Computer Aided Design and Drafting

Career and Program Description

This program is designed to assist students in acquiring the knowledge and skills required of drafters and designers. Design drafters are skilled technicians who interpret engineering data to produce sketches, plans and detailed working drawings used in manufacturing and construction.

Career opportunities exist for drafters in many areas including: product design, sheet metal layout, structural steel detailing, special tooling and fixtures and machine design. Graduates are found working for manufacturing firms, construction companies, engineering firms, city, state and federal agencies or they may be self-employed. Advancement to positions of designer, drafting supervisor, or engineering technician are possible. Modern CAD (computer aided drafting) labs provide the opportunity for CAD skill development using a variety of CAD software. Other courses will augment the design drafter tool set with knowledge in materials, materials strength, drafting/design computation, design for manufacturing and the product development process. The program and courses are developed with the advice and support of an advisory committee.

Full time students should begin the computer aided design and drafting certification program during the fall term, and follow in sequential order. Both afternoon and evening courses are offered. Contact a program adviser for curriculum variations.

Degrees and Certificates Offered

One-Year Certificate

Computer Aided Design and Drafting (CAD)

Less than One-Year: Career Pathway Certificate

CAD Operator
Mechanical Drafter
Technical Designer

Academic Prerequisites

  • Students new to the certificate program must take the college’s placement examination for math prior to program advising and registration. Students must place in MTH 70 and WR 115 or IRW 115 before registering for first term drafting classes.

Academic Requirements

  • Students must receive a grade of "C" or "P" or better in all CADD courses to earn a the Computer Aided Design and Drafting Certificate.

Non-Academic Prerequisites

  • Consult a program advisor or the college catalog for information on PCC’s policy for acceptance of courses taken at other colleges, high schools and/or the transferability of PCC courses to other institutions.

Non-Academic Requirements

  • None

One-Year Certificate

Computer Aided Design and Drafting

Less than One-Year: Career Pathway Certificate

CAD Operator
Mechanical Drafter
Technical Designer

Computer Aided Design and Drafting One-Year Certificate

Minimum 45 credits. Students must meet certificate requirements.

Course of Study

The coursework listed below is required. The following is an example of a term-by-term breakdown.

Plan of Study Grid
First TermCredits
CADD 100 CADD Orientation § 3
CADD 115 Practical Mathematics for CAD Designers and Drafters § 4
CADD 160 Drafting Fundamentals 4
CADD 175
SolidWorks Fundamentals
or 3D Modeling and Engineering Graphics
Second Term
CADD 105 Digital Design and Fabrication Fundamentals 3
CADD 126
Introduction to AutoCAD
or Introduction to AutoCAD
CADD 185 Inventor Fundamentals 3
CADD 195 CAD Simulation for Drafters and Designers 4
CADD 235 Materials and Design for Manufacturing Processes 3
Third Term
CADD 245 Product Design and Development Fundamentals § 3
CADD 255 Kinematics Drafting 3
CADD 265 Mechanical Design Drafting 4
CADD 285
Advanced Inventor
or SolidWorks Advanced
Computer Aided Design and Drafting Electives 2
 Total Credits45

Course contains Related Instruction and cannot be substituted with another course; Related Instruction details can be viewed here.

Computer Aided Design and Drafting Electives

ARCH 110Introduction to Architectural Drawing2
ARCH 136Intermediate AutoCAD3
ARCH 237Introduction to Revit Architecture3
CADD 110STEM Electric Guitar Build2
CADD 136Intermediate AutoCAD3
CADD 155Fusion 360 Fundamentals3
CADD 225Advanced Fusion 3603
CADD 275SolidWorks Advanced3
CADD 285Advanced Inventor3
ENGR 101Engineering Fundamentals4
WLD 101Welding Processes & Applications4

CAD Operator Career Pathway Certificate

Minimum 12 credits. Students must meet certificate requirements.

CAD Operator Certificate Courses

CADD 175SolidWorks Fundamentals3
CADD 185Inventor Fundamentals3
CADD 235Materials and Design for Manufacturing Processes3
CADD 275SolidWorks Advanced3
Total Credits12

Mechanical Drafter Career Pathway Certificate

Minimum 14 credits. Students must meet certificate requirements.

Mechanical Drafter Certificate Courses

CADD 126Introduction to AutoCAD3
CADD 160Drafting Fundamentals4
CADD 175SolidWorks Fundamentals3
CADD 265Mechanical Design Drafting4
Total Credits14

Technical Designer Career Pathway Certificate

Minimum 17 credits. Students must meet certificate requirements.

Technical Designer Certificate Courses

CADD 115Practical Mathematics for CAD Designers and Drafters4
CADD 175SolidWorks Fundamentals3
CADD 195CAD Simulation for Drafters and Designers4
CADD 235Materials and Design for Manufacturing Processes3
CADD 245Product Design and Development Fundamentals3
Total Credits17


CADD 100. CADD Orientation. 3 Credits.

Introduces product lines and manufacturing operations through visual media or facility tours. Covers fundamentals of technical report writing, memos, and resume development with instruction relating to sentence structure, paragraph and essay development, and written expression. Includes internet research of technical products related to drafting and design, and American National Standards Institute drafting practices and terminology. Introduces file systems and learning management systems using Windows and PCC specific protocols. Prerequisites: (WR 90 and RD 90) or IRW 90 or equivalent placement or instructor approval. Audit available.

CADD 105. Digital Design and Fabrication Fundamentals. 3 Credits.

Introduces skills needed to set-up, operate, and maintain a Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), 3D printer machine. Introduces set-up and operation of a CNC router to manufacture a simple project. Introduces computer aided manufacturing (CAM) for creating 2D and 2.5D tool paths. Prerequisites: (WR 115 and RD 115) or IRW 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement. Audit available.

CADD 110. STEM Electric Guitar Build. 2 Credits.

Provides the opportunity to build and assemble an electric guitar from a kit using the methodologies from NSF funded STEM program. Introduces electronics theories and mathematics for electric guitar functionality. Incorporates painting, assembly, setting-up, determining allowable tolerances, and testing of a functional electric guitar with custom design elements. Recommended: CAD and hand tool skills.

CADD 115. Practical Mathematics for CAD Designers and Drafters. 4 Credits.

Introduces computational topics relevant to the computer aided design and drafting occupation. Includes the use of mathematics to solve computer aided design problems, drafting measurement systems and conversions, mechanical tolerance and estimation analysis, GD&T, applied trigonometry, geometry and descriptive geometry topics and computer aided design related technical formulas. Prerequisites: (MTH 58, MTH 60, or MTH 62) and (RD 90 or IRW 90 or ESOL 260). Audit available.

CADD 126. Introduction to AutoCAD. 3 Credits.

Introduces Autodesk's AutoCAD software as a design and drafting tool. Introduces basic 2D CAD commands, command interface, workspace, viewports and printing concepts. Covers creation, retrieval and modification of 2D drawing files that meet industry standards with an emphasis on mechanical design for the manufacturing industry. Requirement: Completion of CAS 100A or proficiency in computer operations using Microsoft Windows. Audit available.

CADD 136. Intermediate AutoCAD. 3 Credits.

Continues the study of AutoCAD software as a design tool. Covers slide files, block attributes, user coordinate systems, v-points, 3-D entity creation, external references, and paper/model space drawing manipulation. Prerequisite: CADD 126. Audit available.

CADD 155. Fusion 360 Fundamentals. 3 Credits.

Introduces Autodesk's Fusion 360 cross platform cloud-based CAD tool for product development, and industrial and mechanical design. Includes instruction for parametric part and assembly modeling, model sculpting, and 2D drawing creation. Prerequisites: (MTH 58 or MTH 60) and (RD 90 or IRW 90 or ESOL 260) or department permission. Audit available.

CADD 160. Drafting Fundamentals. 4 Credits.

Introduces skills needed to produce 2-D mechanical drawings using hand sketching techniques on grid paper. Includes orthographic projection, lettering, auxiliary views, sections and pictorial drawings. Covers dimensioning basics. Audit available.

CADD 175. SolidWorks Fundamentals. 3 Credits.

Introduces SolidWorks software as a 3-D design tool. Covers creation, retrieval and modification of 3-D and layout drawings using basic SolidWorks commands. Includes skills needed to create parametric models of parts and assemblies; generate dimensioned layouts; and Bill of Materials of those parts and assemblies. Audit Available.

CADD 185. Inventor Fundamentals. 3 Credits.

Introduces Inventor as a feature-rich, parametric 3D design tool for assembly-centric modeling and collaborative engineering. Includes part and assembly modeling, using adaptive features and parents, utilizing work groups, surfacing basics, managing data, and the Engineer's Notebook. Audit available.

CADD 195. Statics and Mechanics for Mechanical Designers. 4 Credits.

Introduces the technical designer to engineering statics, strength of materials and applications to computer aided mechanical design and analysis. Emphasizes good design practices for robust and optimized mechanical designs. Requirement: A scientific calculator. Prerequisites: CADD 115, (CADD 175 or CADD 185), (MTH 60 or MTH 62) and (RD 90 or IRW 90 or ESOL 250). Audit available.

CADD 225. Advanced Fusion 360. 3 Credits.

Covers advanced techniques for creating and modifying 3D models and assemblies using Fusion 360. Develops and deepens proficiency in sketching, modeling, assemblies, analysis, workflows and sheet metal parts. Prerequisites: CADD 155 or department permission. Audit available.

CADD 235. Materials and Design for Manufacturing Processes. 3 Credits.

Introduces engineering materials and manufacturing processes to the technical designer. Emphasizes sustainability and design for manufacturing and assembly (DFM/DFMA) following industry standard practices. Prerequisite: CADD 160 and (CADD 175 or CADD 185). Prerequisite/concurrent: CADD 195. Audit available.

CADD 245. Product Design and Development Fundamentals. 3 Credits.

Covers practical application of industry standard product development process(es) and associated tools. Prerequisites: CADD 100, (CADD 155 or CADD 175 or CADD 185) and CADD 160, or instructor approval.

CADD 255. Kinematics Drafting. 3 Credits.

Introduces mechanisms that translate motion and force, including cams, gears, belts/pulleys, and chains/sprockets. Introduces components such as pawls ratchets, linkages, and levers. Covers the creation of drawings for stock (shelf) items and custom designs. Prerequisite: CADD 160 and CADD 175. Audit available.

CADD 265. Mechanical Design Drafting. 4 Credits.

Covers mechanical drafting with a focus on the development of 3D feature-based parametric part and assembly models for creation of technical mechanical drawings. Includes threads and fasteners, weldments and welding symbols, sheet metal, surface finishes, coatings, platings, and tolerances. Prerequisite: CADD 115, CADD 160 and (CADD 175 or CADD 185). Audit available.

CADD 275. SolidWorks Advanced. 3 Credits.

Covers advanced editing and modeling options, configurations of assemblies, sheet metal, and topdown assembly modeling. Prerequisite: CADD 175. Audit available.

CADD 285. Advanced Inventor. 3 Credits.

Covers advanced techniques used in creating and modifying parametric, assembly-centric 3D models with Inventor. Develops extensive knowledge in the areas of part and assembly modeling, adaptive features, utilizing work groups, surfacing, managing data and the Engineers Notebook. Prerequisite CADD 185; or department permission. Audit available.