What Is a CAD Engineer? What’s the Difference Between the Two?

With the expansion of the digital world, new and appealing jobs have appeared on the market in recent years, especially in the computer-aided design (CAD) design services industry.

This type of job, in particular various CAD roles, consists of using CAD technology, so you can increase the overall productivity of a designer, improve the quality of the design, and most importantly, efficiency because you can send it via the web.

The difference between a CAD designer and a CAD engineer is relatively simple once you understand the concept of both jobs. This article will go into detail about what they do.

Qualities of a Good CAD Designer 

Computer-aided design software is essential in modern CAD engineer projects because it is used to create plans for construction and fabrication. CAD designers are primarily responsible for creating these critical plans, taking cues from CAD engineers. They typically have at least an associate degree and certification from an accredited program.

Employers look for certain essential skills in CAD designer applicants in addition to the degree and certification. While technical abilities enable them to create plans and complete projects—teamwork, and other skills determine how well CAD engineers and designers succeed in both their job and their career.

Here are four essential skills for a CAD designer and CAD engineer to have.

Knowledge of the CAD Software

Employers will be looking for candidates who can use at least one popular computer-aided drafting program. AutoCAD and SolidWorks are two of the most popular among CAD engineers, but the actual software required depends on the industry in which a designer works.

Math Skills

Doesn’t the software do all the work for you? you may wonder. While this is mostly correct, you will still need to be proficient in some basic math skills. To create technical drawings, for example, you must be familiar with the Cartesian plane and be able to plot points on a two-axis graph.

While you don’t have to add numbers in your head, it would be useful to be able to look at a basic calculation and immediately tell if it is correct or incorrect.

Industry Knowledge

CAD designers must be familiar with the industry in which they work. CAD designers typically specialize in one area. They could work in manufacturing, civil engineering concepts, or infrastructure and it is critical to comprehend the materials that will be used in the final product as well as the manufacturing process.

Soft Skills  

CAD designers must have more than just computer and technical skills. They must have strong attention to detail and the ability to solve problems. Because teamwork is essential for successful engineering technology projects, it is also critical to have excellent communication skills, be flexible and adaptable, and collaborate well.

Choosing Good CAD Software 

Computer-aided design software is a technique for digitally creating 2D drawings and 3D models that have largely replaced manual drafting in a variety of industries. CAD tools enable designers to:

Explore design ideas

  • Easily modify designs
  • Visualize concepts through renderings
  • Simulate how a design performs in the real world
  • Draft documentation
  • Share designs for feedback, and much more

Facilitating innovation and allowing companies to get to market faster.

Types of Designs

A 3D master model serves as the foundation of 3D CAD and is used for all aspects of manufacturing, including product design and simulation, drafting, tool design, numerically controlled tool programming, and inspection.

Every component in your company’s products, as well as the relationships between them, must be accurately represented in the 3D model.

Take Designs from Concept to Manufacturing

Companies that design systems to order can benefit from software that automatically generates parts and assemblies based on the customer specifications. These tools can be general-purpose, such as configuration software, or they can be designed specifically for products such as mold assemblies and stamping dies.

Learning Curve 

Creating your own training materials is also expensive. Choose a system that includes built-in tutorials, computer-based training aids, and a vibrant online community where employees can ask questions and receive answers. You’ll also want a system that is taught in local schools and universities so that you can hire students who are prepared to work.

Support Access

The sale is only the beginning of a successful relationship with your CAD software dealer or mechanical design engineer. Purchase from a dealer who has the knowledge and experience to assist you in successfully integrating 3D design with manufacturing.

Good local support can mean the difference between an expensive new CAD technology implementation and one that advances your business objectives now and in the future.


A clear drawing reveals information that a 3D model does not, such as critical dimensions and tolerances, material and surface finish specifications—and notes about post-processing work such as heat treatment.

Make certain that any 3D CAD system you purchase can produce drawings that adhere to your current dimensions, tolerances, lettering, and parts lists. Also, ensure that your drawings can be exported in popular formats like PDF, DXF, and DWG.

Choose the Best 3D Laser Scanning Services

At Tangent Solutions, no job is too big or too small for our team when it comes to our 3D laser scanning services. Our 3D CAD engineer team is ready to make your big ideas a reality by creating a digital model for faster product development. Most projects can be scanned and returned the same day they arrive, minimizing disruptions to your production process.

Our 3D laser scanning services provide your team with access to the most advanced laser scanning equipment, utilizing the ideal tool for digitally reproducing tangible items seen in the real world—when accuracy and detail are critical for your design needs. Determine what options you have for your manufacturing process and leave the rest to us.

In general, a CAD designer creates the visual appearance of the project, while a CAD engineer develops the technical plans that support it. Because they can easily communicate with one another, both use CAD software to demonstrate their solutions and findings.

To learn more about how our laser 3D scanning solutions can help you, you may email us at contact@usetangent.com or contact our CAD design experts at Tangent Solutions today!

Sean Kepler

Sean is lead engineer with his previous career stemming from mechanical engineering, automotive dynamics, and aerospace. Pulling from real-world experience, he has over 15 years of experience as a designer and in fabrication. Before creating Tangent Solutions, Sean was the lead designer for many winning off-road race teams as well as mass-market production companies

what is a cad engineer
About Tangent Solutions

Tangent Solutions offers the latest in 3D scanning technology paired with 15 years of CAD design experience, to bring your ideas to reality. Our team specializes in reverse engineering, manufacturing, and data verification. 

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