Why Choose Computer Aided Drafting at PPCC?

The Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) program prepares students to enter the workforce as a skilled CAD technician for who are equipped with a solid foundation for drafting positions in manufacturing, engineering, and other areas requiring production-ready drawings and 3-dimensional or 3D printed models. Students will learn to prepare 2D and 3D projects for fabrication using the latest releases of multiple CAD software. In addition, students will acquire skills in subject matter of design principles, industry standards, fabrication materials, manufacturing applications, tolerance methods and analysis, problem-solving techniques and general organizational skills. 

What will I study?

Students who study Computer Aided Drafting will:

  • Learn to prepare 2D and 3D drawings for fabrication using the latest release of AutoCAD, SolidWorks, CREO (formerly Pro Engineer) and MasterCAM.
  • Understand print reading, problem-solving techniques, methods of simulation and testing, 3D printing, use of research tools.
  • Gain general organizational skills and applications in geometry and trigonometry.

All of our learning outcomes are skill based and expected to help students with practical application.

Example Classes I Might Take

Covers linetype identification, use of lineweights, file management, prototype/template creation using the latest release of AutoCAD. Interpretation of industry standards in dimensioning, symbology, drawing notes, freehand sketching and reading working drawings. Industries discussed in this course are architectural, engineering, design related, civil/survey, manufacturing, HVAC, and welding.
Focuses on basic computer aided drafting skills using the latest release of CAD software. Includes file management, Cartesian coordinate system, drawing set-ups, drawing aids, layer usage, drawing geometric shapes, editing objects, array, text applications, basic dimensioning, and Help access.
Introduces basic Pro/engineer software and its operations such as part creation, assembly creation and drawing creation. Pro/engineer is a 3D Parametric Solid Modeling program.
Focuses on industrial dimensioning practices, enables the student to develop skills in dimensioning techniques and learn to apply the ASME Y14.5 dimensioning standard.
Introduces parametric feature-based solid modeling 3D concepts to build confidence in 3D thinking and progresses to three-dimensional parameters. This course provides instruction on how to construct, modify, and manage complex parts in 3D space as well as to produce 2D drawings from the 3D models.

Career Options

Computer Aided Drafting professionals possess a unique combination of artistic, design, mechanical and mathematical aptitude. Some careers in CAD are:

  • Modeling Design
  • Installation Drafter
  • Layout Designer
  • Mechanical Designer

Careers in CAD

Michele Koster

Department Chair

Michele Koster


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Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Computer Aided Drafting and Design - Mechanical program, students should be able to:

  • Read and interpret industry prints, using current drawing standards in dimensioning, symbology, linetypes, lineweights, drawing notes for working drawings, engineering assembly and design related manufacturing drawings
  • Apply and integrate computer technology using the latest 2D and 3D CAD software to develop technical engineering drawings in two-dimensional multi-view and three-dimensional solid models in a manner that is efficient and compliant with standard industry practices
  • Recall and define the principles and theory of manufacturing processes and basic operation of machine tools
  • Determine part function and relationship to each other, to include tolerancing of parts for assemblies while calculating mating part conditions to guarantee part fits
  • Apply and diagnose Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing according to ASME Y14.5M - 1994 standards
  • Define and apply proper design materials while identifying proper standard part vendors for design applications
  • Compare additive manufacturing to traditional technologies and choose the best technology for a given application to include proper 3D printing materials and select appropriately for a given application
  • Create rapid prototypes using additive manufacturing to include identifying vendor parts to make a functional prototype