How could I learn AutoCAD?

Hey since I want to be able to do more during this years build season, and I want to learn it period. Does anyone know where or how I could learn AutoCAD?

I learned to do a few basic things in AutoCAD a while back in an engineering class at the local community college. It was hard to start but easy once you got going. One word fo advice, don’t try cheapo free CAD programs. While some are still very capable, all are very difficult to use.

I would recommend if you have a community college nearby, you take a class on AutoCAD there.

I will be having to learn Inventor myself in a few days. YAY!

I am actually learning AutoCAD at the local community college right now. I enjoy the class, and if you want to learn AutoCAD it’s probably the way to go. The professor has taught us a lot of things that aren’t in the books. If you can’t take the class, however, the book we use is pretty good, it’s called Discovering AutoCAD 2002, you can probably get a decent understanding if you follow it.

Personally, I feel your best bet will to be to go to google and search for “AutoCAD Tutorial”.

Even if you are a beginner, find one that labels itself as Intermediate, and pay attention.

Follow the tutuorial step by step, then repeat it without the tutorial on-screen. Refer back to it if you have to, but try and do as much on your own.

Then do another one… repeat the process. After the second one is done, repeat the first without the reference on-screen.

This method will make you likely forget what the tutorial said and see if you remember the steps, not the verbatim. If you aren’t satisfied with your results, don’t feel bad. Grab a beginner tutorial and do the same steps as above.
Everyone learns differently, I can not garuntee that this method will work for you, but I don’t see any possiblity of it hurting.

I suggest that you check out the following tutorials that were created specifically for FIRST:

http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/item?siteID=123112&id=1047962

I often learn things well by buyign a book. Have you checked you local bookstore?

As I have just finally had to learn autocad myself, I can suggest a book called “Mastering AutoCAD” by George Omura. It takes you from square one to being an expert (it’s also 1600 pages). After about a week of sitting down with it, I had learned enough to make basic drawings quite well (and I have only gone through 1/3 of the book, if that). It has lots of information, and it is easy to find and understand that information as well.

I would suggest that if you really want to be productive in this years design, you learn Inventor instead. Your team should have at least one copy lying around and the tutorials are pretty good.

The reason I say this is that many of the parts you need to create models of design ideas are already available in Inventor. If you use Autocad, you have the learning curve of the software to deal with plus the gazillion hours of time it will take to draw all of the common parts.

FIRST CAD Library

taking ED&G at college … LOL… kill me now, I have no idea what I am doing in Auto CAD… best wishes!

Something our team did was aproach companies that sell the product and do training as well. We had a company offer us two free seats in their training class. They already had the class paid for by others and had empty seats. Free is a good thing

*Originally posted by Ed Sparks *
**I would suggest that if you really want to be productive in this years design, you learn Inventor instead. Your team should have at least one copy lying around and the tutorials are pretty good.

The reason I say this is that many of the parts you need to create models of design ideas are already available in Inventor. If you use Autocad, you have the learning curve of the software to deal with plus the gazillion hours of time it will take to draw all of the common parts.

FIRST CAD Library **

Everyting in the First Cad Librabry is available in several formats, which autocad supports. I would focus on learning autocad, and then learn inventor. Invertor is really not that complicated and can be learned pretty well in a matter of days. Autocad on the other hand is much more in depth and complicated. I see them as 2 tools that complement each-other, not learn one or the other. Some things are better suited for autocad, some for inventor.

my 2 cents

If you have to pick, I’d say learn Inventor. While Inventor does not have a whole lot of seats out there in comparison to AutoCad, the way it works is the direction most major CAD systems are going. I find it very easy to switch back and forth between Inventor (robotics) and Catia5 (work). (I don’t want to talk about Catia4, the memories are still too painful) Even Unigraphics is slowly getting more parametric and sketch based. This is not to say that there is no place for AutoCad. I still fire up my version of R14 when I need to answer questions using just wireframe and surface stuff. But I find I’m doing it less and less.

The key is to learn a reputable parametric solid modeler. Once you’ve figured out how to work in one, the rest are easier.

hey heres my 2 cents and as i am a high school student, that had to learn autocad on his own after being taught inventer, i got a few things to say…

~Autocad is great for schematics, arcitechural drawings and 2D drawings.

~Inventor is great for any 3D modeling and drawings, it has many user friendly interfaces and options, and once you get the hang of it you can keep up with new versions

~Autodesk, the new versions seem to change alot and if you do not use it very often, and get placed to use a new version you havent seen before you may be a little frightened, but i have seemed to find AutoCad 2000 to be one of the best Autocad programs, espically i got a free edicational version of it.

Mike

I am a junior in HS. This year I am taking a drafting class and an engineering class wich teaches rhino. Both of these are 3 year programs but I took them mostly to be able to do more with my team. Some people I now that are older have said that a community college is a great way to learn how to do AutoCAD. I would love to learn about Inventor but I havent gotten the opportunity to find out more info on how to. Just my 2 cents.

IF the site loads, (and that’s a big IF), you could try this site. the if comes in where Scitobor 617 (Alan) may have forgotten to connect his server to the web. We (Team 617) have made a site with various tutorials on it. Hope it helps! :slight_smile:

While a book or a tutorial will help you learn the software, it never quite covers everything. Therefore, i would strongly recommend taking either a class at your school (my school has a three year course in AutoCAD) or take one at a local community college. My teacher doubles at a local college with an AutoCAD class there, so there are classes out there. While expensive, they are worth it for the knowledge you gain from the class.

I agree, the class will probably help also. I was just trying to get our tutorials some exposure. :slight_smile:

85% of what i learned in autocad, inventor, VIS, 3dStudio Max, Rhino, ETC is self taught, the rest i learned from doing online tutorials or the slight bit i learned from doing tutorials out of the manuals.
Start playing around with it, its tricky but once you get the ball rolling it gets alot easier. I first started teaching myself autocad when i was 10 and my step brother brought a copy home from school and installed it on our home PC, blew my mind then.
To paraphrase the magic school bus “get dirty make mistakes, blah blah blah”.