Highgrove Education

Introduction to Computer Aided Design (CAD)

This course will introduce you to the fundamental principles and techniques of using Computer Aided Design. We will be using Design Thinking techniques to find and solve problems applying CAD skills like 3D modelling, developing and testing circuits, using Micro:bits and Arduinos and using simulation tools to carry out virtual testing and optimise designs. We will explore the relationship between CAD and CAM (Computer Aided Manufacture) and design parts that can be 3D printed and laser cut. This course will provide a foundation if you want to develop your CAD skills in later Electives using parametric design software. 

Key Information



Access Course Enrolment:
  • Enrolment in our pre-GCSE or pre-A level access course.
  • Access to our self-study materials and platform, live class lessons, and individual teacher support in Office Hours.
  • Weekly teacher-marked homework.
  • Half termly reports.
  • Support from our SENDCo for pupils with special educational needs or disabilities, including assessment for access arrangement entitlement.
  • Support with English for pupils whose first language is not English.
  • A Highgrove Education Office365 account, including Teams, SharePoint and a school email
TeacherMr Edward Charlwood, CAD Tutor
Course Length10 weeks
Live LessonsOne 45-minute lesson per week
HomeworkApproximately 45 minutes a week
Entry RequirementsNone 

Course Syllabus

Lesson 1Introduction to CAD
Lesson 2Mastering 3D Design tools 1
Lesson 3Design Thinking: reverse engineering
Lesson 4Mastering 3D Design tools 2
Lesson 5Design Thinking: empathy mapping 
Lesson 6Simulation 
Lesson 7Circuit design and testing
Lesson 8Design for 3D printing and laser cutting
Lesson 9Design Optimisation
Lesson 10Design Constraints and variables

Teacher Profile

Mr Charlwood has taught D&T, Engineering and STEM for almost 2 decades at schools including Latymer Upper and Nottingham High. Mr Charlwood has a BSc in Engineering Product Design and a PGCE with Cambridge University. He is a keen advocate for the enabling power of CAD and CAM technologies to design and implement solutions that solve real-life problems. He serves on the Tinkercad Advisory Board, as an Onshape Ambassador and works as an Autodesk Academic Partner.