Softwares to learn prior joining ID


I’m joining MSc Integrated Product Design at Brunel University this sept. Since im actually a stranger to designing, i plan to do some fast track courses before leaving for UK. Can someone tell me which softwares i would need to learn that might be useful for me, as i dont want to go there and learn softwares.

Photoshop, Illustrator and at least one major CAD program (Pro/E, Solidworks, Alias, Rhino). A rendering program like Hypershot or Showcase is a good idea as well.

Which of the CAD programs would you consider best? Or mostly used in the industry?

I was thinking of learning photoshop , illustrator anyway. Can you tell me which would be the best / widely used CAD software which i can learn now. i was thinking mayB i should learn 3DS max too, as it has got a lot to do with 3D modelling etc. would it be of any use?

My list:

  1. Photoshop/illustrator
  2. Rhino
  3. Solidworks
  4. InDesign/Keynote/powerpoint

Programs I feel its important for me to learn:

wow thanks a lot. can i get more suggestions coming. judging bt the feedback i need to ditch 3ds max?


I think you’re going to be required to take CAD classes in that program anyway… though getting up to speed might still help. You might want to add “sketching” to you pre-MSc training

By the way OP, just wondering what made you decide to go for Brunel over other UK PD/ID uni courses? In particular as opposed to Loughborough?

If you have any opinions on the undergrad courses too I wouldn’t mind hearing your views.

Good luck by the way :wink:

Ditch the software at this point. Practise solving problems and visualizing solutions. You are much better off sketching, and putting up rough sketches. If you really want to learn software just Photoshop will do at this point. The guys I know who really got into CAD never really got beyond boundaries of the software limitations.

Bullshit. Learn Pro/E if you want the best CAD software, Solidworks is a good second choice. Both are widely used. Yes you should practice the things MasterBlaster talks about, but don’t listen to anyone who suggests NOT learning something as important as CAD. The sooner you start, the better you’ll be in the long run.

I disagree CDaisy. I would not recommend anyone start learning software BEFORE school. Why would someone learn something as complicated as ProE before college? In my era, 3d didn’t exist as much more than a few polygons in school, but the kids who were better in the shop had the same issues. They tended to design to what they could personally build instead of designing to the optimal solution.

sketching also seems to be a nice idea. thank you, but how do i actually learn / practice sketching. any tips? i’m actually a fresh off the over aspiring designer.

Nothing much, I have no idea about all the universities anyway, so i posted my question and everyone said Brunel’s the best out of my choices. I dint have a portfolio ready so i couldn’t apply for Loughborough, otherwise no other reasons. You seem to dislike Brunel in some sort. May i know the reason? It might be helpful for me. Undergrad courses too, look at the below thread , and various other threads under students and schools, nearly every school has been taken up for query.

Software for getting an ID job : as has been mentioned. IL,PS and either Pro E\ Solidworks \ Alias (Pro E is my personal preference)

Software prior to MSC (I am assuming it is only a year) Photoshop…

Skills prior to MSC : that dreaded over used term “design thinking”, sketching (still the most effcient means of conveying an idea) and maybe familarise yourself with a few manufacturing processes, there are some great books out there.

You’ll need CAD at somepoint and to be honest starting a software pacakge as complicated as CAD (especially Pro E and its unforgiving UI) is a little bit futile. I mention this because the learning curve will be huge and it is a lot easier to learn under instruction within a learning environment where there is a CAD lecturer at your finger tips to ask questions and show you solutions to huge number of problems you will come across. Also you’ll find yourself learning alot quicker when your modelling a project which is actually important (i.e masters final year project) because there is a need.

The other skills however require little instruction. Start training your mind to look at problems differently, train it to spot those previously undiscovered insights… when you’ve done this if you could elighten me that would great! :wink:

CAD is a wonderful tool, but with so many things to learn when first starting out IMO It is at the lower end of priority list as is alot of the software. CAD is useless if you have nothing to CAD up in the first place. . . . . .

(Sketching sites:, Sketch-a-day any books by scott robertson sketching by koos eissen ← a must Yo (Michael Di Tullo) as some great resources on his webste. Pick up a pen, grab some paper and sketch away!)

I’d get a book, something like Sketching by Koose Eissen and Roselien Steur. It covers the basics and has some nice sketching styles… There’s another thread on here about sketching books too.

Go through it and practice the fundamentals you see. Sketch every day and try to mimic good examples you find on the web and it will yield much improvement. Post stuff here if you feel thick skinned - people will be frank and tell you how you’re doing.

Cad is important, you should start working on that soon and Brunel does teach ProE, but sketching would be better now…

I was thinking i would do an intro to pro/E and solid works, for 2 months, because either way i have nothing else to do. Once i learn the intro, i needn’t be that annoying character who dint know anything and can learn as i progress in practicing.

ah! sketchme, If you were a hot babe , i’d make love to you all week. Thanks a lot for the reply, it was really worth it. You gave a lot of points which i was looking for, i have already started reading a book which i read in the forum previously “Design of everyday things” by David Norman, and i’m enjoying it. I have never really had a talent for art, but i guess i need to develop it now.

Thanks a lot for your reference , I’ll look it all up, and will start sketching. My goal is to be a top ID’er in India, where the whole idea is not yet fully established to a huge extent. It still a growing trend.