Skip to content

CAD for Improvers

  • Level(s) of Study: Short course
  • Start Date(s): 9 April 2024
  • Duration: Tuesday 6 - 8:30 pm for six weeks
  • Study Mode(s): Short course
  • Campus: City Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information


Take your 2D and 3D design skills to the next level and build your confidence using CAD programs to enhance your work and CV.

Aimed at those who have attended a beginners’ class at NTU or elsewhere, or have prior experience in the software through work or studies, this course will further extend your knowledge of CAD.

The course will concentrate on AutoCAD and SolidWorks, with optional Photoshop and Illustrator support if you need it

This course is very useful for anyone interested in 2D or 3D design, who already have computer experience but are in need of a boost.

The course can help you to build a portfolio, or act as a subject refresher or expander for those considering degree level study or a change of career.

  • You’ll be part of a design community in our creative studio culture; one that promotes discussion and collaboration, and encourages experimentation and the constant swapping of ideas.
  • With a limited class size of 11 people you'll have the one-to-one attention you need to ensure you leave with the skills to continue developing your designs at home or work.
  • Benefit from learning with an experienced tutor who has established links to the profession and significant experience working in varied practices.
  • On successful completion of the course you will receive a certificate of attendance.

What you’ll study

On this course, you will:

  • enhance your knowledge of how to produce technical drawings and measurements in AutoCAD
  • explore 3D CAD modelling in SolidWorks with a refresher on the basics
  • develop your personal approach to CAD
  • practice more technical drawings and be introduced to using cross sections
  • create assemblies with multiple parts
  • look at advanced modelling tools and creating parts within an assembly
  • produce professional-quality presentation boards using Photoshop and Illustrator.

You'll complete set projects, but also have the option to work on an individual project brief relevant to you and your profession.

Here’s a breakdown of what you’ll be studying during the course.

This programme is used to create technical drawings – GA (General Assembly) and component drawings. Drawings can be used for CNC router, laser cutter, water jet cutter and other rapid prototyping techniques.

You’ll go over how to use sketch tools, layers, and technical drawings.

This programme is used for modelling 3D products, rendering 3D products and technical drawings.

You’ll cover the basics of sketching, modelling, assembling Parts and applying materials.

You’ll have an introduction to using cross sections in your technical drawings and look at what skills gaps you may have to complete your own projects.

This session will cover more complex technical drawings and you’ll have time to practice cross sections.

You’ll focus on your own project work and have individual time with your tutor to look at specific tools and techniques you’d like to learn.

During this session you’ll create assemblies with multiple parts and mates relationships.

You will also have time to continue with your own project work and receive feedback on your progress.

You will learn about more advanced modelling tools and create parts within an assembly.

This final session will be used for you to finish the tasks you’ve started throughout the course and run through any of the processes again with your tutor.

Further information on what you'll study

By the end of the course, you'll have improved your skills in design software with the confidence to use them in a creative way, and have examples of new work for your portfolio.

You'll leave with the ability to create technical drawings more efficiently and present and format your work in a meaningful and impactful way.

How you’re taught

During the sessions you’ll be taught the basics of each programme, with tasks and activities to complete with support from the tutor.

This course will be delivered in person on Nottingham Trent University city campus.

Contact hours

You will receive 15 contact hours of quality tuition with an experienced tutor.

96% of previous course attendees were satisfied with the course, received the attention they needed and would consider doing another short course at NTU.

Tutor Profile:

Sarah Turner is an artist and designer with her own business, Sarah Turner Eco Art and Design.

She graduated from the Nottingham Trent University with a BA (Hons) in Furniture and Product Design and has also been teaching at NTU since 2009.

She makes artworks, sculptures, and lighting from waste materials using both handmade and rapid prototyping techniques where they are utilising their CAD skills.

Sarah’s work proves that ‘just because a product is made from rubbish it doesn’t mean it needs to look like it does!’.

Her work has been exhibited in Paris, Milan, LA, London and of course Nottingham.

Sarah has completed some stunning and innovative commissions around the theme of sustainability for companies including: Nandos, Heineken, Coca-Cola, SodaStream, the Marine Conservation Society, British Airways and even the BBC, where she made a life-sized Dalek.

Careers and employability

The course is designed to prepare you to succeed in the design industry; students who have taken this course have come from a wide variety of industries including product design, art and design and manufacture.

On successful completion of the course you will receive a certificate of attendance, which will further enhance your CV.

Campus and facilities

You will be based in the School of Architecture, Design and Built Environment on the City Campus.

You’ll work in our spacious IT suites equipped with industry standard software inlcuding AutoCAD, SolidWorks and Adobe Creative Cloud.

You will receive an email one week before the course starts with joining instructions on where to go for the first day.

You’ll also have access to our library to use outside of your short course; whilst you can’t reserve or take away books, you are welcome to use them as a resource for research and referencing.

Entry requirements

Level: Intermediate

Entry requirement: You should have completed a beginners course at NTU or elsewhere, or have the relevant professional or academic background.

Fees and funding

The fee for this course is £415.

Payment is due at the time of booking.

How to apply