3d_design-_10AutoCAD is a computer-based piece of software that enables users to draw 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional images. These images are then used for manufacturing or construction. Engineers use the program to plan buildings, design electrical products and even build elaborate homes.

AutoCAD is a professional program and employees do need to complete training courses before they are allowed to use it in the workplace. If you are an individual who is interested in learning some easy steps, before you start your training program, then you have come to the right place. Read on for some tips on where to begin.

Tips for beginners

• Pick the type of software you need to use – Decide why you are going to use the software because there are different types for different designers. If you want to build and design a house in the long run, there is no point using a software that is based on animation (AutoDesk Maya)

• What type of computer do you have? – Have a look in the system preferences to see the specifications of your computer. AutoCAD is expensive and you will have wasted your money if you have bought a Mac program when you have a Windows computer. The basic AutoCAD program needs 2GB of RAM and 2GB worth of space to be installed on the computer, so make sure you have enough space on your computer. AutoCAD uses IE 7.0 or higher, but there are updates available for other internet browsers, you will just have to install them separately.

• Installation – Now that you have checked everything, you are ready to install AutoCAD. The program comes with an installation wizard, so just insert the CD or download the program and then sit back and relax. If all goes to plan, it will take about 30 minutes to install.

• What to expect – Once the installation is complete, open the program and you are greeted with a black screen, full of blue boxes. This is where you are going to be designing your images. To get started, click on the line tool, in the home tab and you are ready to make your first line in the image.

• Line tool – This is where the program is similar to the pen tool in Photoshop, or Pixelmator. You click in the space where you want to begin, drag the line across to where you want it to end, and then unclick. You have drawn your first line.

• Eraser tool – If you make a mistake, don’t worry all is not lost. There is an eraser tool that looks like the end of a pencil, with the eraser on the top. Just click on it and highlight the line that you want to erase. Simple.

• Circle tool – The next tool you need to know about is the circle tool. It looks like a circle and it is in the same place as the line tool. You just put the mouse where you want the middle of the circle to be. Then you hold down on the mouse, move outwards until the circle is the size that you want it and then unclick. You have options to alter the dimensions of the of the diameter and the radius, using your computer keyboard.

• Trim tool – Once you have the circle the way that you want it, you might not want a full circle. This is where the trim tool comes in. You highlight the area you want to trim. The lines will become dotted, right click on the mouse and the lines will disappear.

There are some basic tips for beginners and people who want to learn the basic tools. If you want to learn AutoCAD to use it in your job, you will have to take a course. There is no getting around that. Your employers are not going to give you the time to learn whilst you work, it will be a waste of their money.

The CAD Corporation is an online store providing needs to designers. They have sections on their website for buying software, hardware, training packages and even job seekers. It is the one stop shop for people who are in the design field or are looking to get into it. In addition to their website, they have sales offices and training centers throughout Africa. Their joint sales and training centers are located in Johannesburg and Centurion, and their independent training centers are in Capetown, Port Elizabeth, Eastrand and Gateway Umhlanga. They supply design products for customers in the fields of building, engineering, manufacturing and plant. You can visit their website at http://www.cadco.co.za

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