Are you wondering if CAD software is easy to learn? In this article, we’ll discuss the common experiences of people who use CAD software. Computer-Aided Design software is now a common tool for builders, architects, and woodworking. But is it super hard to learn CAD?
CAD software can be easy to learn or difficult to learn, it all depends on the software platform, the person, and what they are trying to do. Some people may have an extensive background with similar programs, making CAD relatively straightforward. Other people might be less familiar with technology, making learning CAD more difficult.
In the next section, we’ll break all this down into a digestible format. The bottom line is this, anyone can learn how to use CAD software, but everyone will have a different path to becoming a proficient CAD user. This article will help you map out your CAD software training process, and help you know what to expect.
How Hard is it to Learn CAD Software?
This is a difficult question to answer as everyone is bringing different skills to the table. Some people have a background in similar things and are generally comfortable with computers and computer programs. However, others might not be as comfortable with technology, making the transition from beginner to proficient a little more difficult.
Here are a few parameters that will help you gauge how difficult it will be to learn CAD software:
· Your background
· How much time and patience you have
· What you’re trying to do
· The software you’re using
Let’s look at this in more depth.
How Your Background Relates to Learning CAD
As we said, if you’re already working in an environment where you are forced to learn computer programs, then you will probably have a head start when it comes to learning CAD software. You might be working with sheet metal, and you’ve used CAD software for sheet metal. Any experience with CAD will give you a basic idea of how it works.
In general, there are three types of people who will begin learning CAD, and each will progressively have an easier time.
First, there are people who don’t like technology and actively avoids it when possible. These people, understandably, will have more trouble learning CAD software. Not only will they struggle because they are unfamiliar, but they will also struggle because they just don’t enjoy it.
Second, there’s the everyday layperson. Maybe they’ve had some exposure to various technologies and computer programs, but they are new to CAD. These folks will have about an average time learning CAD. They will need to dedicate themselves, but they’ll get there with a little work.
Third, there’s the computer enthusiast. These folks may already work with computer software on a daily basis. They like computers and technology and they don’t mind learning new things. This group of people will have the easiest time learning CAD.
No matter where you fall on this list, the key to learning CAD software is to avoid resistance. Accept where your skills are and go from there.
The Importance of Time and Patience when Learning CAD Software
If you’re not ready to dedicate some time to learning CAD, then it doesn’t matter your skill level. Just like learning an instrument or learning to play a new sport, you have to dedicate some regular practice. Those that can dedicate at least thirty minutes per day will make the most progress in learning CAD.
Learning something like CAD software is similar to learning any other technical skill. It takes some dedication and consistence practice. Furthermore, with something like learning computer design software, there is always new things to learn, so it’s important to view the process as a marathon and not a sprint.
Know What You’re Trying to Do with CAD Software
If you’re trying to master CAD software and all the ins and outs, then yes, it will take a lot of time to learn. However, not everybody will be looking to do an original design with CAD software.
Some people might just want to learn how to use CAD software on a peripheral level, only seeking to use pre-designed projects to plug them into their CNS router or their 3D printer.
In these cases, instead of learning the intricacies of the design software, all you need to do is learn how to transfer a design from the software to your machine. If this is the case, then you will have an easier time.
Before you become worried about learning CAD software, ensure you know what you’re trying to do with the software. Trying to become an expert will obviously take more time than just learning to use a few features.
Let’s talk about one more thing that will affect the difficulty of learning CAD software.
The Type of CAD Software: Find Software Suitable for Beginners
Plain and simple, there is some software that will be better designed for beginners than others. Some types of CAD software will be only marketed to professionals and those already familiar with software.
Most types of software will have instructions, but some will be easier to understand than others. If you’re curious about the different capabilities of CAD software, the best thing you could do is to research several different types and look at their reviews from beginners. You could even contact the company and ask them for their recommendations.
Certainly, with determination, you’ll be able to learn any CAD software. With that said, there will certainly be some software more conducive to beginners.
In the next sections, we’ll talk about how to learn CAD software faster.
How to Learn CAD Software faster
There are ways to learn CAD software faster. In the next sections, we’ll outline how you can increase your speed. Just keep in mind, though we will give you some techniques, the best thing you could do is learn what works for you. The only universal principle is that you have to take time to practice – you can’t learn something unless you’re doing it.
However, how you practice may be very specific to your personality. Use the guidelines below as a starting point but don’t let these principles box you in.
Here are a few techniques to learning CAD software faster:
· Find an instructor
· Set aside time to practice each day
· Start small
· Stick with a single platform
Let’s look at these in more depth. Also, if you’re curious, here’s a video about someone talking about learning CAD software.
Find a CAD Software Instructor
The first step is to find someone who can teach you the software you want to use. There are a few ways to do this.
First, some CAD software has built-in instructions. This is usually in videos or real-time help. If you can, take advantage of these resources – they are specific to your software, and they usually don’t waste much time.
However, some people want something a little more personal. In this case, you can try looking up videos of the software. Just go to your favorite video streaming platform and type in “How to Use ______” (insert your CAD software). More than likely, you’ll find someone who has had the same struggle as you. They will usually be able to show you how to get started.
If you’re looking for professional-level knowledge, then you can look up a course on a site like Udemy. Udemy will have professionals teaching real classes. These cost a little bit, but they will give you the chance to dig into the material, as well as have a knowledgeable instructor who will answer your questions.
Set Aside Time to Practice CAD Each Day
This is one thing that everyone must do. You must practice. Whether it’s an hour a day or fifteen minutes, learning how to practice consistently will open many doors.
It is hard to practice, and you might not think you have the time. But how much time do you spend watching TV? Video games? Socialization? More than likely there is some time you can find if you really want to.
To motivate yourself to practice, you can give yourself rewards or try to partner with someone else who is learning as well.
Start Simple and Small with CAD Software
It goes without saying that you should start simple. Yes, you might want to redesign an entire building, and you’ll get there, but you need to start with something simple first. It’s important to learn the principles of CAD software before moving forward.
If you try to move ahead too fast, you’ll soon find critical gaps in your knowledge. Let’s talk about one last thing.
Start with a Single CAD Software
If you master one type of software, you will be able to do more than if you’re only a beginner with several types of CAD software. There is nothing saying you can’t learn multiple CAD software platforms, but you should avoid jumping around, especially in the beginning. After you know exactly what you need, then you can think about moving to something that suits your niche.
If you pick a software and stick with it, you will become comfortable faster. Not only that, but you’ll be more confident when you move to a new software, because you already proved you can master one system.