High school student looking for good cad resources/programs


Hello! I will be a Jr. this upcoming school year in high school, and would like to learn more about CAD over the summer. At the moment, I'm taking AP for my general education classes, and will not have room for a CAD class until my Sr. year. Can anyone recommend me good software/resources to use and learn for CAD? 

Jun 14, 19 9:43 am

Autodesk offers AutoCAD and Revit to students for free. The better question is what you intend to gain by trying to teach yourself this software. You’ll become familiar with the interface but you won’t really know how a building is built or how a set is put together. If you’re looking towards being an architect then it might be better to work on your sketching and learning how things are built than sort of but not really learning software.

Jun 14, 19 11:03 am

What are good resources to teach me these concepts? Should I follow up on buying architectural graphic standards or building constructed illustrated like Senjohnblutarsky said, or should I do something else?


Graphic Standards is expensive (there may be an abridged version), but Building Construction Illustrated is great, along with the other two books recommended by atelier nobody.


Well, to follow up on Steeplechase's point, you could get a copy of architectural graphic standards or building construction illustrated.  Replicate the details in there.  While you're replicating, make sure you're learning what each of the items you're drawing are.  

Jun 14, 19 11:25 am

Which book is more useful? One is $40 and the other is $130. With that said, are there any other books that are an important read for beginners like me?


buy used. One edition old (or even two) still gives you all the fundamental concepts you need. In fact, I would say the older the better as nothing much has changed in terms of gravity and the behaviour of water.


I bought a used copy of Building Construction Illustrated and ended up with a First Edition for like $4. I just love it.

atelier nobody

I've got 4 different editions of Graphic Standards that I stumbled on in used bookstores for cheap.


You could look for CAD classes at a local community college to take over the summer.  The one I took in my local town was very informative, gave me the basic commands, and how to setup a drawing.  We did basic drafting tasks like duplicating engineering drawings and a few floor plans.  

Jun 14, 19 11:31 am
atelier nobody

I would very strongly recommend learning hand drafting before CAD or BIM. In both CAD and BIM, there are settings you can tweak and drawing/modeling habits you can build to get the plotted output to look right, but if you've never had to do it with a pencil (or better yet a set of tech pens), you may not grasp what "right" is. (Also, if you progress in your architectural career, someday about 20 years from now it'll be your job to sketch things for more junior people to put into CAD/BIM, so having learned to use a pen will be a very valuable skill.)

The books I have found most useful are:

Jun 14, 19 1:08 pm

The best thing you could do is go get an internship at a firm. Find a few firms and hound them to hire you over the summer at minimum wage until one of them relents. You will learn more there making copies and helping build models than you could ever learn on the internet.

Jun 14, 19 1:47 pm

Thank you to everyone for putting me on the right path. I will be reading more about architecture through the books you guys recommended, and practicing my drawing skills for future classes. 

Jun 14, 19 3:51 pm

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