Week Five – I can do CAD (kind of)!

The idea of having digital models of products isn’t exactly exciting. It’s the 21st century, of course you can design things on a computer. Why wouldn’t you be able to? This is the mindset I have for a lot of technology. That is, I know that certain technologies exist that allow me to have a great standard of living, its just that I don’t always have the greatest appreciation for certain technologies existence’s. This isn’t to say I’m a bad person, but I can only be passionate and appreciate the things I have experienced. Learning about CAD in this class has opened up a new world of appreciation and interest for me in that I now understand the process and means that digital 3d design uses. Autodesk’s presentation did just that for me.


My lamp. I made this (with some help)

Researching Fusion 360 before our in class presentation gave me a good idea of what the tool was capable of. Downloading it was kind of a hassle but after a bit of Googling I was able to optimize my computer to run this behemoth of a program. Fusion 360, as described by NAME has a noticeably lower learning curve than other similar caliber programs. THANK GOODNESS. The program is pretty intuitive (I was messing around with things after just minutes of tutorial) but I found myself bumping into problems left and right. I’d likely blame this to my lack of experience as well as my not so well trained CAD ability to this rather than on Fusion 360 itself.

For a novice like myself, this is the level of complexity that may be best. TinkerCAD was great to display the idea of computer-aided design but Fusion seems to be a great introduction to a program that can create real projects. Introducing CAD, perhaps with a software like Fusion360, to High Schoolers would be HUGE. I’ve always been and advocate of programming classes in Jr. High and High School to get kids more interested in STEM. Seeing how Fusion360 could maybe strike a passion for Industrial Design or the like makes me think it would be a great class or seminar to be taught in the pre-college years. I’ll be referring TinkerCAD to my freshman in H.S younger brother (I’ve been pushing him to take programming because I regret not doing so).

The great thing about this class is being able to dip my feet into so many different maker tools. Exploratory learning is not only more enjoyable, but more fruitful. Why? Trial and error. Playing around with many different tools forces me to find out what I may or may not be interested in. When else would I have gotten to use CAD?

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