Mechanical drafting courses teach students how to turn rough sketches and basic ideas into detailed drawings of machinery and mechanical devices. These drawings describe assembly and fastening methods, indicate dimensions and provide other types of technical information. Courses cover topics like technical math and writing, basic drafting, computer aided design (CAD), engineering materials, basic mechanics and the manufacturing process. These courses generally are offered as components of partly or fully online certificate, diploma and associate degree programs in mechanical drafting. Job titles for graduates include detailer, CAD operator and drafting technician.
Online students may need to purchase specific drafting software, such as AutoCAD.
Online Mechanical Drafting Courses
Below are some examples of typical mechanical drafting courses that can be taken online.
- Drafting Basics Course: Students typically learn how to create freehand technical sketches in this course. The decimal, metric and mechanical engineer's scales are discussed along with basic terminology, tools and major equipment used in the trade. Also included is an overview of sketching and lettering, equipment, section and auxiliary views, multi-view and working drawings, geometric construction and dimensioning.
- Mechanical Drafting with AutoCAD Course: Using and optimizing AutoCAD software and peripheral equipment to create computer-generated 2D and 3D drawings is the typical focus of this course. Students learn how to navigate the AutoCAD user interface and gain familiarity with basic terminology and fundamental features of the software. By the end of the course students know commands and techniques for creating, manipulating, editing, storing and presenting accurate and aesthetically pleasing technical drawings.
- Blueprint Reading Course: This course typically introduces the terminology and symbology associated with blueprint reading. Students learn how to read and create technical sketches, such as cable, working, assembly and piping drawings. Included is a discussion of projection and dimensioning systems, castings, sectional views, thread specifications, metric drawings and geometric tolerances.
- Technical Writing Course: The techniques, procedures and formats used in the written presentation of technical information are generally examined in this course. Students consider sources of information and the needs of various audiences as they learn to grasp scientific and technical ideas and then present this information in a clear, meaningful and useful way.
- Construction Methods Course: This course is often required in mechanical drafting programs. It is an introduction to building. The course of study emphasizes building systems; such as concrete, masonry load bearing walls, heavy timber and structural steel.