Computer Aided Drafting and Design


The Computer Aided Drafting and Design AAS degree

is now available fully ONLINE!

Program Distinctions

  • CHOOSE traditional, online or any combination with FLEXIBLE schedules
  • Learn about MANUFACTURING PROCESSES and how they tie to mechanical drafting and design
  • Completely COMPUTERIZED
  • Benefit from a high degree of INTEGRATION and COLLABORATION with other programs like Welding, Automated & Robotic Systems, and Machine Tool Trades.

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, the 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 8.1
  • 8GB of RAM minimum
  • 500GB free hard disk space
  • 1GB, OpenGL 3.2 and DirectX 11 compliant, Discrete Graphics Card as a minimum. 2GB suggested.

Apple Macintosh

  • Intel® Core i5 as a minimum. Core i7 suggested. Intel Only.
  • Mac OS X v10.8 or greater
  • Windows 7 with Service Pack 1, Windows 8 or 8.1 - *Separate retail purchase. Windows will need to be boot-camped onto Apple Macintosh
  • 8GB of RAM minimum
  • 500GB free hard disk space
  • 1GB, OpenGL 3.2 and DirectX 11 compliant, Discrete Graphics Card as a minimum. 2GB suggested.

Required Accessories

  • Headset with microphone
  • 6’ Ethernet cable


  • AMD Processors may be used, but are not recommended by the college, and will not be supported by the College’s Computer Services Department.
  • Graphics Cards must support OpenGL 3.2 and DirectX 11 and have a minimum of 1GB of dedicated RAM. AMD or NVidia Graphics Cards are supported.
  • Computer Aided Drafting and Design software runs primarily on Windows. If you purchase an Apple Macintosh, you will need to purchase a supported retail copy of Microsoft Windows.
  • Any existing hardware you own will need to meet the minimum specifications listed above. You may refer to our CADD software vendors for more information on Supported Hardware.

o Mastercam -
o PTC -
o SolidWorks -

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 student (Link).

BusinessWare Link:

-  If students are looking for a different configuration, please contact Dan Kellerman directly at 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: 

Ridgewater College is an equal opportunity employer and educator.