“How to CAD Almost Anything” IAP course added to MIT OpenCourseWare

This January, AeroAstro PhD student Andy Eskenazi (Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment) taught a course called “How to CAD Almost Anything” during MIT’s Independent Activities Period. Following the course’s success and popularity, it has been added as a free resource to MIT OpenCourseWare.

CAD (computer-aided design) software has become a tremendously important tool in design, with wide-ranging applications across engineering, manufacturing, architecture, art, and construction. While many MIT students learn and use CAD in a variety of settings throughout their academic careers, Eskenazi noticed that there was no single dedicated CAD course, and not every student had the opportunity to formally learn to use it. So he decided to create one!

Split into nine sessions, “How to CAD Almost Anything” introduces CAD using the parametric modeling software SolidWorks, through various fun, hands-on examples focused on reverse engineering. In contrast to traditional mechanical design courses, the course emphasizes the design process itself, understanding how to plan and leverage available tools to arrive at the desired result. 

The OpenCourseWare version includes:

“This class has been truly a dream come true, one where I got to be at the front of the classroom sharing my passion for mechanical design and Solidworks with other students,” Eskenazi wrote in a LinkedIn post. “But beyond teaching MIT undergrads (and a number of PhDs and postdocs), perhaps my main motivation behind this course has been to develop an open source educational platform, so that anybody could potentially learn how to CAD!” 

This semester, Eskenazi taught highschoolers a Fusion 360 version of the class through MIT’s ESP/HSSP program. He’s also running an OnShape version this summer, open to anyone in the MIT community, over the course of eight 2-hour sessions. (Please use this form to find more details and express interest in the summer course.)