CAD Technician – Job Description
CAD technicians work in the world of Computer Aided Design (CAD). CAD splits into two areas – surface modelling which involved 2D design and 3D design, also known as solid modelling.
Surface modelling involves the creation of a representation of a product before the plans are discussed and refined and then worked into a prototype.
Solid modelling involves creating a 3D display of a product, typically a specific component or a structure, which engineers can then take review with a virtual tour. The tour will help them understand where to place fixtures and fittings in a building or how to improve a component.
CAD technicians often work on project budget estimates and create manuals and assembly instructions and can also work under a number of different job titles such as computer aided industrial design (CAID), computer aided engineering (CAE), computer aided styling (CAS) and computer aided manufacturing (CAM).
Attributes required include an excellent understanding of design and engineering principles, material properties and manufacturing methods, problem-solving, computer and numeracy skills and an ability to meet deadlines.
CAD technicians are usually also creative, good team-workers and excellent communicators.
There are a couple of ways into CAD work.
Some engineering and construction firms run apprenticeship schemes. Relevant GCSEs (maths, science etc) will help with these, as will a genuine interest in and enthusiasm for the industry.
There are also a number of CAD qualifications available at BCS, BTEC and City & Guilds levels and colleges usually offer training in both general and more specific CAD software packages.
Once in a job, you can also study for NVQs or an EAL Advanced Diploma in engineering and technology.
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Other recommended resources:
The CAD Centre
An accredited training resource which provides a number of courses and apprenticeships for those interested in CAD technology.
Chartered Society of Designers
A chartered mark for designers across all fields.
Institution of Engineering Designers
A professional body aimed at supporting the many fields of engineering and product design. It also provides links to accredited courses and an approved apprenticeship scheme.
Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture
An international network of design researchers and professionals focusing on the Architecture industry.
A publication bringing together all of the latest information in the CAD/CAM world.
An online resource for all the current information on the CAD industry.
Centre for Sustainable Design
A research organisation offering information and training regarding sustainable product design.
Product Design and Development Magazine
An online resource providing up-to-date news on the product design industry.
A 3D CAD design enterprise which offers some training in the latest innovations of product design.