My fellow design students and I are in the process of learning AutoCAD. Beyond the basics, can you tell us what a new graduate is expected to know / how “expert” we’re expected to be” Will we be expected to know how to do 3D perspectives or fly-throughs” What are the most used functions” And what version of AutoCAD will we be expected to know”
To future designers,
AutoCAD is an integral part of today’s design profession, but it’s a tool and should not dictate your creativity. It’s very important to have your basics down; I am a true believer in freehand sketches, drafting and lettering. These skills come in handy, especially in an informal client meeting, but most importantly sets a frame work for your working drawings. The result is to have a set of computer generated drawing, which is clear and precise.
Our firm is currently using AutoCAD Version 2004, but is in transition on some projects in ADT 3.3. AutoCAD is mainly used to produce construction documents, where as other software such as VIZ or Form Z is used for 3-D illustrations. Our firm has a 3-D studio for those who wish to specialize in 3-D Graphics, but everyone is encouraged to at least get familiar with the 3-D software.
In addition to the basic commands (drawing lines, circles, walls, doors, windows, furniture, dimensioning, etc.) there are a few others which may come in handy, such as knowing how to manipulate layer management, differentiating line types and pen weights, drawing scale (drawing and text), paper space vs. model space, base files, external references (xref), viewports, etc. It’s not a necessity that you are an expert in AutoCAD, but are able to understand and manipulate the software. AutoCAD is a precision tool, so accuracy of what is being produced is just as important as the rate or speed you draft.