RES.16-002 | January IAP 2024 | Non-Credit

How to CAD Almost Anything

Learning to Use CAD Software

Below, Andy G. Eskenazi describes how he himself learned to use CAD technology, and how that experience informed his design of the CAD workshop.

My CAD journey started back in primary school, when my IT teacher introduced me to SketchUp and its 3D Warehouse. Because model airplanes are expensive, I found in SketchUp a fantastic alternative where I could build virtual airports (for free!) and make them as large as I wanted with as many airplanes from every airline I desired!

However, while SketchUp is a wonderful software, it has several limitations, in particular because it is aimed for an architecture, not engineering, user base. This in stark contrast to SolidWorks, the first mechanical design software I was introduced to back in my freshman spring at the University of Pennsylvania, by taking the very-popular MEAM 101 course. I enjoyed learning SolidWorks (my first true love) and the class itself so much that I ended up becoming a teaching assistant for six semesters.

Throughout my six semesters as a TA (where I worked with my mentor Prof. Dustyn Roberts), I learned a lot about SolidWorks (due to the constant exposure, one eventually becomes proficient in solving many bugs), but more importantly, about teaching the software itself. Towards my sixth semester, I had developed a method that seemed to work with my students, and I was slowly starting to experiment with reverse-engineering warm-up activities and more advanced concepts falling outside of the course’s syllabus.  

“How to CAD Almost Anything!” is largely based on my experience teaching MEAM 101, especially when it comes to the pace and order at which the various SolidWorks commands are being introduced (which I personally thought was very well thought-out). However, in contrast to the latter (which has hands-on components), “How to CAD Almost Anything” focuses purely on CAD modeling, and has completely different project assignments—with the exception of the LEGO brick, which I helped introduced in MEAM 101 and as such has a very special place in my heart!

Course Info

As Taught In
January IAP 2024
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Lecture Notes
Lecture Videos