3D Modeling. The profession!

Something I have been thinking about lately is choosing a direction to pursue. I’m a decent-above average designer, but when it comes to working with Cad, I love it! I’m not entirely sure why, but when I work with cad, i feel very comfortable. Is it worth pursuing a Cad Jockey position as a set career? Should I continue to develop myself into a great designer? Its a tough call!

Are you a 3D modeler? What brought you to that line of work? Do you every regret not pursuing the intended education of Design? Where did the average/above average Cad Jockey start out? THanks!

Don’t settle for doing someone elses grunt work IMO. Not to say there aren’t a lot of talented CAD guys but thats all they do - and think of how you feel now vs how you’ll feel in 10 years if you’re still doing somebody elses surfacing.

I would say if you excel at CAD to use it to your advantage in developing a great portfolio of your own work as a designer. Theres a lot to be said for a designer who can think of a design in their head, sketch it on paper, and then execute it digitally and bring it to production. It means your design intent reaches mass production. The more times the work gets handed off, the more times the intent can get chewed up and spit out.

I don’t entirely agree.

In the end, companies hire specialists.

If a company needs a 3D modeler, then they want someone that is very comfortable and adept at 3D modeling - they don’t really care whether you can draw on a piece of paper, or whether you know all the witty-gritty tooling aspects involving plastic.

For small companies this is going to be less true, where all-round skills become much more important.

I for one like to do a lot of different stuff because I want to, it gets boring doing just one thing.
So in the end I say: do what feels right for you :slight_smile:

You love CAD? Then pump away my man. Pump away. So you can draw well, if you love solidworks more than life itself, go for it. Nothing like working doing what you love…

I have to agree with Cyber here. CAD is great and you may be good at it and see it as a great opportunity to do what you are good at, but if you project your career 5-10 years down the road you will see that you really do not have any where to go. CAD guys generally (not always) remain CAD guys their entire career. They don’t move into management role unless it is managing other CAD guys and once you get labeled as on it is very hard to break that mold. My suggestion is to find a job at a small firm where you use it in your process. Plenty of firms have IDers take care of setting up Solidworks databases. That being said I do not suggest giving this skill, as it is very important and valuable.

I would have to say that after a while being a CAD Jockey is a great learning experience but not a career. I have been doing CAD for nine months and I am always looking to take the reins on projects. To me CAD is a great starter position but the ceiling is much lower than most.

One thing to consider is that the people who know ‘how’ work for the people who know ‘why.’ A CAD career is fine if you prefer making something that someone else conceived and decided should exist (production modeling) more than you enjoy the the front-end journey of ‘why’ and ‘what’ (research + design). I remember that the reason I hated my Solidworks and Alias classes so much is I didn’t always get to design something I was personally invested in. When I have a personal or group project and I’m trying to translate cool discoveries and design ideas into a tangible realization of that initial work, THAT’s when I get excited. So, I couldn’t do CAD for a career, but if that’s your cup of tea, more power to you.

CAD is a lot of fun if you approach it from a design perspective. There are some insanely powerful tools in the better CAD programs that can be taken advantage of if you get creative.