Computer Aided Design is the utilization of computer machine to augment the skill of draftsman ship. CAD comes in various forms depending on the type of task to be performed; for instance, Autodesk AutoCAD for Electrical, Mechanical, Civil etc. Learning these programs is accompanied by several varying challenges from freshmen all through to graduands.
When a student first joins campus, he/she does not have much to base their arguments on. Mostly taking in anything the lecturer says as the gospel truth. Add that up with strict instructions from home and you have students that are eager to learn, at least most of them are. This would serve as the perfect time to teach CAD in campus.
The initial stages of manual draftsman ship are usually hectic, with time consuming assignments as students learn to utilize manual tools to produce a not easily editable drawing. At this stage, since not much is being done along the lines of CAD, not much, if any challenges exist just yet.
However, this would be the best time to familiarize one with CAD software, specifically AutoCAD® as it has been accepted as the basic tool for draftsmanship globally in institutions of higher learning and in the industry for design and production purposes. The inadequacy of exposure and un-sequential videos on YouTube are a stumbling block in the process of systematic learning of any CAD software.
Once a student begins learning CAD in the second and third years of academic years, CAD’s necessity gradually shifts from a potential tool to achieve ‘design-wonders’ to that of attaining these designs for grades through assignments. At this point guide materials are given to students in terms of voluminous handouts that in most cases are excerpts from existing Thousand plus page books. This is very limiting as with any software; major consequential updates take place.
Functionalities to be learnt at this stage are usually limited to basic CAD controls and any attempts to skip to more complex operations are limited to one’s knowledge and resources i.e. handouts, time and finances. With time however, if one breaks out of his/her comfort zone and takes a course, reads related CAD scripts and researches online for relevant videos, then (s)he may rise to the heights of unravelled CAD professionalism.
However, this is not usually the case, thanks to tight school program that can render it almost impossible to enrol for extra lectures to learn the AutoCAD® software elsewhere apart from the limiting campus curriculum. If one manages to enroll for classes on the side, (s)he must deal with learning basics all over again, the headache of commuting to the taken classes’ venue and the pool of the aforementioned reference material that can be quite cumbersome to ‘dig through’.
With a similar interface as that of AutoCAD®, DemosCAD®, a skill-based software, allows students to practice on how to use AutoCAD® tools at their own time and pace without limitations whatsoever as witnessed in campus curriculum and commuting hustle. These students are finally presented with an opportunity to realize their lifelong goals, dreams and desires to produce remarkable design works. The opportunity to leave a legacy under their name!
Written by Moses Kiplang'at Bett
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