Computer Aided Design and Its Effect on Design Education

Just like computer aided design (CAD) has transformed the profession of professional design, it has also completely changed the way that design skills are taught. Students entering engineering, architecture, and design schools will find themselves in a world that is much different than the one that existed even a generation ago, thanks to the widespread acceptance of CAD drafting as the standard method for creating plans and designs.

How has CAD changed design education? There have been many ways, but three of the most important are:

  • CAD software caused some of the most dramatic changes in the design process – Designing and planning buildings, complex tools, and other structures has been a key part of human life since the beginning of civilization. While the process of creating designs was certainly refined greatly over the millennia since humanity first started building farms in the ancient Fertile Crescent, the basics stayed the same for most of that time. Design was a hands-on process, requiring designers to hand draw plans and confirm measurements, symmetry, proportions, and other important factors with manual tools or by eye. The introduction of the computer to the design process changed all of that. Within a few decades of the development of CAD software, designs could be created, tested, and refined completely digitally, without pen ever being set to paper or the need for completing manual calculations.
  • CAD software reduced or eliminated many of the tedious aspects of design education – Because computer aided design software allows complex, high level designs to be created with such efficiency, the need for design education to focus on the more tedious aspects of design education has been greatly reduced. Drafting and design lessons traditionally include hours of lessons on mundane tasks like drawing and sketching basics, the physics of design, and other tedious skills that sapped the interest of many students more interested in reaching the design stage. While those fundamentals are still important, education courses no longer need to spend so much time on them, and they can more quickly move on to lessons in more advanced and interesting design skills. With the aid of CAD software, students can more quickly advance from the lowest apprentice and tutee levels, to designers in training, making the education process that much more efficient.
  • CAD software allows students to gain more practical experience in their training – The use of CAD software has made the design process so efficient that the pace set by computer aided design has become the expected turnaround time for the industries that use it. By automating what was once a tedious manual process, computer design software allows students to complete more projects during their training period, giving them more practical design experience than could be achieved under older models of design education. Students who train with CAD learn to design at the pace of the modern industries that will later employ them and, at the end of their training, will have more experience and examples of their work in their portfolios for the beginning of their job search.

Q-Cad Drafting Services is one of the many companies that has embraced the use of CAD and which uses it to set a higher standard of efficiency and design. Want to learn more about the effects that CAD has had on design training and the way our designers work? Give us a call today at 800-700-3305 to speak with one of our designers.

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