Illinois Valley Community College’s computer-aided drafting and design lab received a refresh this fall with 21 new Dell Alienware computers that handle the complex software speedily.
Students are bathed in a glow as they design on widescreen monitors that display precision graphics. The fast processors guarantee quick file access and smooth navigation through industry-standard software programs such as AutoCAD and SolidWorks.
CAD designers, known as detailers, sketch everything from simple parts and complex buildings to small electronics components and artificial human body organs.
“Anything that gets made begins with a drawing,” program director Dorene Data said. “There are no limits to how far you can go in this field.”
Students graduate from the CAD program with a working knowledge of project management and CAD applications in mechanical, architectural and civil/structural fields.
“Jobs are readily available in civil engineering, architecture, electrical engineering, water treatment and building industries,” Data said.
Local employers include the Illinois Department of Transportation, American Buildings, CSC, HCC, Flink, Vactor, Pantrol, BMF Cookie and Cracker Machinery, Aqua-Aerobic Systems, and design and engineering firms.
Artists also have embraced the design software.
IVCC students can earn a Basic CAD certificate in two semesters, a mechanical/electrical CAD and/or architectural/civil CAD certificate in three semesters, or pursue an Associate in Applied Science degree. Through a partnership with Northern Illinois University, they can complete a bachelor’s degree while spending three years in the IVCC program and completing the final year at NIU online or in person.
Computer designs come to life under 3D printers used in the lab and are shown to the public through activities such as the annual Edible Car Contest and the MIMIC (Making Industry Meaningful in College) Fair.
The lab also is opened to potential designers from grade and high schools through summer camps.
In the spring, beginning CAD (CAD1200-300 and CAD1200-100) classes are available as evening classes and online.
For information on the CAD program, contact Data at Dorene_Data@ivcc.edu or visit https://www.ivcc.edu/programsbyareaofstudy/computeraidedengineeringanddesign.php.