The premier destination for fun science projects & experiments for kids grades K-8 since 2010!

Careers: Engineering and CAD design

A career in engineering and CAD design?

How does one become an engineer? It is a question posed by many curious minds wondering how to take a step onto the path of engineering.
A successful engineer must be resourceful, forward-thinking, and come to learn and understand a few basic principles surrounding engineering and engineering design in order to integrate a solution into a real-world application.

Of course, there is a vast amount of skill and knowledge an engineering student must learn before becoming a professional engineer, but having a strong command of Computer Assisted Design, also known as CAD will be one of the most important!

An incredible revolution to modern engineering is certainly owed to computer science, specifically, CAD programs. There is a wide range of CAD software programs available, each with their own retrospective pros and cons. Some of the most popular for example, AutoCAD and Solidworks has made engineering more accessible and manageable than ever.

What exactly is CAD in engineering?

CAD is often mistaken as a single design program when in reality, the process of CAD refers to any use of a computer program which supports the engineering design or documentation process.
Typically, a sketch is a 2D drawing of a shape which can be extruded into three dimensions. An assembly is where multiple parts can be assembled and simulated together. Drawings are simply orthographic intended for manufacturing and construction.

How to get started with CAD?

Companies like FreeCAD and OnShape offer free CAD software to get started on design. The programs are limited in functionality and all parts created are publicly accessible, but it is still a great introduction to CAD. There are also websites such as that offer downloadable pre-drawn CAD blocks and drawings that can be imported into your software and modified to give you a better idea of the possibilities of Computer aided design.