CV Tech’s Drafting Program Satisfies Critical Need in Production Process

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Javier Rodriguez, of Chickasha, enrolled last August in CV Tech’s Computer Aided Drafting program. He recently received his first job offer and went to work as a drafter.

Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci wrote that a poet would be overcome by sleep and hunger before describing with words what a painter is able to depict in an instant.

Da Vinci believed strongly in visual learning. Besides masterpiece paintings, dozens of his technical drawings have been preserved more than five centuries since his death. “Vitruvian Man” is one such famous drawing depicting the ideal human body proportions.

Among many things, Da Vinci was a drafter. That job description has undergone significant evolution in five centuries since Da Vinci’s lifespan, particularly with the advent and advancements of 3D computer software to supplement manual sketches.

Drafters transform engineers’ designs and layouts into technical drawings or blue prints. They generate prints, prototypes and 3D computer drawings using advanced programs and often work from rough sketches and specifications to create how-to drawings for building a structure or a machine.

These drawings include dimensions of the project and what materials are needed to complete each project, said Kyle Crowder, who teaches Computer Aided Drafting and Design (CADD) at Canadian Valley Technology Center’s Chickasha Campus.

Drafters wear different hats, associated with their areas of expertise. Some specialize in architecture, creating plans and blueprints for residential or commercial construction projects. Other drafters work with technical drawings for manufacturing. Some specialize in civil engineering projects, such as bridges and highways.

Communicating ideas with graphics and measurements ensures for instance that a drafter living in rural Grady County can develop a 3D model of a mobile phone conceptualized by an engineer living in central Tokyo, so a manufacturer living in downtown Shanghai can produce an end product for somebody living in metro Moscow.

Javier Rodriguez, 18, of Chickasha, is a recent adult graduate of CV Tech’s CADD program. He was on course to graduate in May before receiving a job offer to work at Midwest Cooling Towers in Chickasha. He went to work a few weeks ago as a drafter.

“The CADD class is really fun,” Rodriquez said. “Mr. Crowder is a great instructor who will give you ideas on what you can draw and help you each step of the way.

“You also get to make parts from specific drawings into 3D objects. This year, we finished making a small house that was drawn using AutoCAD software, and I made a small baby crib with designs that were drawn in AutoCAD and then laser-printed.”

Students also designed their choice of a remote-controlled car or robot in another class project. Although drafters spend much of their time working on computers in an office, some may visit jobsites in order to collaborate with architects and engineers. Most drafters work full time

The median annual wage (half earn more and half less) is $56,830 or about $27 per hour, according to information supplied by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Industry growth will vary by specialty.

CV Tech’s El Reno Campus also includes a CADD program. Adult students may choose the campus closest to them and may do so tuition-free using the Next Step Scholarship. It is offered to anyone under age 24 who lives in the district and who has a diploma or equivalent. To speak with a career counselor about CADD or other programs, call (405) 224-7220.


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