Do you like to sketch and draw? Do you enjoy working with new technology and software programs? Are you mechanically inclined in the understanding of how things fit together? If you have an appreciation for finite measurement and creative problem solving, then CADD training might be for you!
So what exactly is CADD? How does it fit into our economy? What does a drafting technician do?
Computer-aided drafting and design (also known as CADD) plays an integral role in the construction and manufacturing industries. A drafting technician bridges the gap between designers and manufacturers by using various computer programs to create 2D drawings and 3D models based on the rough sketches and calculations made by engineers, surveyors, architects and scientists. These drawings and models include complex technical details and specify the dimensions, materials and procedures required to produce and assemble the parts.
With new advancements in software, technology and equipment, drafters are also on the forefront of the ever-expanding field of additive manufacturing. 3D printing and other types of rapid prototyping are changing the world of product design, analysis and manufacturing by accelerating the innovation process. Companies are able to eliminate much of the costs previously involved in the development of new products, and in turn, are able to more efficiently explore new ideas. Parts that may have previously cost too much to mass produce can now be printed in lower volume and in multiple design concepts for testing and client review before committing to a specific design.
The Drafting & Design Technology program at Northeast Alabama Community College prepares students for entry-level employment as computer-aided drafting technicians. Training is focused on the application of critical thinking and problem solving by way of creative design. To better meet the needs of our local industry, the curriculum has been expanded to include precision measurement, steel detailing and additive manufacturing using Inventor and SolidWorks as well as advanced manufacturing and Mastercam training.
“Our program continues to partner with our local business and industry to offer each student the opportunity to gain real world field experience before they graduate,” stated Kelly Black, DDT Instructor. “Our students have completed co-ops with TVA’s CADNet School-to-Work program on campus, Steel Plus in Ider, Bailey Bridges, GH Metal & Contech in Fort Payne, West Rock in Stevenson, Surveying & Engineering Inc. in Scottsboro just to name a few. We expect to soon have co-op students placed at Liberty Steel in Fyffe and Playcore in Ft. Payne as well.”
Black continued, “Students who complete the DDT program are also eligible for several nationally recognized certification credentials. Certified User exams in AutoCAD, Inventor and the Associate Level SolidWorks credentials are incorporated into the related courses, and CAD, Mechanical Drafting and Technical Drafting NOCTI testing is also a part of the program and allows our students to build a strong resume and compare their results to the current national average.
“The AAS Drafting and Design Technology degree can be completed in 5 semesters and many of the classes are offered with our new “flex-lab” schedule, making it more convenient for students to complete their coursework while also balancing their hectic home and work schedules. With flex-labs, students are able to choose when and where they can complete lab assignments. The flexible labs are set up to create a simulated workplace environment and are structured to provide one-on-one training and feedback along the way.”
Registration for spring semester is now open! To learn more about the DDT program or to register for classes, contact Kelly Black at (256) 228-6001 or (256) 638-4418, ext. 2286, by email at email@example.com, or visit www.nacc.edu/ddt.
For additional information about the college, go to www.nacc.edu or download our free App at the App Store or Google Play Store.