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Online Classes in Computer Aided Drafting with Career Information

Online computer-aided drafting (CAD) classes are available through a number of community colleges and technical schools. Courses are available at different types of institutions as well, and students should consider the length and level of coursework offered by each program.

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Online Computer Aided Drafting Courses

The descriptions below summarize some commonly offered online CAD classes.

  • AutoCAD I: This introductory computer-aided drafting course teaches students basic concepts such as layers, object selection, dimensions, editing, scaling, graphic exchange and 2-dimensional plotting. Students must have AutoCAD installed on their computers to take this course.
  • AutoCAD II: This slightly more advanced course introduces students to 3-dimensional drawing, blocks, hatches and attributes. To take this course, students must have a basic working knowledge of AutoCAD and access to the program.
  • Engineering Drawing: One of the most common applications of computer-aided drafting is in the field of engineering. Engineers use computer-aided drafting to draw machines, electronics, bridges and other structures. AutoCAD courses for engineering drawing cover topics such as orthographic projection, geometric construction, multiview drawing, dimensioning and descriptive geometry.
  • Advanced 3-D: This advanced computer-aided drafting course teaches students important 3-dimensional drawing concepts such as coordinate space and dynamic viewing. Students learn to create 3-dimensional models and perform coordinate transformations. Model merging and 3-D rendering are also covered.
  • Templates and Essential Commands: This course introduces students to techniques for setting limits in drawing, creating templates, and managing a variety of other aspects with drawing, such as moving and copying commands, center mark creations, and macros creation.
  • Manufacturing Processes for CAD Design: A key consideration within the field of computer-aided drafting is how parts and supplies come together to bring designs to life. This course looks at different manufacturing methods and delves into the handling of particular materials such as steel, plastic and molding.
  • Introduction to Solidworks: Solidworks is one of the most common computer-aided drafting programs. This course looks at the features of this particular software and its capabilities for constructing shapes and multiview drawings.

Program Information

Computer-aided drafting is the use of computer software to draw and design machine parts, structures and other objects. Online computer-aided drafting classes may be taken as part of an undergraduate degree or certificate program or as standalone classes that do not count towards a degree.

Most institutions that offer distance learning CAD classes utilize an online course management platform such as Blackboard. Instructors post course material through the course management system, and students upload homework assignments and participate in class discussions. Some classes may require students to take exams on campus or at a nearby proctoring center.


Career Information

Computer-aided drafting has many industrial applications and has mostly replaced manual drafting. Individuals who are familiar with computer-aided design and drafting programs, such as AutoCAD, can work in the following fields:

  • Architectural Drafting
  • Mechanical Drafting
  • Electronics Drafting
  • Civil Drafting
  • Automotive Drafting

Various courses are available online to improve students' understanding of CAD software and enhance their ability to advance a career in fields such as engineering and industrial design.

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