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just got accepted into a course, would like to know exactly what i could get with it.
the lovable rogue
So quickly in fact you may want to take a good, long, hard look at yourself, Jack.
What's the course title? Is it a 2D or 3D one?
I'm a CAD technician, which at the moment involves maintaining/updating the electronic drawing library, occasionally creating electronic drawings from old paper plots.
Depends on the nature of the business though, there's draughting work to be had for various companies, and a lot of highways technician jobs require some competency or qualifications in CAD.
It depends on what your knowledge is at the moment, and what you're likely to need to use afterwards.
"get with it"? Eh? Do you mean options on the CAD course, CAD software or what kind of job uses it?
I just wanted to know what kind of work the CAD users are involved in?? Basically where do you work and what do you do?
I didn’t really do any CAD courses as such, just learnt it along the course of my degrees and subsequent work. CAD draftsmen are often employed in architectural and engineering offices, but they will be expected to have a basic knowledge of construction too.
A lot of people use a CAD course as a springboard to doing a further course, for example architectural technicians (they help put the construction details together), GIS technicians (the people who pull together maps and surveys and stuff) or producing the standard details or shop-drawings for manufacturers and sub-contractors.
The thing about CAD is that however many courses you do, you’ll never learn everything, and handy shortcuts etc. can only really be picked up on the job. The good thing about them though is that once you have demonstrated a ability to grasp the principles of the tools, you can pretty much get to grips with any CAD package, and an awful lot of graphics/rendering programmes – whether you use the knowledge directly or not, completing a course demonstrates that you have an aptitude for picking things up quickly.
I don’t know how old you are, but a lot of firms take someone on as part of a day release course – especially if they can get themselves funding from people like the Skills Council or whatever they’re called now. This was before the dip though – I’m not sure what the situation is like at the moment, to be honest.
I work for as a draughtsman/technician for a small local architectural partnership in an office of 3 partners, another technician, a secretary, and me.
I'm not trained in architecture - I did a BEng Civil Engineering, a year working in a graduate Civils contracting job, then scratched an itch and went back to uni and did a BA in Product Design. During the product design I did some v basic CAD via an agency. And things went from there, pretty much.
Pay is fair.
Conditions are decent enough (although I'd prefer to be listening to 6music, rather than Radio 2).
Work is alright, if a little repetetive, but I've no big gripes.
I'd like to get into some 3D visualisation type stuff cos I really liked it during my BA. But I'm not sure whether I should concentrate on SketchUp (as that could, possibly, maybe, be incorporated into my current job with a little wowing of my bosses).
Or whether I should get into 3DSMax or something similar.
I played around with some 3DS, Solidworks, Rhino, and other bits and bobs for some fairly basic visualisations for my BA. I really enjoyed it, but I need to put some time into learning something properly before thinking about making money from it.
Anyone wanna spout off about 3D type stuff...?
‘construct’ things in 3D now, and are able to export stuff to 3DStudio pretty easily. I doubt that you’ll be able to get your employer to pay for you to learn 3DS unless a specific (massive) client requests it, so it’s a case of finding a dodgy copy and teaching yourself.
Sketchup is a great little tool, and we use it a lot in our office. Plus R14 has a lot of 3D/rendering tools, so you can get to grips with the solids/surfaces stuff anyway.
And that's a bit of a worry.
I'm a little anxious that my basic old-school 2D CAD experience is gonna be a deficiency in the eyes of any prospective employer using the latest versions of Architectural Desktop, etc. for proper 3D virtual construction stuff.
Sketchup defo seems like a useful thing to have on the side, regardless.
I've got a copy of 3ds v5, so that'd be my jumping in point for that if/when I get my ass in gear. I figure that that'd cover the basics and I can worry about. Unless there's a key reason for not starting there.
Not relishing the prospect of mucking about with 3D in R14 to any real degree. I've done some elementary stuff, and it's a bit of an arse.
I've found it's been handy to be able to export 2d stuff in the past though.
The project navigator stuff (which allows you to see the reference trees and undertake batch plots etc.) is really useful, and it’s must more practical for standard wall build-ups and details.
I’m not sure how commonly it’s used in engineering firms though. I’ve only come across it on huge projects, and even then it’s more the M&E engineers who have used it to co-ordinate their kit with our design. I dunno. You’re probably best speaking to someone at one of the larger firms on your side of the sector, to be honest.
Plenty to think about.
Amazing stuff. I used to have that back in the late-90s... It's changed so much in the interim.
I count myself lucky I've got an XP PC with a 17" TFT screen. 4 out of the 6 PCs in the office were Win98 until the other week when the other technician's 98 box bit the dust and he was upgraded to XP as well. But now has a 15" CRT screen instead of his old 17" CRT. I'd be kicking off big time about that, but he doesn't seem to mind.
I was working on something like 2002 or 2004 in the agency jobs I was at prior to this. There are a couple of really niggly deficiencies in R14, but it's no major handicap seeing as what we do is just 2D plans, elevations, sections and details etc.
It's the QA that kills me. We repeat so much work cos there's no real collaborative setup going on.
The bumbling along vibe is all part of the charm. :-)
It's pretty easy to use.
she's a teacher.
CAD in itself ain't rocket science or owt. But CAD packages are a bit more complex than a pen. Mastery (or at least ability) in that complexity is always gonna be worth something to those who can earn more by doing non-CAD management, engineering or decision making stuff with more responsibility than just draughting.
There are lots of companies in lots of areas that don't expect you to have engineering knowledge to do the job of a draughtsman. I'm not saying that it'll be a fulfilling career in itself, but it's a good stepping stone, certainly.
TRU FAX (We currently have R14 with Mechanical desktop)
The last job I did was almost exclusively AutoCAD/Inventor based (Inventor is like a souped up 3D version), and that got me to Paris for a few months. It was basically drawing up 2D 3rd angle drawings from sketches and old drawings, and then converting those into 3D.
Current job involves designing odds and sods for variosu medical and rehab uses, so I draw them up once they're done (keeps a nice catalogue). 3D work is used for either showing people what something will look like before we go ahead and make it (saving on materials and so on), and also for CNC input (computerised mill)
Most jobs will want you to have some kind of engineering qualifications/background as well (or architecture or whatever). Like doing a course in excel doesn't mean you'll walk into an accountancy job (despite it probably being all you need) but it'll help.
As Mark said, it can be the entry/stepping stone into a job/career. Plus the course itself will probably offer up a few contacts and opportunities, make sure you talk to people and get pointers etc.
I would strongly advise following this up with a 3D course (Inventor is pretty standard industry wide, but Ansys, IDEAS and various other ones might be worth a look. Inventor follows on from AutoCAD really nicely though). There is AutoCAD 3D, but it's like a vhs compared to a DVD - sure the sound's in stereo, the picture's the same stuff and it's rather charming, but it sounds a bit shit and it can't do as much.
Your job sounds pretty cool.
I kinda floated away from the manufacturing side of things after my Product Design degree* cos the jobs market seemed utterly barren compared to construction/engineering. So I drifted back towards my Civils roots and bagged the architectural draughting thing I'm in now when I got half a chance.
Defo seems like I might be falling behind on the CAD front.
I like the billing as AutoCAD 3D as VHS compared to the DVD of Autodesk's more forward thinking products. :-)
*we used an old version of IDEAS during my BA. It was OK, but wasn't exactly beginner friendly.
Mending hospital suction units, not so much.
We did IDEAS at uni, fuck knows why, it bears little resemblance to current 3D software. Probably a licensing/funding issue. The FEA program we used was even worse mind (some ancient forebear of ANSYS).
To be honest, I think we won't be using most of the stuff available on Inventor 2010, but such is Autodesk's grip on the market, you have to buy the latest version, with the inbuilt ability to design a space rocket, terraform and then habitate Mars. Plus you have to buy one copy per person, per machine (no floating license or multiple users), with a discount coming only with 5 or more. Goddamn jip.
As I said, we're on R14 at the moment, and the demo I tried of 2010 was so intuitive, it was lovely. Makes things so much easier, I don't think you'd have to worry about falling behind (using an old one and then stepping up is a big advantage imho)
and has been able to slip into a recent version.
Workaround compatibility of R14 with OSs, printers, and newer .dwg files seems to be melting away at a rate of knots so hopefully it'll force the bosses' hands sometime soon. *crosses fingers*
We had a product demo of it a few months ago and it looked mighty impressive.
Revit and Architectural Desktop are slowly moving closer together, I think. In a couple of years there'll probably only be the one suite of programmes.
basically for charities planning on building things in poor countries, she'll draw up the buildings and stuff so the charities can use them in presentations/pitches for funding etc.
I design F1 cars, using Catia V5. It's not as exciting as it sounds, though!