The purpose of this book and its companions, AutoCADA (R) 2002: A Building Approach, Book 1: Learning the Basics and AutoCADA (R) 2002: A Building Approach, Book 3: From Concept to Application, is to teach the fundamentals of AutoCADA (R) 2002 so you can easily make simple, professional engineering drawings.This book uses the following features to help you build the basic foundation needed to become a successful CAD operator: *Provides a true step-by-step approach that guides you through the learning process in a friendly and effective way *Teaches you one efficient method, instead of overwhelming you with multiple ways to do the same thing, so you can quickly become a productive CAD operator *Takes you from opening the AutoCADA (R) program for the first time to creating your own personal AutoCADA (R) template and using it to generate professional engineering drawings *Teaches you to use the basic drawing, editing, and text tools in an integrated approach that combines learning-related operations and commands together to make them easier to remember *Uses practical, real-world assignments in which you apply the concepts you learned to projects that new CAD operators could expect to see in their jobs
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Terry Metz combines 21 years of practical engineering experience (working as a drafter, application specialist, sales engineer, and engineering consultant) with 12 years of current teaching experience (responsible for both the AutoCAD® and mechanical engineering programs at a two-year technical college) to provide a sound educational approach to learning AutoCAD®.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
The purpose of this book and its companions, Auto CAD 2002: A Building Approach, Book 1: Learning the Basics and AutoCAD 2002: A Building Approach, Book 3: From Concept to Application, is to teach the fundamentals of AutoCAD 2002 so that you can make simple, but professional engineering drawings.
This book builds on the concepts and skills learned in the first two books and will take you from learning how to draw auxiliary and section views to making and using your own personal drawing template complete with title block, general notes, and bill of materials that you will use for the final project at the end of this book. Other topics covered in this book include blocks and attributes, other linetypes, and externally referenced drawings. To give you "real-world" practice, there are Applying the Concepts exercises at the end of most of the modules, and a Final Project at the end of the book.
Instead of showing you the myriad commands available in AutoCAD 2002, this book continues to teach you the most efficient methods of using the AutoCAD program. It focuses on using the toolbars to access most of the drawing and editing tools. By learning to identify and use the buttons on the toolbars, you will find yourself quickly becoming proficient at making simple drawings.
To the student
The step-by-step approach used in this book guides you through the learning process and teaches you how to use the AutoCAD program. But you must be careful when using this learning method. It is very easy to fall into the habit of doing the "mechanical" steps as outlined without engaging your brain so that you learn from the steps you are doing. You must always know both what you are doing in each step and why. As you progress through each step, check it off; and as you check it off, ask yourself whether you understand why you did what you did. If not, figure out why. When checking the boxes, use a pencil so you can erase and do the step over if you do not truly understand the "why."
If you get lost in a section, go back to the beginning of that section and try again. I have always felt that the most important button on any software program is the UNDO button. It allows you to back up one step at a time and correct your mistakes without starting over entirely. The person who developed this button understood that mistakes will be made, and that deleting everything and starting at the very beginning is not very efficient. Don't be afraid to use UNDO to back up a few steps and do them over again so that you learn from the experience.
This book does not provide you with every single feature in AutoCAD. You should purchase a small reference guide to the software and keep it handy to look up other ways of doing things or new things that you would like to do. AutoCAD also provides you with immediate help, from Help buttons inside dialog boxes that describe the features of those boxes to selecting the F1 function key to open AutoCAD 2002's extensive user documentation that will help you with every facet of the program.
I also encourage you to "play" with the software. Try to learn things on your own. Explore new ways to speed up your work. CAD operators in industry are paid both for applying their technical knowledge to engineering design and on how productive they are at using the program. As with most learned skills, the more you practice the better you become. This book is not intended to teach engineering design; however, it will teach you the basics of AutoCAD that will help you to become proficient at using this software. You can then build on the basic foundation these books provide.
To the instructor
Although this is a first edition, it is far from being an untested text. The methods used in this book have been used for years in various educational settings. The modules in this book have been classroom tested with good success over the past two years by me and other regular and adjunct faculty at Marion Technical College.
The methods of step-by-step learning fit well for teaching software programs, since students progress at different rates. During a lecture students who fall behind can become frustrated and may give up listening, hoping to figure it out later. Students who pick up things quickly may start exploring other features or jump ahead, and although exploration is an excellent way to learn, these students may tune out the instructor and miss some important point the instructor is trying to make. The rest of the students who are following the instructor are busy refocusing their attention from the instructor to the computer, to the instructor, and back to the computer over and over again. This is a very inefficient way to learn something as complicated as a software program.
Students are often forced to purchase textbooks with lengthy discussions on sometimes trivial topics that they quickly forget as soon as the course or exam is over. Most students do not read the assigned portions of their textbooks. Instead, they tend to learn by looking at the examples in the book or figuring out how to do things or how to solve problems on their own. In short, students learn best by doing.
Moreover, you cannot learn to operate a software program by simply reading a book. Often while traveling without computer access, I have taken along a text or manual hoping to learn how to operate a particular new software program. It was a waste of time. Without hands-on interaction with the computer, learning does not take place.
This is why I decided to try the step-by-step approach in my classes. All the students read the book; they have to because it is the only way they know what to do next. I usually give a short introductory lecture at the beginning of each class with the computers off so that I have the students' attention. Then, the students start working on their own, and I offer help when someone is having problems. If someone finishes work early, I challenge him or her with additional tasks. I always encourage the students to "play" with the program and try to discover other features or ways of doing things on their own. I never allow students to rush through a module or assignment as there is a chance that they did the "mechanical" steps, but they did not learn the "why." So this text does not eliminate the instructor; instead, it frees the instructor to spend time helping those students who need help.
In addition to its use in the classroom, this series of books is also appropriate for distance learning. Students can purchase the student edition of AutoCAD, install it on a personal computer, and complete the activities at home or work. Drawings can then be transferred through e-mail between student and instructor. If your school does not currently have a distance learning course in AutoCAD, this may be an excellent and cost-efficient way to get one started.
No textbook is perfectly laid out the way an instructor would like to teach the material. This book, along with its companions, provides flexibility by using a modularized approach. The modularized approach allows you to assign modules or activities in the order you prefer. This series of books could also be used for business and industry training. Companies can determine what skills their employees need and then use the modules and activities to provide training in those particular areas.
About the Instructor's Manual
I have included assignments with the activities in this book. They provide a good basic foundation for someone learning AutoCAD because they allow students to practice the skills they learned in the modules and activities. In my classes I always supplement these assignments with additional assignments that I hand out on a weekly basis. This allows me to control the pace of the class and keep students from rushing ahead. I usually require students to pass a quiz on the previous module before they get the next set of assignments. This allows me to adjust the number of additional assignments for a particular class, since some classes just seem to progress slower than others, while maximizing the number of assignments the students complete. I have included the additional assignments I use on the CD-ROM that is provided with the instructor's manual. You can print these supplemental assignments and use them in your class as you wish.
The CD-ROM provided with the instructor's manual also contains keys to all the assigned drawings, in both the book and the supplemental assignments in the instructor's manual, in .dwg format. You can plot these drawings and use them to check student assignments. I usually make transparencies of these drawings so I can overlay them on students' drawings to check for mistakes and to verify that they are to scale.
The manual also contains syllabi for both quarter and semester systems.
To all users of this book
I welcome all comments and suggestions that will improve these books. As a teacher, I am always looking for new ways to help students learn. Therefore, any suggestions that can help students will be included in future releases.
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