Industrial design and CAD?
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  1. #1
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    Industrial design and CAD?

    I am thinking of going into industrial design, but my school is technology oriented, so it has a heavy emphasis on mathematics. I read that Feng Zhu majored in Industrial Design at Art Center and became very successful artist, or just a designer as he claim, but nonetheless he can draw really well. The problem is that I don't see too much mathematic courses for industrial design on the Art Center web page (can anyone confirm?). I was wondering if I take industrial design at my school, the emphasis on mathematics might hinder me at developing my drawing skills.

    CAD is important for industrial design it seems, and I have several questions about it:
    1. How useful is CAD? Do you use the models in CAD for games, movies, etc or is it purely for visualization?
    2. If so can you export it into another software?
    3. Do you learn drawing skills working with CAD?
    4. I don't even know what CAD is even after looking it up. I read that it is a software and at the same time it is a method of design but what is it?
    5. If CAD is a method of design (which the name, computer aided design, implies), then is there a generally accepted professional grade software, such as the adobe photoshop for photo retouching?

    Here is the website for associates in Industrial design at my college, if you are interested:
    http://www.citytech.cuny.edu/academi...ms/aas_dd.html

    here is the bachelors:
    http://www.citytech.cuny.edu/academi...btech_idt.html

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  2. #2
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    Hello, I should be able to help you as I graduated as an Industrial Design major and I'm a working professional.

    I only ever took a basic level math class in college. I don't see it as something that would help or hurt you as a designer (unless it was taking your time away from skills that are actually used-- like sketching). Looking at the link you gave to your school, it looks like those courses would put you on the track to be an engineer-- not a designer. Or, a designer with a really, really old school education (which I would not find beneficial-- there's a lot of important stuff missing it looks like).

    CAD is the making of 3D objects on the computer. It serves a variety of purposes, showing iterations of what a product will look like, figuring how the product will actually be made, printing the object into 3D, using it to manufacture the object, etc. etc. etc. It is absolutely necessary to know and use. Depending on what area of design you go into, will change how you use the programs and how much time you spend on them. There are many jobs where this is all the person does day in and day out.

    Ok, now to your other questions:

    1) CAD= means Computer Aided Design. This means anything from Photoshop to Rhino. It is ALSO the name of a software program Auto CAD, which I only ever knew architecture and interior designers to use.

    2) Most files can be exported/imported to different programs, but often they may behave buggy if not in their original software.

    3) No. You do not develop any drawing skills from 3D modeling.

    4) Hope my answer to number one clarified.

    5) Different companies/firms use different software. Once you learn one it is easier to learn the others. The ones I've encountered used most frequently are Rhino, Alias, Solidworks. Don't worry too much, your school will have a class that teaches one or more.

    FINALLY, if you are interested in becoming an industrial designer, here is a forum full of industrial designers:

    http://boards.core77.com/

    I should looking through it.

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  4. #3
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    @moroi: The school I am in is the only affordable and close school I can go to that offers Industrial Design, so too bad it focuses too much on the engineer aspect. I am currently in Art and Advertising design right now, I guess I should stay in my current major (sometimes I want to drop out of college so I can teach myself the right things, but the financial aid tempts me to stay in school and get money and education at the same time). I want to learn industrial design by myself and I have a book on cars, but I have insufficient knowledge to decipher the context. I was thinking if there is a good textbook for beginning industrial designers you might recommend.

    Also, when you become an industrial designer, do you choose a specific area of design or do you design all things from cars to shoes?

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    What part of industrial design are you interested in? It can be a very broad career. There is the sketching aspect, but there is also the CAD, human factors, and research stuff. I know many in my major who shifted focus into interaction and service design, which isn't to big of a leap to do.

    As far as what one does... It depends on what field you want to work in. If you want to design shoes all day every day, then take internships or jobs at shoe companies (Puma, Nike, etc.) (I must add shoe design is highly competitive and there are far far fewer jobs available than those wanting to design shoes)

    There is also the corporate vs consultancy/firm. At a corporate environment you will become highly specialized at one or two things, and it would be very difficult to switch fields later in your career. I have coworkers with amazing skills, portfolio, and years of experience.....who were rejected time and again when they applied to a job in another field. (trying to switch from infant toy to electronics).

    At consultancies your work may vary a lot, because these smaller companies take on work of very different clients. You end up wearing many different hats because there are fewer people on a team and people may be less specialized.

    To be very honest, I really don't think you would be able to teach yourself to be an industrial designer. There's just way too much that isn't about sketching at all. There's a culture to it you just won't understand unless you take the classes and interact with the other students.

    But, here are some books to get you started on what its like:
    Deconstructing Products
    Glimmer
    Change By Design

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