AutoCAD is the standard design software used in the engineering, architecture, interior design and construction industries. Designers and drafters use it to create two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) computer drawings. Students interested in learning how to use this software can complete coursework to earn a certificate or degree or take individual non-credit classes at a higher education institution.
Courses that earn continuing education units toward professional development and training are available at Autodesk-authorized training centers, some of which are private organizations. Some of these training options can prepare students for professional certification through Autodesk. Graduates of these programs may find employment with architectural and design firms, construction businesses or engineering companies.
The following are some of the most common topics covered in AutoCAD design courses:
- 3D modeling
- Multiple Lines
- Geometric Shapes
- Isometric drawings
- Linear Dimensions
- Polar Arrays
- Layers and Line Types
List of Common Courses
Introduction to AutoCAD Course
Introductory courses provide students with a basic knowledge of AutoCAD's interface, menu options, toolbars and operational commands. Courses often include the opportunity for students to observe the execution of professional drafting projects and learn to create their own 2D designs. Basic skills include drawing, editing, layering and plotting.
Intermediate AutoCAD Course
After completing prerequisite introductory instruction in AutoCAD, students often receive training in intermediate level AutoCAD skills. These can include hatching, dimensioning, cross-references, tables and block attributes. Students can also be introduced to 3D designs and related drafting skills in preparation for advanced AutoCAD training.
Advanced AutoCAD Course
Advanced AutoCAD courses focus on 3D designs, as well as the required navigation and modeling tools used to create 3D drawings. Students learn to use concepts such as lighting, mapping and solid-model creation. Courses can also include practice in importing and scanning images into 3D models.
Creating Graphics in AutoCAD Course
A course in graphics production demonstrates how AutoCAD can be used in illustration and Web design projects. Students learn to use AutoCAD in conjunction with Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and Autodesk Impression software. Skills include correcting photographs, manipulating depth of field and creating special effects.
Training Programs in AutoCAD
AutoCAD courses are available in AutoCAD and Autodesk certificate programs. Students can complete these training programs online or in a traditional classroom format. AutoCAD training programs might consist of only one comprehensive course that includes progressive instruction from basic to advanced skill levels. More often, students are required to complete several courses over a specified period of time, sometimes as long as three years. Some programs also include instruction in other CAD software programs such as Revit and 3ds MAX Design.