What is CAD (Computer Aided Design)?

Computer-aided design (CAD) refers to computers being used to assist the design process in all sorts of industries. With CAD software, it’s possible to build an entire model in an imaginary space, letting you visualize properties like height, width, distance, material, or colour before the model is used for a particular application. Different types of engineers and designers frequently use CAD software. It can be used to create two-dimensional (2D) drawings or three-dimensional (3D) models. CAD drawing always impresses as it shows creative designs in the best form with well-defined drawings that lead to 3D printing outputs. It’s also a lot of fun!

Set up Fusion 360

Head to this page on Autodesk’s website. If it asks if you would like to go to NZ’s page or stay, click stay. Scroll down to the bottom of the comparison table and click “Get started” in the free version column. If you don’t have an account, create an account. You must use a personal email address here. If you use a school or work email, this will not work. If you already have a personal Autodesk account, just sign in.

Alternatively, you may use a school email and opt for the Education Edition but note that this requires an authentication process that may take some time to be approved.

Continue on and enter the details as requested. You should end up at a page that starts the download of an installation executable file. The process is the same for Windows and Mac. However, on Mac, it will be a .dmg, not an executable. Note that Fusion360 is not available on Linux or Chromebooks.

Once downloaded, run the executable to install. It should take about 10 minutes to complete.

When this is complete, run Fusion360 and sign into your account. On Mac, the app launcher is not installed to Applications by default, so use Spotlight (CMD+space) to search Fusion360. See the internet for help in adding the app launcher to Applications.

CAD Workshop Tutorial 1 – For Beginners

Get started in CAD with a simple and relevant project: design a car key fob, which can be 3D printed if you have access to a printer!

This was written by Eva Hakansson, famous for designing, building and driving the world’s fastest electric motorbike – sidecar “Killajoule” to 434kph on the Bonneville Salt Flats. Eva has now built a new vehicle, “Green Envy”, which she hopes will top 600kph.

CAD Workshop Tutorial 2 – Intermediate

This tutorial carries on from Tutorial 1, “Designing a Key Fob”, and students will develop skills in revolving, dimensions, constraints, drawing arcs and other useful skills.