The Computer Aided Design (CAD) market is growing and requires skilled designers. As a talented CAD designer, you can obtain large freelancing contracts or even be employed fulltime at a firm. However, first, you need to understand how to design in 2D and 3D. In this article, I will layout five aspects that helped me become a successful designer. I hope you can apply these to your career so you can increase your success if you are already a designer, or to one day make have a career if you are a beginner in CAD.
There are 5 aspects that have helped me:
- Creativity: This may be one of the most important. Designing in CAD is the modern day artistry for computer-oriented individuals. Traditional artistry, e.g. painting, will always be a part of our culture. However, I would say that modern day artistry can be related to CAD because you are taking an idea from its inception and creating a representation on a different medium, the computer. To be a successful designer, try to be creative and innovative.
- Attention to details: I still remember my first model I created in AutoCAD. It was simple but I spent days perfecting it. Even though the model was complete, I still tweaked things so I would be personally satisfied. As a professional, your attention to details will show in your work. With the small amount of extra time you put into every design, it will reap larger benefits in the future. To be a successful designer, put in the extra time on all of your designs.
- Keep an open mind: I have had a career as a full-time employee in a mechanical engineer firm and even a freelancer. However, my ability to be creative and attention to detail is not always beneficial. In general, your idea on how to create your design will be different than your colleagues and even your direct boss. Unfortunately, due to the creativity involved in CAD, everyone has their own perception of how things should be completed. In short, there is no right answer. However, if you do not keep an open mind and have the ability to accept advice from an individual who has more experience, your ability to become a successful designer will be limited. Thus, keep an open mind.
- Be excited: Regardless of your profession and background, i.e. engineer, artist, among others, you need to enjoy CAD. You are reading this article because you are excited about CAD. Don't let your excitement die down. Have fun with CAD. Learn new techniques. Share your designs for the world to see. Teach friends, family members, or even better the younger generation.
- Practice, Practice, Practice: Even to this day, I practice CAD. I spend a part of my weekend working on my personal projects and this enables me to keep practicing so I can better myself. Majority of the time, you will not be excited about the work you do professionally to earn a living. However, the projects you do for yourself will allow exploration of new ideas and techniques. When I practice, however, I need to have structure. I need to practice with exercises that are simple and teach me a specific set of skills. I recommend the 100 CAD exercises for those who want to be challenged and at the same time learn new techniques that they were potentially unaware of. In short, keep practicing.
In my opinion, these five aspects can help you become a successful CAD designer. These aspects, however, are not things you can do overnight. It will take time. It will take effort. It will not be easy. Keep these in mind when you start a new project and always reflect back to check if you are following them.
Do you have an aspect that you believe makes a successful designer? I would love to hear about it. Please share by commenting below.
Be sure to check out the 100 CAD exercises. These exercises can help take you to the next level in CAD.