Ashworth College Blog

What Does 3D Printing Mean For AutoCAD Careers?

Written by Allison Brenner on Monday, 03 February 2014. Posted in Career

What Does 3D Printing Mean For AutoCAD Careers?

Technology is an ever-evolving field that continues to touch our lives in new and exciting ways. If there is one constant in technology it is, ironically, change: There is always some technical discovery that techno-geeks are re-inventing or adapting for current, practical use. For example, the 3D printer was invented in the 1980s, yet its popularity has grown exponentially in recent years. Thanks to affordable, home-based printers, this technology is being applied to many career fields – including professional drafting.

Three-dimensional printing works much like a traditional printing, except instead of printing an image on a flat piece of paper, a 3D image is constructed by layering liquid, powder, paper or sheet material to build a model in a series of cross sections. Depending on the size and complexity of the model, it could take anywhere from several hours to several days to construct.

This type of printing has resulted in increased interest in AutoCAD careers. Combining your imagination with the computer-aided design, or CAD skills that you learn in the Ashworth College AutoCAD Training Program, there may be no limit to your creative design capabilities. And what does this mean for career opportunities after you graduate? "I see a lot more demand for CAD and 3D modeling jobs on the horizon because of 3D printing," said Alex English, owner of ProtoParadigm, a 3D printing business.

Exciting AutoCAD Opportunities

This new field of technology opens up an abundance of opportunities in AutoCAD careers. Certain possibilities are available because of 3D printing that weren't available before. For example, you work as an architectural designer and you conceive a great idea for a new building. Three dimensional printing allows you to actually construct a model of your idea and showcase it to your colleagues, supervisors and clients in a tangible form. You can better showcase your abilities and ideas with a 3D printer.

Customized Ideas

In the business world, it's important to maintain a skill level that's a step ahead of the competition. With 3D printing, an entirely new opportunity presents itself because now you can create custom pieces that precisely fit a layout or multi-dimensional configuration. With this new technology, you can replicate custom car parts, design specialized pieces for a computer, and develop a variety of other specific components. And you may collaborate with the engineers who ultimately build the final product represented by your design.

Test Your Ideas

On paper, you won't be able to test out your ideas to see if they are practical or capable of fulfilling the required task. For an aeronautical drafter, ensuring your plane flies isn't something you can truly see in a 2D form. The 3-D printer enables you to build a scale model that you can then test in a wind tunnel. You can also better test parts you have created to see if they fit together in the way they were designed to do. Size, shape and effectiveness can all be discovered in a few hours by simply printing a three- dimensional prototype.

By combining the skills you learn in the Ashworth AutoCAD training program and understanding the principles of 3D printing, you'll likely be in demand by a host of employers. Furthermore, because Ashworth College graduates are able take the Autodesk AutoCAD Certified User Certification exam, delivered by Certiport, a division of Autodesk, Inc, you may be an even more desirable candidate for future employers.

What is your experience with AutoCAD? Do you know anyone who is an AutoCAD professional? Give us your feedback!

About the Author

Allison Brenner

Allison Brenner

Allison Brenner is a copywriter with James Madison High School and Ashworth College. Alli, holds a B.S. Journalism from the Georgia Southern University College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.