Computer aided design (CAD) draughtsmen/women, also
known as CAD technicians, work in all branches of
engineering as well as architecture, construction, and
manufacturing. They use CAD software to produce
detailed 2D and 3D designs and specifications on a wide
range of projects. These vary in scale from small
mechanical components, for instance dies and tools,
through to large structural engineering schemes, such
CAD is a generic term covering a variety of more specialised roles including computer aided industrial design (CAID), computer aided engineering (CAE), computer aided styling (CAS) and computer aided manufacturing design (CAM).
CAD design work tends to fall into two categories:
Solid modelling - is used particularly for engineering and construction projects to analyse how changes in materials or combinations of materials affect the internal stresses and tolerances of the product or structure. This technique is often used to eliminate potential problems, product failure and weaknesses.
Surface modelling - is used for sophisticated rendering, animation and photorealistic visualisation of products in development. This allows for client feedback to be collated in a rapid and cost- effective manner before prototypes are built and tested - a common example being automotive design.
Draughtsmen/women normally work in a team with other technicians, with each working on part of the project. Responsibility for the overall project and team is usually carried by a design engineer.
As well as producing detailed blueprints, the parameters which make up the specification are used to prepare cost estimates, tenders, compliance documents, and manufacturing, assembly and maintenance instructions for the product or structures in question.
CAD draughtsmen/women work 37 to 40 hours a week,
Monday to Friday.
They are normally based in a design office, working at a CAD design workstation or PC. Depending on the job, there may be some temporary relocation to the project site.
To be a CAD draughtsman/woman you need:
In addition to light and heavy engineering, CAD
technicians are trained and work in many industries
including construction, construction engineering,
aerospace, railways, electronics, broadcasting and
telecommunications industries. Vehicle and consumer
goods manufacturers are other common employers.
Progression routes include promotion to team or section leader, project manager and site manager. Freelance work may be another possibility.
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