Should I learn CAD software or not

CAM and CAD learn successfully and systematically

The advantages of CAM software are obvious - but how can users acquire the necessary knowledge and qualifications? Learning CAM and CAD works in different ways - we give an overview.

Qualifications in CAM software are worthwhile

Some skilled workers and technicians shy away from the supposedly excessive complexity of CAD / CAM software. Also because the (false) myth is circulating that this requires a degree. But with a systematic and step-by-step approach, learning CAD / CAM is not that difficult - and it's worth it! Because anyone who is familiar with CAD software or CAM software can easily find an interesting and appropriately paid job. CAM programmers and CAD designers are in demand everywhere in the manufacturing industry. Whether for apprentices or young professionals, these qualifications are therefore only an advantage. We'll show you the best way to get started with CAD and CAM.


Learn CAD: Set goals and plan learning time firmly

Entry can also take place part-time. A good foundation for this is Practical experience in a technical profession - For example as a cutting machine operator, NC programmer or system technician. In addition, a prerequisite for CAD / CAM courses is that you read technical drawings can. Because in order to learn to design and program, you first have to know what you want to achieve and why. Then the path to drawing and modeling yourself is no longer that difficult.


A certain one Perseverance is also important to learn CAD / CAM. Don't assume you can do this on the side. You sit down realistic goals and schedule specific times for training and exercises. A smart goal would be, for example: "I would like to master CAM at level Y up to the point in time X and I take 4 hours a week for this". When learning CAD, one or the other exercise is allowed to fail. Ulrich Alt, managing director of WeSt, advises: Practice and be willing to accept failure as part of the process. Experience is the sum of mistakes made.“

There are the following options for learning CAD and CAM:

  • - self-study
  • - Courses from educational institutions
  • - e-learning from software and third-party providers
  • - courses from software providers

Self-study: just start on your own

Self-study is particularly useful for learning the basics of CAD / CAM. Above all, this means trying out essential menu items in the CAM software and learning all of the basic functions. Learning materials and knowledge databases from software providers are suitable as study material. Video tutorials are also often helpful. Ulrich Alt has one himself YouTube channel with many TopSolid tutorials. 

Information material from software manufacturers is a reliable source of information. In the case of content from unknown sources, however, the author's qualifications are not proven. This can lead to the risk of adopting suboptimal, possibly cumbersome or even incorrect procedures from the tutorials. It is therefore advisable to check the reliability and professionalism of the author of the information offered.

A fundamental weakness of self-study on your own is that beginners are left with questions on their own. Online forums sometimes help, but do not guarantee reliable support. It is better to have a contact person for the CAM software to be learned. These can be colleagues, acquaintances or customers. It's even better if there is one Trial version of the corresponding software with official support gives. That can cost something - the output comes back quickly because of the time saved due to faster learning progress. Once beginners have learned the basics of the software, switch to instructional courses.


CAM courses and CAD courses from educational institutions

Such CAD / CAM courses are partly offered by the local IHKs or chambers of crafts offered. Among these are courses such as "CAD / CAM specialist 4.0 (IHK)" or “” CAD / CAM industrial specialist (IHK)”. The training content can of course vary - it is best to contact your regional institution for information about the courses and the respective content.

As a rule, the first part of the course teaches how to use CAD with blocks, such as modeling, drawing and creating assemblies. The topic of CAM is about tasks such as defining raw parts, creating zero points, tool management and machining simulation. Such a course can often be combined with training on the software used in the job. There are such courses for example at the IHK Bildungszentrum Freiburg and the vocational training center of the Tuttlingen Chamber of Crafts. After successfully completing CAD / CAM courses at educational institutions, you will receive appropriately titled certificates such as "IHK specialist for CAD technology" or "IHK specialist for CAD / CAM technology". Anyone who can take such a content-related course in the local area should take this opportunity. Unfortunately, not all chambers offer appropriate training courses.

However, they are also increasing CAD online courses ("E-learning"). The combination of training material and online exercises is a good alternative to self-study and beginner courses. Such courses combine spatial and temporal independence with a certain degree of success control and support. Some of these offers also include face-to-face seminars.


Learn methodological knowledge from professionals

If you know the typical functions of CAD / CAM, you should prepare yourself for the tasks ahead in the company. That means: deepen the skillful handling of the CAM software used and practice the work processes for upcoming tasks. This is best done under the guidance of one experienced trainer. In addition to the software, he can convey the optimal work methodology. Because there are often several paths leading to the goal. Anyone who knows the abbreviations for different tasks will have completed their models faster.

WeSt GmbH also offers such courses in the form of Individual training. That means: All course content is tailored to your learning needs. In addition to a basic design course or a basic CAM course, training courses on specific topics are also possible. This can be, for example, the establishment of an intelligent standard parts library or the development of company-specific work processes. Also industry-specific methods We are happy to arrange such things as sheet metal construction and processing, construction of injection molding tools and progressive tools.

In any case, the course content is tailored to you and your company - and you do not have to be a customer of WeSt GmbH or a TopSolid user. We conduct most of the courses in our office in Sulzbach (Saarland), and we would be happy to come to you.

We also offer Coaching sessionsto significantly accelerate your training and familiarization with new tasks. During coaching, we discuss any questions that may arise with you or introduce new CAD / CAM topics as an introduction.


Here we go

So there are several ways to learn how to use CAD / CAM software while working. Choose the option that best suits your needs and the way you study. And with the right motivation, nothing stands in the way of a successful learning outcome!


Do you have any questions about our training courses or would you like to make a non-binding inquiry? We are looking forward to your message!