​Computer Aided Drafting and Design


The Computer Aided Drafting and Design AAS degree
is now available fully ONLINE!

About the Program

The Computer Aided Drafting and Design program offers opportunities for men and women to pursue a career in mechanical drafting. Graduates join engineering departments in a wide range of manufacturing, research and development disciplines and will have ample opportunity to apply their talents and skills in drafting and design.

Students will receive training in computer aided drafting on state-of-the-art equipment and will develop entry level drafting skills. Lab time provides hands-on training and is complemented with classroom work in such subjects as physics, strength of materials, math, computer-aided drafting, mechanisms, machine shop, welding, and more.

Students will learn:

  • AutoCAD
  • ASME standard practices
  • Basic drafting skills
  • Blueprint reading
  • Creo
  • Geometric  dimensioning and tolerancing
  • Industry software packages
  • Inventor Professional
  • Manufacturing processes
  • Solidworks
  • MasterCAM 3D machining software

Students can choose traditional instruction or online instruction, or any combination of both, and have a flexible schedule including some evening class sections. Because of the wide range of manufacturing-related programs on campus such as welding and machine tool, students learn about manufacturing processes and how they tie to mechanical drafting and design.

Drafting and Design is completely computerized. We work extensively with 3D parametric solid modeling. Software packages used include Pro/Engineer, Solidworks, Inventor and AutoCAD.  The Willmar campus program is the only Drafting program within the MnSCU system to have a high degree of integration and collaboration with a Welding program, giving students exposure to high-tech automated manufacturing processes such as robotic welding and programming.

Top students on both campuses have the opportunity to participate in a special projects interdisciplinary course. The course involves working with students from other manufacturing programs (Automated Systems, Machine Tool Trades, and Welding) to produce a working automated machine.


Students who enroll in the Computer Aided Drafting program are required to purchase a laptop computer with the following specifications.  


        Intel® Core i5 as a minimum. Core i7 suggested.  Intel ONLY, No AMD.
        BIOS must support virtualization
        Windows 7 with Service Pack 1, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1*
        8GB of RAM minimum
        500GB free hard disk space 
·              Discrete Graphics Card 

Mac OS

        Intel® Core i5 as a minimum. Core i7 suggested.
        Mac OS X v10.8, or v10.9
        8GB of RAM minimum
        500GB free hard disk space 
·              Discrete Graphics Card 

Required accessories

        Headset with microphone
        6’ Ethernet cable


Under no circumstances can there be less than 8GB of RAM.
BIOS must support virtualization. Most do today, but the student must verify.
Intel processor required for Android HAXM virtualization. AMD will NOT work.

Students are free to buy any laptop that meets the above requirements. The college does offer students the ability to purchase HP laptops at educational pricing through BusinessWare at this link.  Apple computers can be ordered through the Apple Educational store as a current students (Link).

BusinessWare Link: 

-  If students are looking for a different configuration, please contact Dan Kellerman directly at dank@businesswaresolutions.com or Direct Dial 320.455.9356.   Contact him for tracking information as well.
-  Students can change the quantity to 0 if they do not want the warranty uplift. Students can click on ‘update cart’ at the top of the page or just click the ‘place order’ button once they have changed the quantity.
-  Once students click on the ‘place order’ button, they will need to click on ‘click here to make a payment’ in order to pay with credit card.

Apple Link:  http://store.apple.com/us-hed ​


Ridgewater College is an equal opportunity employer and educator.