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Is 3D CAD the right field for me?

disgruntledtree

New member
Hi, I recently graduated from college with a degree in 3-D animation and special effects. I'm looking to go back to college to do 3D cad design. I have a few questions about "CAD"

1. Is CAD mostly done in 2-D or 3-D

2. What type of industries use 3D CAD, specifically with just 3-D modeling

3. Are Jobs that use CAD mostly freelance, or actually stable-staff jobs?

4. How much can a entry level CAD designer make?

5. Is CAD drastically different then the 3-D that I did in school (for example AutoDesk's Maya software)

6. In 3D animation for film or games there was different specializations with in 3D, for example, some are hired to just do modeling, some people are hired to do just character animation, some people are hired to do just dynamics, some people are hired to just do rendering/texturing...is there a similar workflow in the CAD world?

7. What other things should I know about CAD? like what would you have liked to have known before starting a career doing CAD work?

8. What exsacly is CAD? Would someone with my background transition easly into it?
 

Kevin De Smet

New member
First, sorry for the stupendously late reply, but I thought I'd answer your questions anyway - better late than never, right? :p

Is CAD mostly done in 2-D or 3-D
Most CAD is still 2D.

What type of industries use 3D CAD, specifically with just 3-D modeling
Plastic parts (consumer products) are heavily 3D CAD, also high end industries such as aero and auto use 3D CAD extensively.

Are Jobs that use CAD mostly freelance, or actually stable-staff jobs?
I would say most are stable staff jobs.

How much can a entry level CAD designer make?
That's a hard question, depends on your location and the company - let's just say the pay isn't sky high but it isn't rock bottom either, you should be able to live off it comfortably if you don't go about buying Ferraris.

is CAD drastically different then the 3-D that I did in school (for example AutoDesk's Maya software)
Yes, it is. The big difference is that CAD liked NURBS and CG liked polygons. Things do come back, 3D is 3D is 3D. But it is quite different.

In 3D animation for film or games there was different specializations with in 3D, for example, some are hired to just do modeling, some people are hired to do just character animation, some people are hired to do just dynamics, some people are hired to just do rendering/texturing...is there a similar workflow in the CAD world?
The same can be true, but it's less prominent. Big divided, though, are: CAD (the designing on the computer), CAM (machining those designs into real objects) and CAE (simulationing the designs for strength, fatigue, heat, etc...)

What other things should I know about CAD? like what would you have liked to have known before starting a career doing CAD work?
I can't really think of one...

What exsacly is CAD? Would someone with my background transition easly into it?
yeah, you should. CAD simply means that things are gonna be more accurate than CG, you won't get rewards for using smoothing groups to make an object look smooth when you go and machine it and everyone yells your head off because it's just a light-trick only the computer can use.

The big difference is, unlike CG, CAD has the goal to turn the computer geometry into real physical one as the end-goal.

If you're open-minded about different workflows, you should be able to it. Hell, I did too :)
 

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