Design and Create in CAD

The Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) program offers students the chance to work with all sorts of fun gadgets and projects. Students learn about mechanical devices, drafting, and design, and then apply those skills during hands-on projects. Some of that includes creating objects made with 3D printers, to designing and building cars.

  • The CAD program has a plasma cutter. OK, it’s not like the one in the video game “Dead Space,” but the computer-controlled plasma cutter is pretty cool. The Baileigh Plasma Table PT-22 allows students to create sheet metal prototypes for projects such as pneumatic car chassis and sheet metal brackets, but not fight space monsters in a pinch (but we don’t know that for sure). Not lacking any fun devices, the program also has two different 3D printers for students to use. They’re both pretty sweet.
  • CAD was awarded the first-ever Workforce Innovator grants from Greater Rochester Advocates for Universities and Colleges (GRAUC). GRAUC Board members awarded $1,500 in Workforce Innovator grant funding to the project partnership between the RCTC Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) program and Rochester Public Schools’ CTECH program. RCTC CAD students proposed a plan to mentor CTECH students, assist them in designing and creating on the computer, and then teach them how to use three-dimensional printing software. The portable 3D printer purchased joins a larger printer in use for many years already.
  • The CAD facility keeps up to date on its technology. Students use the latest version of SolidWorks, a computer program for designing that is the industry standard.
  • The students really do get to create some fun projects. Some of it hangs on the walls both inside and outside the CAD classrooms in the Heintz Center.
  • The students get to race cars. No joke. It’s a lot of fun. Check out their Facebook page to see some photos. They design some pretty neat cars, including my personal favorite: one with an action figure holding on for dear life. The cars use pneumatics (gas or pressurized air) to launch themselves forward. The plasma cutter is one tool used to make the car chassis.
  • CAD students also help with large format printing, vinyl graphics, laser etching, as well as help outside groups including Mayo Clinic with projects like 3D printing.

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