Jan 17, 2019

A Foundation Course in CAD and Building Software

Architectural drafting and technical drawing has become easier, thanks to the introduction of incredible computer-aided design (CAD) and building software. Whether you're an artist or a self-driving car engineer, such programs are beneficial as a way of taking a concept and translating it into a virtual prototype. A foundation of CAD skills has a range of applications, especially in the realms of interior design, home improvements, and architecture. Developing your skills may be the start of an exciting new career or even a way to reshape your own house into a dream home.

What Is CAD?

CAD is the process of using special software to create technical illustrations and precise drafts in 2D or 3D. The ability to map requirements accurately streamlines production by providing specific technical details, such as dimensions and materials; and by rotating the final image to see it from any angle, it's easier to visualize the final product.

Building Software to Try At Home

Whether you're planning a loft conversion, killing time by learning a new skill, or brushing up skills in preparation for a big job interview, access to some free architectural drawing software or construction CAD software is useful. There are many online programs available, and experimenting with the features is fun and educational. Here are three to consider:

  • SketchUp: With the weight of Google behind it, it's not surprising that SketchUp is an incredibly popular option for 3D modeling, with millions of users worldwide. The software focuses on ease of use without sacrificing functionality, making it a good option for casual designers, or anybody who wants an easier way to start experimenting with technical drafting.
  • Sweet Home 3D: Planning your dream home or just want to know what the living room would look like with the sofa at the other end? Sweet Home 3D is a great way to visualize your ideas quickly and easily. Simply create your floor plan, rearrange walls and furniture, and check out the 3D results.
  • Archifacile: You don't have to work in three dimensions if you don't want to. Programs such as Archifacile give the functionality for designing 2D floor plans. The software is intuitive, and it lets you export your final floor plan as a .PDF so it's easy to send your concepts to friends and colleagues.

Building on Your Home Learning

You've downloaded some free building software, modeled some 2D and 3D structures, and now you're keen to see where your new knowledge takes you next. Modern technology advances rapidly, and home learning is an important way to keep up with current developments and sharpen your existing skills. But some official training or certification is beneficial if you're looking to start a career. A Udacity Nanodegree program provides fundamental skills and core principles, with online certification. There are dozens of options, so no matter what kind of future you want to build for yourself, you have the skills and knowledge to make it happen.