Computer-aided design (CAD) is an advanced, rapidly evolving technology used by designers and engineers to create technical drawings and computer models. It is essential to many industries because drawings and computer models are required before any product can be manufactured. Examples include automobiles, aircraft, marine vessels, machinery, electronics, plastic parts, medical devices, bridges, buildings, and roads, to name a few. Because of its broad application, computer-aided design offers many employment opportunities for people who maintain up-to-date skills.
Computers have made conventional manual drawing and design methods obsolete, thereby fundamentally changing the process of technical documentation. CAD enables a designer to make rapid revisions in a drawing and to evaluate many potential solutions to a design problem, thereby allowing the best one to be selected. In contrast to traditional methods, the designer works with computer models of the complete three-dimensional geometry of an object, rather than the two-dimensional views required when drawing on a sheet of paper. These models allow viewing of the object from any direction and enable a designer to visualize the assembly and fit of complex parts. Although the departmental program emphasizes this new technology, intelligent use of the computer relies upon a thorough knowledge of the principles of engineering graphics and conventional drafting practices. Therefore, topics such as orthographic and isometric projection, section and auxiliary views, descriptive geometry and dimensioning continue to be the starting point for the curriculum. The departmental program combines comprehensive instruction in the use of several current CAD software systems with industrial practice. Employment opportunities include: CAD Draftsperson/Operator, Mechanical Draftsperson, Designer, Engineering Technician, and Technical Illustrator.
General Education Core course listings and definitions appear on General Education Core . Additional courses may be required. The suggested sequence for full-time students is shown below.