Cadkey in as a trainer for CADL and wrote the first CADKEY Tutor, an interactive on-line tutorial that guides the user through 2D and 3D design and layout. Some are CADKEY-specific, but all work well with CAD KEY in a design! . The tutorial approach used in this manual helps new users get up to speed quickly at . Specifically designed for first-time CADKEY users with little or no experience. Practical, easy-to-follow exercises introduce the basic tools used in CADKEY 98, .

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First and foremost we have to realize all of the 3D CAD students in the beginning were engineering professionals. Mostly draftsman, but we had a few engineers that were working for the smaller companies.

CADKEY Tutorial-Title Block

It was very straight forward we took their drafting knowledge and moved it to 3D CAD design and moved the documentation to the tutorkal of the cdkey process. Today, 3D CAD is quickly becoming the tool of the design engineer.

The design draftsman is quickly disappearing. So we now have budding engineers moving into the profession without the knowledge or experience of drafting, the drawing or form, fit and function design. This article will only focus on the industries initial introduction to 3D CAD. The next article addressing 3D CAD training today: They were the designers and manufacturers of the cruise missile engine. This was my second contract with William and they allowed me to train on the CAD system after work.

They had a manual cakdey was accompanied by a cassette tape.

CADKEY Tutorial – Creating a 2D Drawing

You would go through the manual with audio support and the tape would beep when you needed to turn the page. You could go back at any time and I have found this to be the best self-tutorial method for learning 3D CAD. The process seemed painfully slow. But there was this old fellow telling us about his experience. I wrote down every question and answer in a steno pad, so I could reference the not so common commands.

I quickly filled up two pads. I became very proficient and soon added the hat of trainer, but never in an official position. You input commands by a digitizing a pad or by typing in the commands directly.

Each person had a unique menu, it was sort of a Rite of Passage So, as a trainer, you had to be able to type in the commands as you would move around the room working with each student and their unique menu.

I quickly jumped disciplines. I was again out at Williams for the third time. My family had just moved to our new house on Bainbridge Island and I was looking to get back home. Computervision all but disappeared for mechanical design by the late ‘s. They were purchased by PTC in Training on the job! I finally got the opportunity to get back home. It was a board job. No manager ever got fired for buying IBM. There were 3 Catia seats in the group and the users were prima donnas draftsman.


No contractor was going to get on to 3D CAD. I took to I like a duck to water, it was very similar to Computervision but much, much easier.

CADKEY Tutorial – 3D Wireframe Modeling

Computervision had text or dig pad caadkey. It was 3D wireframe and I was up and running in two weeks of lunch hours. I convinced management to do a test project. So an engineer and I started cadey the First Observers Workstation.

We worked very well with Catia. I suppose this was the thing that sealed the deal. We still created drawings utilizing the graphics from the 3D cadey and had to print them. I did most of the support until I got a few other bright fellows up to speed. Remember, this was the first 3D CAD available for these designers. We had 35 user in a few months. They soon got rid of one of the Catia seats.

CADKEY was much different than Autocad, besides being 3D, it was mechanical engineering based, designed for those experienced designing on the drafting board where we would slide triangles, parallel bars, drafting machines.

Where Autocad was designed for the Architect that basically design from point to point. Many suffered and are still suffering with Autocad, which I consider the worst concept of an electronic drawing package that could have ever been conceived. We could do drawings, locking in the 2D plane or do free form 3D wireframe modeling.

It was built around the first IBM keyboards where the function keys were on the left side. Many of the early users talked in terms of operation with the function keys. You could customize these but mostly you stayed with what was somewhat standard.

So I missed that level of productivity. After the intro of the newer keyboards I sold them with both the function key locations. I thought with the introduction of inexpensive PC based 3D CAD we would all be working at home or locally based offices. I was wrong, even today with all of the telecommuting tools we are still getting in our cars and driving to work. Catia 3 was a very expensive and difficult program to use far beyond the reach of even the largest Boeing supplier.

The world was good Boeing was sending out the 3D wireframe and flat files drawings. It ran on a PC. They wanted to keep CAD on the workstation and under their control. We would have a one week class every month with anywhere from 10 to 20 students. The training facilities were incredible. Many of the trainees were from Boeing. I saw the writing on the wall and rented an office in Redmond, just down the street from Microsoft. We had a 15 seat training room.


This became a good profit center and a great marketing tool. We were soon having basic, advanced, surfacing and soon solid modeling classes. I would have user groups with an attendance of 20 to 30 people. We would have seminars that filled up large banquet rooms. Where was Autocad you ask? Autocad was a horribly complex and tortuous to used electronic drawing system. No one was wasting their time designing by drawing orthographic views anymore.

Sadly, Autocad was basically free, not having copy protection and many took advantage of it, until Autodesk started cracking down. They are the reason why no company would have unlicensed 3D CAD software on the premises. But again, the die was cast for many companies, they were stuck with Autocad, and many still are. But things changed in Solid modeling was well in place. It could produce realistic renderings and animation. We were doing things with those two programs that many high-end systems today still struggle.

But the high end systems were moving to the PC. With their sales staff and huge marketing budget is was a bit more of a competitive market. Solidworks increased in popularity, mostly based on their lack of copy protection. Soon there were very successful dealers with wonderful training facilities.

Solidworks soon became the most popular mechanical design 3D CAD system. But Solidworks hit at the right time. Basically being free it expanded all over America. Their training was booming. The Solidworks dealers offered training at their sites. AutoCAD already had a dealer network in place with great training facilities.

Many of tuhorial community colleges have taken on the popular programs, mostly Solidworks and Autocad. The Autocad dealers are still around and still have the facilities to offer on-site training with large franchises carrying the load.

Solidworks dealers are now mostly small offices of national dealers and offer few classes. With Autodesk only offering subscriptions sales. The training offered will on-line or special classes from the company or community colleges. There are some very good self tutorials out there but it is so much better to have a direct support line. There are very few 3D CAD dealers that will even give you support. Most of the time you deal with a salesman and you are pretty much on your own.

If you are interested in 3D CAD and not experienced in engineering you are out in the cold.

I sold a seat of IronCAD to a fellow with no engineering experience and you could feel his pain. I finally had to tell him to take a drafting class to get the basics of design. There are a few self-tutorial manuals.