Photo of Top Skills for CAD Designers

Nearly every object that exists in the real, physical world once existed in a digital, 3D form, typically in some CAD software. With these software platform tools constantly evolving, it’s imperative that designers and CAD Engineers constantly improve their skill sets to stay ahead of the curve. Here are just a few topics we emphasize in our Solidworks CAD Advanced Training Course:

Blueprint Reading + GD&T – A combination of these two aspects of engineering is the foundation of what makes a skilled CAD Designer. Knowing how to properly read a blueprint, and translate that into a tightly toleranced, manufacturable CAD design.

Basic knowledge of PDM – Most CAD systems today are connected to a database (known as PDM) to manage all of the individual CAD files created within a given company. With a majority of companies undergoing huge efforts to digitize everything, having a broad understanding of the various plugins to a CAD tool (such as PDM, PLM, ERP software, etc.) will prove to be invaluable in the technology-driven world we’re accustomed to today. 

Design for Manufacturability (DfM) – There is a difference between a part that can be designed and a part that can be manufactured. Even with modern machinery, there are still physical limitations to how a given object can be created in the real world. Especially for manufacturing companies, having a skilled designer who understands DfM makes for a much smoother design-to-part and product design iteration lifecycle.

We teach CAD, CAM, and a variety of other adjacent manufacturing and engineering-related topics in our Skill-Up Advanced Training program here at NTMA. Please visit us on the web at: or give us a call at 800-962-6862.