A Career as a CAD Designer – Engineering Technology
A two year degree in Engineering Technology with a specialization in Computer Aided Drafting & Design can lead to almost endless career opportunities. Students who graduate with this degree typically start out as Engineering Technicians within an Engineering Department. Technicians work to bring concepts and ideas to reality, working alongside the Engineers. The main difference between an Engineer and an Engineering Technician is that Engineers focus on theory and concept while the Technicians job is to turn those concepts into reality. Engineers will study higher level math and theoretical science courses while Technicians will have a more hands on education, using tools like Computer Aided Design, 3D printers and CNC equipment. In the end, Engineers and Technicians work together to bring ideas to life in many different fields.
A degree in Engineering Technology will prepare you to work in several industries:
- Aerospace-such as airplanes and rockets
- Consumer Product Design-design products that people may use daily
- Industrial Design-focuses on the appearance/aesthetics of designs
- Manufacturing- develops the processes used to make and build products
- Mechanical-all item that possess parts
- Quality Control-manage the quality of products
- Tooling-design of the tools necessary to manufacture products
The actual job description of a Technician varies depending on the industry, but one of the major responsibilities of an Engineering Technician is the operation of a CAD program. They use sophisticated software to design 3 dimensional parts assembling them into complete products. There are many programs to choose from; Inventor, SolidWorks, NX, Creo... Each company chooses a program based on their needs, but the basics of creating the 3 dimensional models are very similar in every program. These 3D models are very important as they will be utilized to build the finished parts.
Prototyping is a hands on task that many Technicians enjoy the most. If you’ve heard the term 3D printing, this would be what it was developed for. Using the CAD model, parts are sent to a machine that builds them using a variety of materials. These materials can be plastic, powdered metal or a hybrid combination of materials. A 3D printer will use this information to build the part one layer at a time. There are many other methods used to build prototype parts: CNC machining, laser cutting and even building a prototype tool that will make parts similar to what a production tool would. All of these methods give Technicians a way to build a real world model to use for testing and market research long before any tooling is built. This allows improvement of the design before it is finalized.
Technicians may also be used in the testing of parts to see if they can withstand obstacles they might encounter when in use. This testing may be done virtually or physically. Virtual testing will take place within computer software that will use the 3D model created in the CAD program; a few CAD programs have this feature built in. Physical testing would be the use of actual parts and may involve designing a piece of equipment to perform the test. The parts used can be either early production samples or prototype parts. Testing is vital to the production of a high quality product.
At Morrison Tech, we take great pride in our Engineering Technology programs. Upon completion of our program you will receive an Associates Degree in Engineering Technology that is accredited by ABET. As a student in this program you will gain knowledge and experience in AutoCad, Inventor, NX, manufacturing materials and processes and prototyping. Along with these core classes you will take several soft skills classes that will prepare you for employment. Morrison Tech will provide you the knowledge, hands on experience and guidance that will lead you to a successful career.