CAD Engineering advice needed

Post here information about your own engineering projects, including but not limited to building your own car or designing a virtual car through CAD.
twiglet
1
Joined: Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:23 pm

CAD Engineering advice needed

Post by twiglet » Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:58 pm

Hi im a new member (ive been reading the posts for the last 3 yrs)
Mod please move this post to the relevant section if needed.
I am after some advice in regards to my 19yr old son.
He has just taken part in the worldskills UK finals and has really enjoyed the process and competition. He is currently on an apprenticeship with a local casting company working towards a HNC in mechanical engineering.Although he enjoys the job his heart is set on a carreer in CAD. As you are most likely aware the CAD part of the HNC outside of Scotland is only one part of the whole course. He has managed to get to the final mostly through his own efforts due to the lack of knowledge at his college or workplace once a higher level is introduced. Most of the competitors had completed some form of formal cad training or were HND CAD students and i feel with the right training or enviornment he could really excell. I am very proud he was able to qualify for the finals despite his lack of mentoring. As a carpenter i find it difficult to advise him as to his choices. As i have read posts on here i have been amazed at some of the experience and brilliance of some of the posters.
I took some copies of his cv to the competition as there were alot of companies on show. It has been suggested that he opens a linked-in page and that the cv route was pointless as they would not reach the correct people. He is based in Mid Wales so is close to the Midlands. He has been using inventor and solidworks (please keep on topic and not turn into which CAD software is the best) He can work from drawings and take the design through to the animation stage but most of this is his own methods which do work. He had quite a few processes to carry out at the comp that he had never done before so resorted to youtube on the night between the two days of competition as his tutor did not know how to do the tasks.
I am looking for your collective experience and advice. He has a*'s in most gcse's but knakered his as levels up so pulled out and found his own apprenticeship which i am proud of as he did not just sit on his backside. He has been shortlisted for apprentice of the year in the casting community, i just feel he could reach his full potential in CAD with the right career choice.
Any advice is appreciated =D> =D>

vibrating_cake
0
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:24 am

Re: CAD Engineering advice needed

Post by vibrating_cake » Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:03 am

From personal experience, the only way I got into a cad job was voulenteering for free in schools as a technician, helping teach Cad to students and other jobs ofc. Which lead to a full time job, to 2 years experience, then into a job, now I'm on my second job working on cad with bathrooms, but even now If I apply for jobs, 90% don't even bother considering you for the job, he should just be persistent with applying and following up for jobs in cad, anything for that first two years experience, then you have leverage to climb the ladder.

Vyssion
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Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 1:40 pm

Re: CAD Engineering advice needed

Post by Vyssion » Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:28 am

Most of the time for CAD monkeys, you'll want to have a portfolio that you can share with potential job interviewers. One thing to note is that you need to be different; to stand out. A good way to do that would be to set up a website (Squarespace-type thing) where you could showcase the CAD projects you do. There is a website https://www.the-blueprints.com/ which has many many blue prints for all sorts of things which would allow you to recreate them through 3D splines and surface geometry. Having a GrabCAD account to distribute it to the masses so they can download it and see your hard work (obviously not the master file - just an STL or solid body export is enough often) wouldn't hurt either. One thing to note to stand out is that surface modelling is easy to make something that looks good, but it is hard to make something that is actually good. Many people dont clean their models, leaving intersecting surfaces and free edges etc. out of laziness. If you can create watertight models with surfaces to a relatively high degree of accuracy, you'll be better than a lot of wannabes.
"And here you will stay, Gandalf the Grey, and rest from journeys. For I am Saruman the Wise, Saruman the Ring-maker, Saruman of Many Colours!"

#aerosaruman

Greg Locock
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Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:48 pm

Re: CAD Engineering advice needed

Post by Greg Locock » Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:16 pm

I wonder if there are any CAD guys here who could describe how they got into their first job? My experience is mostly with ex-drafties who got hit round the head with cathode ray tubes.

krisfx
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Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:07 pm

Re: CAD Engineering advice needed

Post by krisfx » Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:05 pm

I landed my first design role on my placement in University, but my first proper job, I created a design portfolio.. I think the phrase "CAD monkey" used by Vyssion is a bit misleading, as in my experience that role is not all that common anymore, as design engineers are now proficient/trained in CAD. In fact it's a quite a shitty remark for an educated individual to make.

Landing the first job is tough, the formal training will come, but it's not all that useful as design is like anything, we all have our own way of doing things, there's no real right or wrong.

Vyssion
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Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 1:40 pm

Re: CAD Engineering advice needed

Post by Vyssion » Mon Nov 20, 2017 2:25 pm

krisfx wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:05 pm
I think the phrase "CAD monkey" used by Vyssion is a bit misleading, as in my experience that role is not all that common anymore, as design engineers are now proficient/trained in CAD. In fact it's a quite a shitty remark for an educated individual to make.
Apologies mate - meant no offense by it. Its just the term we use in our office. I suppose its synonymous with my job as a CFD Aerodynamicist being called "Colour For Directors". All in good fun :D
"And here you will stay, Gandalf the Grey, and rest from journeys. For I am Saruman the Wise, Saruman the Ring-maker, Saruman of Many Colours!"

#aerosaruman

Smokes
3
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 4:47 pm

Re: CAD Engineering advice needed

Post by Smokes » Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:52 pm

Because of CAD we don't really have people that are just drafters any more though some would disagree.
I do know some places where you have a team 3d modelling and a team converting the models into 2d drawings.
I think your son would be better off doing a degree directly or via an apprenticeship in Mechanical/ automotive /aircraft /Engineering because most of the interesting engineering work is done by qualified engineers.
Also he would be competing for jobs against degree and masters chartered qualified engineers.

Career wise there is a lot more to engineering than doing just the CAD work, and to do some of the more complex engineering you need a good understanding of the maths, materials and manufacturing and management techniques. This what the degrees typically covers. I do know that in the UK doing a engineering degree and masters will land you with a £40K of debt but most of the guys that have done an engineering degree and ended with a Student loan debt say that the loan dosen't bother them or stop them buying a house.

If he wants to do just Cad work he would need to get the official certification in Solidworks, Autodesk inventor, Solid edge, CATIA, NX, CREO(take your pick). To have a fighting chance of getting an interview. He would also need some formal training in BS888 and ASME Y14.8 and training in tolerances and welding symbols he would also need to get some knowledge on PLM and engineering revision practices.

twiglet
1
Joined: Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:23 pm

Re: CAD Engineering advice needed

Post by twiglet » Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:54 pm

Thank you so much for your replies and insight. I am way out of my depth with this and before i sit down with him to go through his options i want to be prepared!! Sitting down with your dad at 19 who has no clue about the subject matter can only end in disaster so i want to be a little bit savvy

twiglet
1
Joined: Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:23 pm

Re: CAD Engineering advice needed

Post by twiglet » Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:00 pm

Which cad programme is most widly used? He has solidworks and inventor so if he were to go for a qualification, which would be the most valid?

Greg Locock
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Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:48 pm

Re: CAD Engineering advice needed

Post by Greg Locock » Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:39 pm

Depends on which field he wants to get into. Solidworks and Inventor are not much used for production car design, for example.

twiglet
1
Joined: Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:23 pm

Re: CAD Engineering advice needed

Post by twiglet » Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:41 pm

He is on a mechanical engineering hnc, he enjoys designing items and making them in the machine shop so i would think within some sort of prototyping area. I have looked into the solidworks online certification exams and may suggest he gives them a go.

mep
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Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2003 2:48 pm
Location: Germany

Re: CAD Engineering advice needed

Post by mep » Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:58 pm

1.
Let him go on a university to get an engineering degree.

2.
I don’t think he needs a CAD certification to get an interview or job, apart that he should get a bachelor degree. If he knows how to use CAD efficiently then it is fine, all this PLM, revisions, etc. he can learn during the job. No need to get a worthless paper from some CAD course, where he might know more than the tutor.
3
He should start to do surfacing. That is where it starts to become challenging. It is not special to learn something like Inventor or Solidworks in a week. Go for something like CATIA or NX ( I don’t know the surfacing environment of NX)
4
Drafters still exist; if he does not want to go to University he can learn that.

5.
At the end of his CV, he can attach an additional page with shiny pictures and descriptions of the projects he did.

Smokes
3
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 4:47 pm

Re: CAD Engineering advice needed

Post by Smokes » Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:04 pm

Would be worth while getting siemens NX or airbus systems catia qualified. It is a 1k for on weeks course but the basis contract rates are around £52p/h; inventor contract rates are around 20 p/h solidworks is around £25 to £30 solid edge is around £30p/h to £45p/h. look up adverts on fircroft and amoria bond for more details of contract rates.

Contract Rates are because of the cost of the licenses. the more expensive the licence the more money the business tends to pay. and also the rarity of users Solidworks tend to have a large user base so the hourly rate are slightly less than other software. Inventor is a poor cad package, (I have used it for 3 years in industry) and is really only used for basic engineering design such as pressure vessel hydraulics etc.

For example

NX is around 8k and seat with no add ons

Catia is around 10k a seat with no add ons

Solid edge is 3k a seat midrange and 10k with all the add ons

Solid works is 4k a seat and 13k with all the add ons

Inventor is around 1k a seat and 3k with the add ons

twiglet
1
Joined: Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:23 pm

Re: CAD Engineering advice needed

Post by twiglet » Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:16 pm

Mep and Smokes, thank you for such honest advice. Although i am a master carpenter its my qualifications that pay the bills and allow me to charge well for my time. I am away on work placement at the moment but i will be back at the weekend so i will speak to him then. Great straight forward answers.
Mike

Smokes
3
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 4:47 pm

Re: CAD Engineering advice needed

Post by Smokes » Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:24 pm

Find out if his course will automatically move him from an HNC/HND to Beng /Bsc if his first year performance meets a certain threshold i think it is 80 or 90% pass mark average.
Usually there is some lee way if the course tutors course and leaders think he is capable of doing a Beng /Bsc. Hnd/Hnc is a two year course and Beng Bsc is a three year course but more in depth.
A freind of mine started as an apprentice machinist did a 1 year engineer course a college which got him on Beng course at university because he met certain criteria and mates were on the chartered course he got asked if he wanted to do the charter course which he did. That is a 4 year course but it packs a lot more in than the Beng course.

A lot of University's tends to want to promote push people forward if the think they are capable. Further education is very different to being at school or college.