From Sketching to CAD: A Beginner's Guide to Drafting and Design Technology

March 15, 2023

A career in drafting and design can be an excellent choice for creative people. It offers impressive salary packages to drafters with good skills. As a beginner, you may ask, "What is drafting and designing technology?"

Drafting and designing is a process of creating 2D and 3D models of objects and structures. It includes the final outlook of those items and a detailed plan for constructing them. You can use various CAD software to create drafts and designs.

While a career in AutoCAD drafting is the most popular, learning other CAD software will make you an expert. But as a beginner, let’s first discuss drafting and designing technology, CAD software, and how to start a career in drafting.

What is drafting & design technology?

Drafting and design technology refers to creating technical drawings and plans from engineering and architectural designs. Earlier, it was limited to drawings on paper. But today, drafters use CAD software to get more precise and accurate results. It helps to implement the plan better.

Drafting and design technology have a usage in many industries, including engineering, architecture, and product design. The process shows what the final product will look like from start to finish.

For instance, a drafter in the architecture sector can prepare 2D and 3D designs of a building you want to construct. It gives a better view of the final result. Many universities offer degrees in drafting and design technology to help you start your career in drafting.

Sketching and visualization drafting and design

Sketching is an essential part of the drafting process. Even the designers who use CAD software use sketches to visualize their ideas.

Designers usually do sketching of their ideas first to determine what should be the final result. It allows them to explore various aspects and options of the final design. They also use sketches to communicate with clients and design teams.

Once the designers are done visualizing ideas with sketches, they move on to using CAD software to prepare the final plan.

How does CAD software work?

CAD or Computer Aided Design software enables users to create digital models of physical items and modify & optimize them. The models can include 2D or 3D designs of objects, products, buildings, and other structures.

CAD software offers a lot of benefits over the traditional manual, hand sketch. It is more efficient and precise. You can perform the tasks more quickly. Besides, they give you accurate results, too.

Another benefit of CAD software is that it allows you to explore various design options within seconds. You can do a few clicks, and you get tons of options in front of you.

What is the most popular CAD software?

Different types of software are available in the market that drafters and designers use. Each of these programs has its own features and benefits.

Some of the most popular CAD software for drafting and designing are:


AutoCAD is the most popular and widely used CAD software. Professionals across all industries use it for drafting and designing. You can utilize its wide range of features and tools to create 2D and 3D designs. The AutoCAD mobile app is also available for smartphone users.


SolidWorks is another amazing CAD software that is excellent for professional designers and drafters. It is more suitable for designing industrial objects. Its various features, including the design validation tools or reverse engineering, make it better than others.


While AutoCAD and SolidWorks are better for professionals, FreeCAD is one of the best for beginners. It is a free, open-source parametric 3D modeling tool. Although the software was made for professionals, its easy-to-use features make it good for beginners to start training.

Fusion 360

Fusion 360 is a cloud-based CAD software that is fantastic for 3D modeling, CAD, CAM, and PCB design. This one is best for teams. You can create amazing designs and plans and give access to your team members. Besides, it has versatile functions and features that make it suitable for both beginners and professionals.


CATIA is most popular for product design, especially in the aerospace and automotive industries. It can create complex 3D models and technical drawings. CATIA is also cloud-based and offers a lot of useful features for professionals.

How do I start a career in drafting?

If you love to do creative work, then drafting can be an excellent career option for you. There is a high demand for drafters and designers in the market.

You can complete an associate degree or get a diploma in drafting and design technology to start your career. Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Notre Dame, and Carnegie Mellon University are some of the best universities for offering drafting and design technology degrees.

Can you do drafting without a degree?

Although it is best to have a degree in drafting and design technology, you can also start your career in this field with relevant degrees such as mechanical engineering, civil engineering, or architecture.

However, you can't do drafting without any degrees. You should take a drafting and CAD course to start your career. Without a degree, it will be tough to build a career in drafting. But you can create a good portfolio to convince your clients and get work.

Tips and tricks for mastering drafting and design technology

If you are planning to start your career in drafting and designing technology, here are some tips and tricks you can follow:

  • First, start learning the fundamental concepts of drafting and design. Complex designs may attract you, but you must focus on developing the basics as a beginner.
  • Besides your course materials on drafting and designing, look for online resources to develop your expertise further.
  • Even if you don’t have work, practice regularly to sharpen your skill.
  • Make connections with professionals and always try to learn from them.


We hope now you have no confusion about what drafting and design technology is and how to work in this field. Not to mention, new innovations are changing the way you draft and design. Hence, always try to stay updated with the latest technology to get more drafting job opportunities.

Carlos Diaz
I believe in making the impossible possible because there’s no fun in giving up. Travel, design, fashion and current trends in the field of industrial construction are topics that I enjoy writing about.

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