Computer Aided Design and Drafting (CADD)

Frequently Asked Questions

What CADD software programs are taught at PCC?

There are numerous computer programs used by the Computer Aided Design and Drafting department. The software programs include:

  • AutoCAD
  • Inventor
  • SolidWorks
  • Fusion 360

What skills do I need in order to take these classes?

Depending on the class you choose, there may be entry level prerequisites. For classes such as Inventor Advanced and SolidWorks Advanced, there are a few classes you may be required to take. In some cases, work related experience may be substituted for the required prerequisite. Consultation with the appropriate PCC staff member is advised.

Before taking any CADD class, you should be proficient in computer operations using Microsoft Windows. Competency should include opening files, saving files, printing files, file management, mouse operations, using a web browser and portable memory devices. Potential CADD students should take CAS 100A if Windows PC computer literacy is in question. You will also need to place into MTH 70 or WR 115 before registering for first term CADD classes.

What topics are covered in these classes?

Each class contains a number of unique topics and concepts. For Introductory AutoCAD, the student will explore content related to menu structure, entity creation and modification, layering concepts, hatching objects, orthographic layout, dimensioning and text, and plotting. For classes such as Autodesk Inventor and Beginning SolidWorks, the student will be involved in parametric solid modeling, object constraints, associated orthographic views, assemblies, surfacing, and bills of materials. Consultation with the appropriate PCC staff member is advised.

Other courses will augment the design drafter skillset in materials, strength of materials, design for manufacturability, and the product development process.

What books and supplies will I need?

Before arriving for the first class session, you must have one USB Memory Drive. A pencil and paper may be useful for taking notes.

Textbooks are often required for the successful completion of the class. The class instructor will advise you as to which text(s) are needed. Some textbooks cover more than one level of CADD instruction. Many of the textbooks are available at the PCC bookstore. Educational software may also be available at student pricing, or available as free downloads from websites such as or

What time commitment will I need to make?

Students are typically in class for four hours per week (per class), one day a week. Classroom activities normally consist of lecture, "open lab time", demonstrations, and questions & answers.

Classes are held after 3:30pm on weekdays. If you are currently employed, this could require a change in your work schedule. We advise students to work part-time only in order to be as successful as possible in the program. Working full time and attending scheduled classes will require a substantial amount of time. For best success, other activities such as hobbies should be minimized during school terms.

Do you have open lab times available to complete assignments outside of class?

Open lab times are usually held every day of the week, including weekends. Consultation with the instructor, or checking the posted open lab schedule placed near the classroom door is advised.

Portland Community College computer labs are intended for students currently enrolled in these classes, and may not be utilized for "outside" job-related projects or contractual work.

Are there Advanced CADD courses?

Currently, there are Advanced levels for SolidWorks and Inventor. Solid Modeling courses are offered in SolidWorks and Inventor.

What is the basic difference between PCC courses and the authorized training centers?

PCC CADD classes typically offer more hours of instruction and open lab opportunities. In addition, PCC classes span a greater length of time, which provides a more complete comprehension of the software package and its complex functionality.

Will I receive a certificate for the CADD classes I take?

The CADD classes you take at Portland Community College are usually treated as part of a one-year certificate.

These classes may also be taken individually to upgrade your job skills. In certain instances, the class instructor may be asked to write a letter of recommendation for the student.

CADD Classes at Portland Community College may be taken on a Graded basis, Pass / No Pass, or as an Audit. Consultation with the instructor is advisable in reference to student evaluation.

Will I be employable upon completion of the class?

This depends greatly on the skills acquired in the educational process. Most prospective employers look for a combination of multiple CADD classes taken, enrollment or completion of a degree program, and practical work experience. Job seeking students may find assistance through the CADD department, or through the PCC Job Placement office.

What is the cost for the course?

Use the tuition calculator to estimate what your costs will be. Most CADD classes are 3 credits each. There are additional technology, laboratory, and student activity fees which total approximately $37 - $50 per class. Textbooks for these classes range from $75 to $150. CADD software is also available (student version) at various prices, or as free downloads from websites such as or

Registration for CADD classes is easy! Most students register by telephone or by logging into MyPCC.

Contact the Office: Southeast Campus SCOM 223, Marta Hoenig, Program Advisor.