August 9, 2021
August 9, 2021
August 21, 2021
Work in Progress Paper: The CAD Conundrum Works in Progress (Resubmit from 2020
This Work in Progress Paper discusses the transition from Bentley software to Autodesk software in first-year civil engineering course. Since the mid 1990’s, the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Christian Brothers University has taught Bentley’s MicroStation to first-year civil engineering students in the CE 111 (Civil Engineering Graphics) course. The selection of the Bentley software over Autodesk’s AutoCAD was primarily due to the cost of the software as the Bentley software was much more economical than the Autodesk software. MicroStation served our students well since many of them graduated and worked for organizations that utilize the software. It was generally known that most interns or graduates were able to learn Autodesk software packages quickly on the job after having learned how to use MicroStation. This remained true until recently when Autodesk changed their policy allowing academic institutions to use their vast variety of software free of charge. In addition, a new structural engineering faculty member who was more familiar with what was being used in industry suggested that we consult our advisory board to see if we should add the Autodesk products to our curriculum. The answer was a definite yes. The Instructor teaching the CE 111 course began introducing AutoCAD Civil 3D in the CE 111 course during the Fall 2019 semester. The Instructor developed a series of tutorials that mirrored the introductory MicroStation tutorials that were assigned during the beginning of the semester. The Instructor concluded that most of the students were able to complete the AutoCAD Civil 3D tutorials without much difficulty after having used MicroStation for the majority of the semester. The Instructor intends to expand the coverage of AutoCAD Civil 3D in the CE 111 course during the Fall 2020 semester and hopes to include AutoCAD Civil 3D in other courses such as Geomatics and Highway Engineering. The civil engineering faculty members intend to use other Autodesk applications in their classes in structural engineering and hydraulics. This paper will address the successes and challenges that the Instructor has in incorporating the Autodesk software in the introductory computer aided design (CAD) course as well as other courses as the experiment progresses. The students’ perspective on the new and old software will be tallied and presented as the course is taught through the next few years. The Instructor of CE 111 does not plan to abandon the MicroStation software from the curriculum but there could be a shift in the proportion of the semester that is spent on teaching MicroStation as compared to AutoCAD Civil 3D. The Instructor believes that it is much easier to learn MicroStation first and then AutoCAD Civil 3D rather than the other way around. Student and graduate input over the years has confirmed this. The benefit of AutoCAD Civil 3D is the three-dimensional environmental which civil engineers are embracing. In summary, this paper will be chronicle the experiences of the civil engineering faculty at Christian Brothers University as they strive to provide the best educational outcome for their graduates.
McGinnis, G., & Assadollahi, P.E., A. (2021, August), The CAD Conundrum Paper presented at 2021 First-Year Engineering Experience, Virtual . https://peer.asee.org/38407
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