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  1. #1
    60% of the time, it works every time.
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    Any AutoCAD users?

    Looking to do something more with my life. might have an opportunity where I work do get my foot in the door out of the shop and into something different. Was looking into some autocad classes but wondering what would be the best route to take. I know there are alot of online courses but don't want to get caught up in some chincy waste of time and money. Keep in mind I have a full time+ job and a wife and two small boys. I've been out of school for quite some time but would like to start making some forward progress. Any help, ideas, or input is appreciated. Thanks.


  2. #2
    WOT 88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by upgraded View Post
    Looking to do something more with my life. might have an opportunity where I work do get my foot in the door out of the shop and into something different. Was looking into some autocad classes but wondering what would be the best route to take. I know there are alot of online courses but don't want to get caught up in some chincy waste of time and money. Keep in mind I have a full time+ job and a wife and two small boys. I've been out of school for quite some time but would like to start making some forward progress. Any help, ideas, or input is appreciated. Thanks.


    It can definitely be a lucrative ''trade'', so to speak. If anything, it could be somewhat of a back up in your pocket as a means of making a living. I have a few friends that are drafters and have taken a pounding since the economy tanked a while back. But they were doing alot of civil stuff that went down the tiolet with the construction industry. Most of them are steady, but not seeing the OT they once were when the economy was on crack.

    I work in a field where every piece of equipment we manufacture is accompanied by a set of prints including process flow diagrams. We have one lady that works in the office who does cad work full time, but she can't handle it all. We sub out about 2-3 K worth of additional work to a local guy that does it on the side. When he gets backed up, I send it to a firm in Texas.

    So all in all it can be a good thing. Cad programs are not something your going to graduate from and make a 100k a year right of the bat. You have to be selective about what programs your pursue. You have to understand half these schools out there are just degree mills. They don't give a shit about you. Sure they tell you the job market is great, and that it's a win win situation, but they make money off of you sitting in their class rooms, and they're going to tell you exactly what you want to hear. Find a school that is going to give you an edge, or a niche so to speak, to make you more valuable than the next guy. If you do decide go through with it, see if you can pick up some work on the side along the way, throw an add up on craigslist. Alot of companies are happy to pay a student a few bucks here and there to do thier work. Will help you gain experience.

    Good luck buddy!

  3. #3
    Everthing louder than everything else! sHALlow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by upgraded View Post
    Looking to do something more with my life. might have an opportunity where I work do get my foot in the door out of the shop and into something different. Was looking into some autocad classes but wondering what would be the best route to take. I know there are alot of online courses but don't want to get caught up in some chincy waste of time and money. Keep in mind I have a full time+ job and a wife and two small boys. I've been out of school for quite some time but would like to start making some forward progress. Any help, ideas, or input is appreciated. Thanks.
    might want to look into solidworks/ its what the government is pretty much using....no laughing from the peanut gallery.

  4. #4
    60% of the time, it works every time.
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    I appreciate the info. For now I'm simply looking into a good Autocad course. This would allow me to move into a position at my current employer which could lead to other things down the road. Starting out I would simply be fixing and updating existing drawings and prints we use on a daily basis. Nothing too difficult. I was approached with the opportunity and figured it would be benificial for me to give it a shot.

  5. #5
    Moderator OsideBill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sHALlow View Post
    might want to look into solidworks/ its what the government is pretty much using....no laughing from the peanut gallery.
    Solidworks is more common these days, and a much more powerful tool IMO. The way to learn is get a cracked copy and use the tutorials to get started.

  6. #6
    Petron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OsideBill View Post
    Solidworks is more common these days, and a much more powerful tool IMO. The way to learn is get a cracked copy and use the tutorials to get started.
    + 1

    Keep in mind Solidworks can be very expensive but is extremely useful.

    Attached is a pic that a friend of mine designed illustrating a portable bandsaw table. You can take it right through to production, even design the packaging box. As you can see, the drawing has amazing detail.

    Hopefully this will get you pumped up & motivated with what's possible!

    Good luck!
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  7. #7

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    Do you have any schools that offer either architectural or Engineering programs? I am certain that part of the curriculum would include a CAD class or two. Perhaps you could enroll for just those classes. I went back to school at 44 enrolling in the Architecture program at a local college. I am now doing CAD work for a Mechanical Engineering firm. You don't really say, but reading between the lines I assume you would be using CAD as a manufacturing tool (as opposed to the construction industry). What software do they use? Focus on that first (AutoCAD v Solidworks, or any of the others). If after some time you decide you enjoy it, then perhaps you can start to learn other programs to make yourself more valuable in the field. Keep in mind that AutoCAD is very complex software. While you can quickly learn the basics (enough to get by), it will take a long time (years) to become "expert" at it.

    If you want to learn CAD for the construction industry, I'd say learn Revit first. Easy to get a job in my area with a strong skill level in Revit.

  8. #8
    cheatin' piston popper addicted's Avatar
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    all the big 3 programs are nearly identical in features(Autocad, solidworks and proE). the trick is accessing them. take a class in whatever you will ultimately be using, and realize that you will always be learning nuances of the program. and if you do not practice every day you will quickly loose your skills. happened to me.

  9. #9
    Moderator beerdart's Avatar
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    Start with http://blockcad.net/
    Very easy to use...

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