List of Free Online CAD Courses and Training Programs
See our list of the top free online CAD courses and training resources. Learn about what materials are available and what topics they cover to find the one that's right for you.
Autodesk is the maker of AutoCAD, one of the most common brands of computer-aided design (CAD) software. While tutorials for 2010 and 2011 (and, in some cases, earlier) versions of AutoCAD are accessible as downloadable .pdf files on the Autodesk site, training for the 2012 version of AutoCAD, which is presented in video format, is featured most prominently. The Getting Started Video Tutorials include instructional video segments on basic topics such as constraint workflow, model documentation, and parametrics, as well as how to install AutoCAD software. The Building 3D Models Video Tutorials explain how to convert 2D design patterns to 3D form and offer a number of videos about associative arrays. Path arrays, polar arrays, and editing source objects are among the subjects covered. The Feature Video Tutorials examine a variety of AutoCAD functions in different versions of the software, including AutoCAD 2012, 2010, 2009, and 2008.
Some of the tutorials at CADTutor are offered in video form, while others are text pages with diagrams and descriptions; both types of materials are viewable online but not available for download. The site offers numerous resources for introductory CAD training, as well as more specific learning materials related to things like modeling, techniques, and working with objects. Learning Autodesk AutoCAD 2013, for example, is an 18-video tutorial that teaches basic navigation of this version of CAD software. The videos cover areas such as Autodesk Cloud, object selection, and scaling objects, in addition to dimension operations and block insertion. The final two videos in the series guide students through the creation of a final project using Autodesk AutoCAD 2013. Learning AutoCAD 2012 is an introductory tutorial that includes 15 training videos addressing topics from 3D editing to the osnap function. As in the previous course, the final video provides an opportunity to follow along in developing a project cumulatively based upon all the prior tutorials.
Carnegie Mellon University
These resources from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) require Flash and are designed for use in the latest version of Internet Explorer. In these tutorials (which do not offer the opportunity to earn actual college credit), numerous sections from within a list of chapters are offered in instructional video format, while an introduction and overview of each chapter is available for download in .pdf form. AutoCAD 2D Tutorials contain 40 chapters on subjects like display commands, plotting, crosshatching, external references, and data management. Topics addressed in AutoCAD 3D Tutorials include Z coordinates, complex surfaces, and dynamic perspectives and views. The final chapter offers an overview of miscellaneous commands. 3D Studio MAX Videos provide demonstrations on subjects such as modifying objects, animations, and terrain creation, as well as camera matching and particle systems.
Indian Institute of Technology Madras
These two courses offered by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras instruct in utilizing CAD software for very large-scale integration, or VLSI. Rather than tutorials about the general use of CAD software, these are college classes (though students will not receive any college credit upon their completion) that address CAD tools in this particular context. In CAD for VLSI Design I, 40 class lessons on subjects such as CAD tools, synthesis, and delay modeling are available in PowerPoint presentation format. Lab exercises (without solutions) are also provided, as well as examples and explanations of laboratory projects. All of the materials are downloadable as .pdf files. CAD for VLSI Design II also comprises downloadable .pdf files of 20 lessons addressing topics including complimentary metal oxide silicon (CMOS) transistor theory and delay elements, logic networks, and logical effort. This course additionally offers tutorials on three stages of MAGMA application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) design flow.
MyCADsite.com provides written tutorials that correspond with AutoCAD 2010. The 55 AutoCAD Tutorials - A Complete Course resource is divided into four sections that range from introductory to advanced. Each section contains about 10-20 lessons and assignments detailing instruction in accurate input, orthographic projection, polylines, line thickness, and grip editing, to name a few subjects. Each of the four levels also contains a quiz at the end; learners may click a link to check their answers and receive the correct responses to any questions they answered incorrectly.
North Carolina State University
These free tutorials comprise written instructional materials that are viewable online. Six AutoCAD Tutorials on such topics as 2D drawing, the user coordinate system, and solid modeling provide instruction related to Release 14 of AutoCAD software. Within each tutorial, a list of AutoCAD commands is visible in a separate left sidebar; students may click on a command and see an explanation of it without leaving the main instructional page. The Pro/Engineer Tutorials are listed in cumulative order and cover areas like feature operations, sheet metal, and simple assembly. Since this material is only accessible online and not available for download, the contents may undergo updates or changes.
Pennsylvania College of Technology
These resources from the Pennsylvania College of Technology are downloadable as .pdf files and offer text lessons and diagrams. While these tutorials follow the format for actual college courses, students may not earn college credit by completing them; in addition, some of the materials may only be accessible to registered students of the on-campus classes. In the AutoCAD 2007 Tutorials, files are available on topics such as skeletal modeling, cut threads, and surface slicing. The Inventor Tutorials course contains lessons on point map lofting, blending fillets, and surface caps, among other subjects. SolidWorks Tutorials resources offer training on things like swept surfaces, 3D sketch intersections, solid sculpting, and trimming surfaces. This class also offers a practice test exercise that students may download in .pdf format.
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