Computer drafting classes often explore technical sketching, drawing interpretation, modeling and rendering. While individual courses can be taken, computer drafting classes are also offered as part of computer-aided drafting and design programs usually resulting in an associate's degree or a certificate. Concentrations could be available in such areas as mechanical, construction or architectural drafting. Programs may require completion of an internship as well as a portfolio, which students can use to demonstrate their skills to potential employers.
Here are some common concepts found in computer drafting courses:
- Drafting software
- Drawing and editing
- Structural components of buildings
List of Common Courses
Introduction to Computer-Aided Drafting and Design (CADD) Course
Sometimes referred to by titles such as technical drafting or engineering graphics, the myriad versions of this course are nonetheless the first step in any computer drafting program. These classes provide the foundational basics for the standards and accepted conventions of CADD software, as well as an introduction to the techniques and practices used in computer drafting, including technical sketching, orthographic projection and metric construction. While this material is usually covered in a single course, some programs choose to present the preliminaries in a 2-course format.
CADD classes are an integral part of every computer drafting program. They expand on the essentials taught via introductory courses, going into further detail regarding necessary software, such as AutoCAD. Students come away from these courses with knowledge of commands, tools and strategies for using the CADD software, as well as a thorough understanding of drawing and editing with computer drafting programs. The format for this course usually takes the form of CADD I followed by CADD II.
Blueprint Reading Course
Another course that can take several forms, this class may be broken into two segments or one primary course followed by supplementary classes such as architectural blueprint reading. Other programs have courses devoted to specific types of blueprints, such as structural steel blueprint reading, while some simply incorporate a study of blueprints into the curriculum of another core class. When this skill is a focus of the program, this course involves a detailed study of reading, interpreting and even designing blueprints, as well as recognizing and navigating standard architectural designs. Courses that focus on structural steel provide an in-depth look at steel as a metal and architectural tool.
Parametric Solid Modeling Course
The techniques and principles of solid modeling are often briefly covered in basic CADD classes, but most programs include a separate course, or pair of courses, devoted to this subject. The class may refer to solid modeling or parametric modeling, but in all cases it emphasizes the differences between 2-dimensional drawing and 3-dimensional modeling. Students apply their knowledge of CADD software, combined with the course subjects of sketch profiling, geometric engineering, extrusion, revolution and sweep to create parametric models as solutions for simulated design and manufacturing problems.
Digital and Technical Animation Course
This highly advanced, technical drafting course involves using CADD software to render both 2- and 3-dimensional models in an animated, aesthetically appealing form. Students are asked to apply techniques of 3-dimensional drafting to the creation of animated models, a skill that can be useful in several arenas, including education and industrial or architectural business and sales. These courses usually emphasize the development of 3-dimensional thinking, another important skill in all aspects of computer drafting.