How to Use SkyTOP DemosCAD

  1. To understand the interface of Autodesk AutoCAD software, click on the Resources menu in SkyTOP DemosCAD software and select AutoCAD Interface. This displays tutorial options that describe the entire interface of AutoCAD interface inorder to get you started with AutoCAD software.
  2. To see an overview of a tool in AutoCAD software, move your cursor onto any tool in SkyTOP DemosCAD and the software displays the name and description of the tool.
  3. Clicking on any tool in SkyTOP DemosCAD opens up a number of options depending on the tool clicked:
    • Where only one tool option is provided, clicking on the tool once instantly opens a demo on how to use the tool in AutoCAD software. e.g. Spline tool.
    • Double-clicking on the tool opens a window where you can get more information about the tool. You will also be able to find various ways that you can use to carry out a task with the tool. A user may print the procedures for reference when trying out similar tasks in AutoCAD software.
    • Right-clicking the tool opens a project file in AutoCAD software to let the user try out similar tasks using AutoCAD software. The project file is the same as the one used in the demo but it is a read-only file. (NB- To open the project file, you will need to have AutoCAD 2012 or later versions installed in your Computer).
  4. Where a number of demos are provided for a particular tool, such as the Polyline tool, clicking on the tool opens an options box that contains 3 tabs:
    • Demonstration Tab that contains various methods of using the tool in AutoCAD software. You can select the options that you want to view.
    • Procedures Tab that contains various methods for carrying out various tasks with the tool. You may print the procedures for reference when trying out similar tasks in AutoCAD software.
    • Project Files Tab that links you to dwg files that were used for the demos in SkyTOP DemosCAD software. These AutoCAD files have similar settings as the files used in SkyTOP DemosCAD software and let you try similar tasks using AutoCAD software. Because they are read-only files, you cannot safe any changes you make to them.
  5. SkyTOP DemosCAD has also integrated a User’s Guide from Autodesk to let you learn more about the tools of AutoCAD software. You can access the User’s Guide through the Resources Menu in SkyTOP DemosCAD software.
  6. Applications WindowAfter knowing how to use individual tools and commands of Autodesk AutoCAD courtesy of SkyTOP DemosCAD, users can make use of the Applications Window to see how those tools are used to carry out drafting, documentation, modeling and even animation tasks with AutoCAD software. The Applications Window accessible from the Resources Menu in DemosCAD software demonstrates multiple tasks that require the use of more than one tool or command of Autodesk AutoCAD software. For example, you can use the Applications Window to see how you can draw a floor plan of a house using the line tool, define the rooms of the house by using the annotate tools and add dimensions using the dimension tools. Indeed, the reason the Applications window is named as such is because through it, you are able to learn how to apply the tools of AutoCAD software in a design project.(The Applications Window in DemosCAD contains material that has been compiled from sources that are known for their expertise in the use of AutoCAD and AutoCAD-based solutions in various fields. If you have access to a reliable and secure internet, you may also search similar tutorials from the web).
    1. If you are using any AutoCAD 2012 or later releases, you will be able to learn about new features that have been added in those releases. Through the What’s New tab in the Applications Window, you will learn about the new features in AutoCAD 2012, AutoCAD 2013, AutoCAD 2014, AutoCAD 2015 and AutoCAD 2016. This will ensure that you are up to task with any of these releases.
    2. Autodesk has also developed a number of Vertical products targeting specific industry disciplines. These AutoCAD-based solutions enhance the capabilities of AutoCAD software in order to meet the expectations of professionals in those industries. And DemosCAD introduces users to these solutions through the Vertical Products Tab in the Applications Window. To see how these solutions are used by professionals in your discipline, check the relevant boxes provided. Other Vertical solutions compatible with AutoCAD and which give very fascinating results are also included in the Applications Window. These products are Autodesk Inventor, Autodesk 3DS MAX, Autodesk Revit, Autodesk Infraworks and Autodesk Maya. You can see how these products work by checking any box under Other Solutions in the Vertical Integration Tab in DemosCAD.
    3. SkyTOP DemosCAD can also be used by instructors and trainers for teaching purposes. Trainers and instructors at college level may use the Demos and Simulations Tab in DemosCAD to demonstrate to their students how things work in the real world. For example, instructors in automotive engineering division can use the Demos and Simulations Tab in DemosCAD to show students how a motor vehicle engine works or is assembled.

    The tab can also be used for similar simulations or demonstrations in architecture, design or other engineering disciplines.

  7. Gallery WindowSkyTOP Technologies appreciates the power of motivation and inspiration as part of the training process. Users of AutoCAD and other CAD programmes may desire to see fascinating works created using CAD solutions. The Gallery Window accessible through the Resources Menu in DemosCAD contains fascinating and resourceful material compiled from credible sources to inspire you to use CAD.

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What is CAD?

Imagine being able to walk through your new home or office building, go into every room, try out different colors on the walls or make changes to the design – before it’s even built. It sounds pretty amazing, and it is. That is the world of CAD (Computer-Aided Design) drafting.

Not too long ago you would find the designer or architect bent over a drafting table using a pencil, ruler and eraser, slowly drafting every detail by hand. Today’s designers use sleek, super-fast computers and CAD software systems that can quickly and perfectly create, edit, then display finished projects in breathtaking 3-D computer renderings.

There are other software systems with similar acronyms, but they are essentially the same application with subtle differences in function. Two of these other systems, CADD (Computer-Aided Design and Drafting) and CAID (Computer-Aided Industrial Design) are the most commonly used.

From the minute you get up in the morning, almost everything you will see or touch or use during the day had its beginnings as a CAD drafting project on a computer somewhere. Your car and every part in it, your electronics, furniture, your home and office, even your deodorant jar and the packages your food comes in were more than likely drafted using CAD.

CAD drafting is now used in all phases of design across all industries. Specific industries have developed specialized applications of CAD systems.

One of the major advantages – and one of the biggest payoffs – of CAD drafting today, is the reduction in design time and therefore the amount of money it can save on a project. In manufacturing, CAD drafting helps keep design costs down which translates into cost savings for the consumer.

In residential or commercial design the amount of time saved can be enormous. As an example, let’s say you are looking for a designer or architect to design your home. The designer can create a design: (a) from scratch based on your idea or concept; (b) from photos of actual houses; or (c) based on a previous design which can be easily modified in CAD.

CAD design companies will typically have many different home or building designs available to choose from. It is easy for a client to look through the designs then select one they like. They can use the design as-is or easily customize it to their own tastes. Clients can even take design elements from different projects and combine them to create an entirely new home or building. The possibilities are endless.

Making small changes to a CAD design- for instance, moving walls, windows or even whole rooms- typically takes minutes or hours, not days. This would have been a huge and very expensive task in the days before CAD drafting.

There are many CAD design companies that can serve your residential or commercial design needs and many of them offer complete project management as well as design and drafting of the project.

CAD drafting will no doubt continue to evolve and become more powerful, and remain next to the computer as one of the most important technological developments of our age.

Who Uses CAD

Prior to the advent of computer-aided design (CAD) software, the development of any type of design or prototype was done manually. As such, development was typically tedious and time-consuming, often laden with costly trial and error. Since it digitizes and simplifies the entire design process, CAD software has all but replaced the traditional drawing board.

It’s widely known that CAD software is frequently used in engineering-based industries – think manufacturing and industrial design. However, both industry-specific and general-purpose design applications are heavily utilized in virtually any industry that produces a tangible object or product. Here are just some of the many uses for computer-aided design software.

    • Architecture – When creating something as large and as expensive as a building, flawless planning is a must. CAD software is used to design 2D floor plans and 3D schematics of houses, office buildings and other commercial structures. Aside from the actual architecture and layout of a structure, the software is used to determine proper specifications including measurements, volumes and weights before construction even begins.
    • Aerospace – This high-tech industry manufactures everything from space vehicles to satellites, aircraft to missiles. The price tag on any single aerospace product can be several million dollars so CAD software plays an integral role in the initial design process. Before the product is built, every detail will be thoroughly planned using the design software.
    • Automotive – Sophisticated design software is used in every aspect of auto design. It’s used to create prototypes of new body styles and to design auto components such as tires, engines, circuitry boards, upholstery and more.
    • Cartography – Long gone are the days of charting maps by hand. Modern cartographers use some form of computer-aided software to chart climate, road and topographic maps.
    • Civil Engineering – Urban planners use CAD software to plan urban infrastructure including bridges, parks, industrial units, office complexes and more.
    • Fashion – While many reputable fashion designers may opt to initially design their one-of-a-kind creations by hand, fashion CAD software is typically used in the latter portions of the design process. The software is used by clothing manufacturers to determine the most efficient cut of fabrics and to adjust the scale of the pattern for different sizes. Using virtual models, the software can even be used to show how the clothing will fit and move. Designers can then make any necessary modifications to the design.
    • Interior Design – Design software allows interior designers to bring their vision to life through detailed digital designs. This allows them to show clients, right down to the paint color, what the project will look like upon completion.
    • Landscaping – Landscapers use CAD software to conceptualize stunning outdoor creations and determine the best placement of various landscaping components such as trees, fences, gardens, patios and more.

These are just a handful of the many versatile uses of computer-aided design software. It’s also used to design consumer electronics, furniture, circuit boards, jewelry, theater and movie sets, product packaging and much more. Such ubiquity across a vast array of industries ensures the longevity and necessity of CAD software in today’s technology-driven world.

What is AutoCAD

AutoCAD is a software application for computer-aided design (CAD) and drafting. The software supports both 2D and 3D formats. It is developed and sold by Autodesk, Inc. and was first released in December 1982 following the purchase of the first form of the software by Autodesk founder, John Walker.

AutoCAD is Autodesk’s, flagship product and by March 1986 had become the most ubiquitous microcomputer design program in the world, utilizing functions such as “polylines” and “curve fitting”. Prior to the introduction of AutoCAD, most other CAD programs ran on mainframe computers or minicomputers, with each user’s unit connected to a graphics computer terminal.

AutoCAD software is now used in a range of industries, employed by architects, project managers and engineers, amongst other professions, and as of 2012 there had been 1000 training centers established across the world to educate users about the company’s primary products.

AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT are available for English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Russian, Czech, Polish, Hungarian, Brazilian Portuguese, Danish, Dutch, Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian, and Vietnamese. The extent of localization varies from full translation of the product to documentation only. The AutoCAD command set is localized as a part of the software localization.

Who Uses AutoCAD Software

AutoCAD is a computer aided design software program created by Autodesk. Professionals use AutoCAD to digitally draw, import, export and publish 2- and 3-dimensional designs. Some of the industries that use this desktop technology are outlined below.

Architects

Professional architects use AutoCAD to design residential homes, office buildings, commercial developments and landscapes. The software allows them to map out the stages of a construction process or create complex 3-dimensional design concepts. They may also use the program to create 2-dimensional drafts of floor plans and surface features such as windows and roofs. Architects can also utilize AutoCAD to create presentations for contractors or city zoning boards.

Interior Designers

AutoCAD allows interior designers to create functional spaces that are aesthetically pleasing, such as residential dining rooms, hotel suites, corporate conference facilities or other indoor environments. With AutoCAD, interior designers can create detailed images of interior spaces that include furniture and appliances. This may involve creating layers, scaling designs, inserting objects and manipulating floor plans. AutoCAD also allows interior designers to present design concepts to potential clients.

Civil Engineers

The Civil 3D version of AutoCAD contains applications specific to the design of bridges, roads, tunnels and other structures common in the built environment. With this software, engineers can incorporate geographical features into a design, such as the elevation of a landscape. They can also use AutoCAD to design and map hydraulic systems or utilities infrastructures.

Mechanical Engineers

Mechanical engineers can use AutoCAD to design an entire manufacturing process or create prototypes for the finished product. They can also map out the automated processes of lathes or other machine tools. The result is a consumer product with a surface design or curve manufactured to the engineer’s specifications

CAD Education in Kenya

With the adoption of Computer Aided Design (CAD) technologies by professionals in the fields of architecture, engineering design and other design-based careers, learning CAD skills has become extremely crucial compared to manual drafting, drawing and design procedures. Indeed it is becoming impossible to do without CAD for those in the design sector if one has to be at the competitive edge. A number of higher institutions of learning have acknowledged this fact and now use CAD software in their training so that their students can fit in the competitive labour market upon completion of their studies.

Nevertheless, in Kenya, as in many developing countries, a large proportion of secondary school students opting for design-based courses at higher institutions of learning are not aware of the existence of CAD programs. This is because unlike in developed world, the Kenyan education system is yet to incorporate CAD training at secondary school level. Yet higher institutions of learning expect these students to have basic CAD skills at entry level.

This has posed a huge challenge to universities as they try to integrate these students with those who already have some exposure to CAD.

Still, introducing CAD to students who have no previous knowledge of the general CAD technologies is quite a daunting task. This is mainly because of the apparent ‘complex’ concepts associated with these technologies.

It is therefore imperative that programmes be put in place that will enable students interested in design-based careers to acquire basic CAD skills before completion of their secondary school education. This is where the CiSA programme comes into the scene.

CiSA is set to change the scenario by being part and parcel of the proposed education reforms by the government. These reforms are hinged on the need to recognize the important role played by modern technologies (including ICTs) in the overall development of a child, and the need to re-align the education sector to the ideals of the new constitution and Kenya Vision 2030 – the country’s new development blueprint.

Appropriate and relevant education and training is the vehicle that will drive Kenya into becoming a middle income country.