Computer-Aided Design (CAD)

Description
Computer-aided design (CAD) is a software application used to design, create, simulate, and test products for a variety of professions and industries. The ease of use in changing design variables allows student to visually see the results before undertaking a modelling or building project. CAD programs allow students to engage in creative experimentation without risk. At the same time, students develop reasoning and decision-making skills. Related to CAD applications are CAM applications (computer-aided machining/manufacturing applications) which may be used in secondary manufacturing technology course, and 3-D modelling software that allows users to create 3-D objects, which can then be rotated, stretched, and combined with other model objects in complex 3-D representations.

Method
The teacher:
  • arranges for access to equipment and resources;
  • teaches the basic skills connected with using these specific software applications;
  • provides the specifications of form and purpose for the design or modelling project;
  • encourages students to experiment and consider “what if” questions in their experimentation;
  • provides time for students to examine and discuss their own and other students’ findings.

Considerations
Computer-aided design (CAD) applications:
  • require equity of access to hardware and software – based on availability of school resources and level of computer expertise;
  • require time for students to test and then accept or reject various designs or models.

Illustrations From The Mathematics Classroom

Elementary
  • Students work with a computer-aided design program to draw and build three-dimensional objects and models according to specific measurements of angles and sides. The flexibility of the draw and design program permits experimentation and trial and error to arrive at the final products.
  • http://www.yesnet.yk.ca/tal/it_softwareres.html (Yukon Education IT Software Resource List)
  • http://www.geogebra.org

Secondary