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An Algorithm Based Approach For The Apprenticeship Of Computer Aided Design (Cad) Software

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Curriculum Development in Graphics

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.160.1 - 7.160.11



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Paper Authors

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Alain Desrochers

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Main Menu Session 1338

An algorithm based approach for the apprenticeship of Computer Aided Design (CAD) software

Professor Alain Desrochers Department of Mechanical Engineering Université de Sherbrooke Sherbrooke, J1K 2R1, Canada E-mail :

Introduction Contemporary CAD systems are increasingly becoming easier to learn, simpler to use and more productive. Several reasons can be accounted for this. Among those are the development of sketch based approaches for the generation of 3D geometry, the construction of product specification trees and the use of familiar Windows® based interface, toolbars and context dependent menus. However, at the same time, the application spectrum of CAD systems and digital mock up is widening, with the number of specialized functions increasing accordingly. Therefore, the learning challenge for the novice user is now to know what function, application or module to use rather than how to use them. Unfortunately, traditional CAD training material are still highly structured as guided tutorial, focusing on sequences of interaction required to achieve a given result and providing great details on how to fill out dialog boxes in very specific instances. The proposed approach aims at providing the user with a generic design methodology which is ultimately tied to the various features of a CAD software. The methodology is presented as a series of algorithms of increasing depth, leading to appropriate application modules and finally specific CAD functions. The details relating to the use of the functions themselves are left for the user to apprehend as they are often intuitive, given proper knowledge of CAD basic principles and theory. Moreover, the algorithms are viewed as a general front end to existing training tools, providing a more comprehensive view of the CAD software by exposing its logical structure.

Training material provided by CAD systems suppliers Before going on to presenting the proposed learning approach, we will proceed to enumerate the main features of most training material developed by CAD software manufacturers. Their characteristics will then be compared against learning tools requirements in engineering curricula. As to meet the requirements of their key market, the CAD manufacturers have developed training materials which have been designed with the industrial user in mind. As mentioned in the introduction, these training material are structured as detailed tutorial to be closely followed and leading to the quick realization of parts, thus providing a feeling of productivity and easy learning curve. In addition to this, these training material also feature the following characteristics:

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Desrochers, A. (2002, June), An Algorithm Based Approach For The Apprenticeship Of Computer Aided Design (Cad) Software Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10562

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