CAD training

I have a chance to get some CAD training, on someone else dime. But I need to find the offering and bring it to my boss. This would feed nicely into my volunteering as a mentor.

Anyone have any recommendations, experiences, strongly held irrational opinion on training course ware, and software packages?

I’ve had the opportunity to use four CAD packages in the last two years. Three of them due to FRC.
SolidWorks is the Caddy.
Inventor is the Camry
Fusion is the pick up with the manual 3 speed
OnShape is the Pinto in the ditch


Look into Solidprofessor. The have courses for many softwares, and are very helpful with the ya they teach tutorials. They include practice parts and exams. Although learning styles vary, this is a good CAD guide for watching and practicing on your own.

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I think I agree with this, but I’m gonna need some extra explanations on top :sweat_smile:

Personally, and especially for FRC, I like Autodesk Inventor. The sketch geometry is easy to understand and constrain, and I think the constraints are solid and let you explicitly understand what type of constraint you are trying. It’s really straightforward for students to download and install the educational version on their own machines at home/laptops. It’s also taught a lot in my region due to Project Lead The Way, so plenty of students that come through our CAD team have already had some experience using the software.

However, there isn’t really a wrong choice. Just the right one for the team you’re a part of.

Does your employer use one or more CAD package(s)? If they do, it is much more likely to be approved by your boss if you get training in those packages.

If you are mentoring a team, are they using a particular CAD package? Does the school they are based at have classes in some CAD package?

This is chance is associated with college campus that I work at, not a business, the goal is not to provide vocational training per say, but broaden the possibilities for project based learning.

Neither the college nor the team I mentor has a CAD history to make the choice easy.

I would probably aim for Inventor or Solidworks. I’ve used both, and it’s not terribly difficult to go from one to the other. That and both are fairly common at the university level.

There are arguments to be made for other CAD programs, too. I’ve heard of one called IronCAD which is supposedly easier to use but just as powerful as Inventor and Solidworks, but I’ve never had a chance to play with it myself, just talked to someone who has used it–given the descriptions I might say that it’s close enough to be worth a look.

Given the overall target, I would prioritize “shallow learning curve” without sacrificing ability/power/portability.