Architecture and Engineering Programs
My 8th grade son is determined to become an engineer
or architect. What software program(s) do you recommend? He is after
AutoCad, but that seems a bit pricey at this stage. Is there an
introductory version or something that would prepare him to work with
There's a list of free CAD programs at
I've tried several of them. The one I use is CadStd
At this point, something like "Geometer's Sketchpad" might be more useful.
You can get a student version for $40 (see
Your son may also want to check out resources provided by the American
Society for Engineering Education (see http://www.engineeringk12.org/ for
their K-12 programs).
Todd Clark, Office of Science
US Department of Energy
CADD is computer aided drafting, I would not be rushing to that program.
Architects take a lot of free hand drawing and sketching is an essential.
Engineers should learn the principles of drafting, as most large companies
Have technicians do the drafting using CADD.
Drawing and drafting are tools of the trade, the essentials are the courses
To do the work. I was told by my grade school advisor some 50 + years age,
Engineers solve problems, architects also solve problems but deal more with
People, so I would use that as a start. I picked the engineering and it was
Less client/people oriented. Both architects and engineers work with
But the architects get a simplified course. But Architects get all the
That engineers do not get. You design houses for people so you have to know
What makes them tic, their desires etc. Engineers deal more with analysis
And understanding forces, stresses and strengths of materials, and since
All loads eventually are transferred into the soil, the engineer has those
The architect does not. The engineer works for the architect, trying to build
Hope this helps, study the child's interests, creative, problem solving,
The traits lead to the career.
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Update: June 2012