One of the most popular computer-aided design (CAD) and drafting software applications available across the world, AutoCAD, has developed a large following in the years after it was first released at the end of 1989. This software really changed the game for a range of design professionals as it came in the form of a desktop app that ran on microcomputers with internal graphics controllers as opposed to other CAD programs running on mainframe computers where each user worked at a different graphics terminal.
Over the past decade, the software developer — Autodesk — has also introduced mobile apps and web apps that make your life so much easier, especially if you are constantly on the go.
The AutoCAD software is used by a wide range of professionals, including architects, engineers, project managers, city planners, graphic designers and more. If you belong to this category or just want to get a better hold over AutoCAD for your career, there are a number of different resources available on the internet that you can turn to for quick primers or in-depth tutorials. Not all of these, however, are worth your time and money — so how do you differentiate? This list of the best AutoCAD courses is just the tool you need to enhance your learning experience.
The Complete AutoCAD 2018-20 Course (Udemy)
AutoCAD can seem particularly intimidating for a beginner but all you need at this point is some guidance and course material developed keeping your current abilities in mind. The Udemy platform offers a fantastic course — The Complete AutoCAD 2018-20 Course — that allows you to learn all the basics of the software even without prior knowledge. During the course of this module, you will learn basics like navigating the AutoCAD interface, creating and modifying drawings, plans and layouts on the platform and even editing projects set up by others.
This course has been designed keeping in mind the needs of both students as well as design professionals who may need to use AutoCAD for work, which means some time is spent getting you familiarized with the new features offered by the latest versions of the software. You will be eligible for receiving a certificate once the course is completed.
Regardless of what skill you are looking to master, the Pluralsight platform is an impressive resource available at a very affordable price point. The platform also offers a range of AutoCAD courses, including an extensive introduction to AutoCAD, separate courses for updates to the software and in-depth courses that tackle different — more complex, in some cases — parts of AutoCAD, allowing you to pick and choose what you want to learn next so that you can master the skill completely.
The best part about Pluralsight is that once you have the membership to the platform, you are not restricted to one course or one realm of learning. It gives you access to all material on the platform — designed and taught by experts on the field — to really expand your horizon and elevate the overall process of learning.
AutoCAD 2019 Essential Training (LinkedIn Learning)
Primarily designed to act as an introduction to AutoCAD for beginners who don’t have any experience with the software, the AutoCAD 2019 Essential Training course by Shaun Bryant on the LinkedIn Learning platform is a terrific option for getting a better hold on the foundational concepts of the software. Paced in a way that it is not overwhelming for novices, you get to learn more about the software and the tools that you will be using over time. A good part of every lecture is spent on teaching you how to tackle the different exercises — both online and downloadable — on the platform, which can even be accessed when you are “offline”.
The best part is that there are tons of different quizzes on the platform, which can help you hone your AutoCAD skills at the same time.
AutoCAD: The Full Complete Guide You Need (Skillshare)
Skillshare is a fantastic platform if you want to learn new skills without it burning a large hole in your pocket. While the platform offers a wide range of classes for every need, you should concentrate on the “AutoCAD: The Full Complete Guide You Need” course and a number of similar ones if you are looking to get a better understanding of AutoCAD. The video lectures start with a simple primer that will introduce you to Autodesk’s AutoCAD and the environment within which it functions. This is followed by lectures on 2D design and text placement, some basics of 3D design to help you make the shift, surfaces and mesh objects, amongst others.
The best part about this platform is that once you have the Skillshare membership, your learning will not be restricted to just one lesson or presentation. You get access to all the material on the website.
60 AutoCAD Tips in 60 Minutes (Autodesk University)
Autodesk, the company that has developed and marketed AutoCAD, also has a vertical called the Autodesk University that gives you access to resources that will allow you to master the use of AutoCAD. The different courses, modules and lectures are put together by people who have a good amount of experience using AutoCAD, which means that the lessons do not exist in a vacuum. There is a ton of context that can help you get better as well. One of the most popular lectures here is the “60 AutoCAD Tips in 60 Minutes” by Lynn Allen, which concentrates on ways in which you can optimize the use of AutoCAD. This makes it ideal for people who already know the basics of the software.
These Are a Few of My Favorite Things (in AutoCAD) (Autodesk University)
Another interesting short course or lecture on the Autodesk University platform is the “These Are a Few of My Favorite Things (in AutoCAD)” lecture by KaDe King. Instead of giving you a primer into how exactly the software works and going into extensive details, this lecture allows you to get better at using AutoCAD, almost to a degree that people think that you have been at it for years! The lecture is full of features that can elevate your AutoCAD experience, as well as tips that will help you optimize the use of the software.
AutoCAD Introduction Training (CAD Training Online)
CAD Training Online is a great resource if you are looking to make a career for yourself in a field that requires good knowledge of computer-aided design and drafting software applications like AutoCAD. In this section, we are referring to the AutoCAD Introduction Training course, which is available in two variants — self-paced study and instructor-led training — depending on how you’d prefer to go about learning how to use AutoCAD. An interesting addition with these courses is that you also get AutoCAD software use for a period of three years.
Mastering Autodesk AutoCAD: Learning Advanced Skills (Udemy)
If you are looking to get a better grasp over AutoCAD despite having close to no experience with the software in the past, this Udemy course — Mastering Autodesk AutoCAD: Learning Advanced Skills — is just what you need to traverse the distance between beginner and expert. The course starts with the basics, where you understand what AutoCAD is all about and familiarize yourself with the interface and work through the drawing environment. Slowly, you move towards the more advanced operations and tools, figuring out object visibility, annotations and others.
Taught by HubeTech Academy, this course also teaches you how to create 3D models while using 2D drawings. Modification of these models and applying 3D shapes are other interesting aspects the course touches upon. Finally, you will also be able to improve your knowledge of material effects and the impact of lighting with this course.
If you conduct a cursory search on the internet, you are bound to come across a large number of courses that advertise themselves as the best platform to hone your AutoCAD skills. More often than not, this is far from reality. Instead, you can go through this list of the best AutoCAD courses — all of which have been chosen keeping a range of factors in mind — and pick one that sits well with your current level of expertise and the end goal that you have in mind. These resources are sure to help you achieve these goals, especially when the time is limited!