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Careers in Mechanical Engineering: Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) Designer

written by: Haresh Khemani • edited by: Lamar Stonecypher • updated: 11/22/2008

Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) Designer is one of the hottest job destinations at present. As a CAD designer you design various components and also make their drawings. When CAD and CAM are integrated, the designed component is manufactured instantly by the CNC machine.

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    Gone are the days when mechanical drafting was done manually on large drawing sheets by using a drafter and other drawing tools. Computer Aided Drafting or Designing, more popularly knows as CAD, is one of the hottest careers for students completing their degree in Mechanical Engineering. Now students don’t want to be an ordinary designer, rather they want to be CAD Designer.

    CAD is designing and drafting with the help of software. The most popular CAD software is AutoCAD, though a number of other equally competent software like CADopia are available in the market. Today the CAD designers have a wide variety of CAD software to choose from.

    There is a great demand for CAD experts who have obtained a Mechanical Engineering degree. CAD designer basically does all the designing work that traditional designers have been doing. While the traditional designers did most of the calculations, mostly related to stress, manually, the CAD designers do these calculations by using the CAD software.

    The CAD software allows designers to carry out a number of stress analysis. After designing the product they can also view the animations of the product airplanes. Within the software they can create real life sort of situations and observe the performance of the product. Thus if the CAD designer is designing an airplane, they don’t have to make the actual airplane to carry out various tests. The airplane is tested in a virtual atmosphere and then the final product is made. This saves lots of time and money.

    Another important area in which the CAD designers work is making the drawings. The CAD software is equipped with all the tools that you need to make the professional drawings. The designers whose job is merely drafting, would mostly utilize the drawing tools of the CAD software, while the full fledged designers would go beyond this and carry out actual designing of the components.

    In many instances the CAD and CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing) are combined together to form the CAD/CAM system. In this system, during the process of designing the product on CAD software, the program is written to carry out various machining operations. This program is fed into the CNC machine which makes the designed part instantly.

    CAD has been one of the major factors that have made designing products easier and faster. These days you will notice companies launching a number of their new models. This has been made convenient by the combination of CAD/CAM. Earlier, it used to take years to design the product; the time has now been greatly reduced.

    After completing your Mechanical Engineering degree, if you prefer to become a CAD designer, a bright future is assured.

    For further information on specific Mechanical Engineering Career fields, please read more:

    Careers in Mechanical Engineering
    Careers in Mechanical Engineering as a Production Engineer
    Careers in Mechanical Engineering as a Power Plant Engineer
    Careers in Mechanical Engineering as a Maintenance Engineer
    Careers in Mechanical Engineering as a CNC Machine Programmer