from estimating cost and feasibility to creating the blueprints for manufacturing and instructions for installation.

CAD technicians usually work in engineering, manufacturing and construction industries and specialise in a certain technical field, such as mechanical, electrical, structural, control and instrumentation or piping design.

You’ll also be able to use CAD skills in a range of creative industry jobs, such as set and interior design.

Typical employers are civil engineering and construction companies, architectural practices, aerospace companies, automotive manufacturers, broadcasting and telecommunications, utility companies, electrical and electronic engineering companies, the government, consumer goods manufacturers and oil and gas providers.

Working hours will depend on whether you are self-employed, employed by a company with set business hours or if you are contracted to various businesses or companies. Working hours are typically 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday, but longer hours and overtime may be required to meet project deadlines.

Related jobs include:

  • CAD technician
  • Design technician
  • Architectural technician
  • Architect
  • Architectural technologist
  • Graphic designer
  • Product designer
  • Engineering or industrial designer
  • Building services technician
  • Clothing/textile technologist
  • Colour technologist
  • Exhibition designer
  • Furniture designer
  • Interior and spatial designer
  • Automotive engineer
  • Furniture conservator/restorer
  • Graphic designer
  • Materials engineer
  • Procurement manager
  • Product manager
  • Production designer, theatre/television/film
  • Stylist
  • Construction manager
  • Landscape architect
  • Planning and development surveyor
  • Structural engineer

Further study

After completing a course in CAD you may choose to pursue further study in a specialist field to increase your knowledge base and skill set. Postgraduate study can also be used as a means to change career focus or to gain professional qualifications required to practise in certain career areas such as engineering, design and construction.

FAQ

What is the importance of CAD?

CAD enables the development, modification, and optimisation of the design process. Thanks to CAD, engineers can make more accurate representations and modify them easily to improve design quality. The software also takes into account how various materials interact.  Effective utilisation of all information ultimately increases productivity. CAD enables designers to consider all of the elements, helping to create a more comprehensive design. Ultimately, this translates to fewer work changes and fewer surprises during the entire process of design and manufacture.

What is the difference between CAD and CAM?

CAD is the use of computers for designing which means that computers are used to aid in creating the design, modifying and analyzing the designing activities. Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) is the use of computer software to control machine tools in the manufacturing of modules.

What is the difference between CNC and CAD?
Computer numerical control (CNC) is a method for automating control of machine tools through the use of software embedded in a microcomputer attached to the tool. It is commonly used in manufacturing for machining metal and plastic parts. For example, MasterCAM is software that provides both CAD and CAM functionality to drive CNC machines efficiently for optimised productivity.

Where can I study CAD?

Explore your options here

 Did You Know?

  • In 1932, The Museum of Modern Art established the world’s first curatorial department devoted to architecture and design.
  • Egyptians are often cited as the first logo designers. In the 13th century, they used to brand domestic animals with hieroglyphs to mark ownership of their animals.
  • The first-ever Watermark can be dated back to 1282. They were designed to identify and protect work, and prevent counterfeiting.
  • The Sims, which debuted in 2000, is one of the most popular video games around. But before it became a life simulator, the original concept had the game working more like SimCity: players would design a house, and autonomous characters would test the design’s success.
  • The average car contains over 30,000 unique parts.


Mariza Halliday

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