Introduction to Mechanical CAD
4.5 (38 ratings)
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Introduction to Mechanical CAD

A comprehensive guide to designing 3D objects using DesignSpark Mechanical
Best Seller
4.5 (38 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
424 students enrolled
Last updated 8/2017
English [Auto-generated]
Current price: $10 Original price: $100 Discount: 90% off
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  • 7 hours on-demand video
  • 5 Articles
  • 6 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Use a calliper to measure an object and design for it in software
  • Use DesignSpark Mechanical to create 2D and 3D shapes and objects
  • Understand the 3D working space
  • Use geometric primitives like lines, circles and polygons to create complex objects
  • Moving single or complex shapes
  • Modifying the parameters of shapes
  • Extruding 3D objects from a 2D shape using the Pull command
  • Switching between 2D and 3D modes
  • Doing boolean operations with 3D objects
  • Filleting or rounding edges for a professional look
  • Chamfering solid and surface edges
  • Splitting objects
  • Using the shell tool
  • Versioning
  • Export a design for printing
  • Printing with an online service
  • Take a simple 3D design project from start to finish
View Curriculum
  • A Windows 10, 8 or 7 computer (or virtual machine)
  • DesignSpark Mechanical (free to download and use from RS Online)
  • A calliper for making precise measurements

Introduction to mechanical CAD is a course that will teach you how to create real-life objects that perfectly match your projects. 

Imagine that you have finished an awesome Arduino or Raspberry Pi gadget. It works great, but it sits on your desk, with wires exposed, buttons and other components poking of a breadboard. 

Wouldn't it be great to be able to design a custom enclosure of your gadget? An enclosure that perfectly matches the physical characteristics of your gadget, with its buttons, screen, switches, and openings for cables?

This course will show you exactly how to do this.

Using DesignSparck Mechanical from RS Components, the largest high-service distributor for engineers across Europe and Asia Pacific, this course will teach you basic mechanical design and CAD skills. With these skills, you will be able to create things that you can bring to life with your 3D printer, or through many online printing services like Shapeways and 3D Hubs.

In this course we assume that you are a complete beginner, with zero prior experience in mechanical design.

Step by step, we will teach you the terminology, design skills and CAD software know-how so that by the end of the course you will be able to create and bring to life your own designs.

The course starts by introducing you to the 3D workspace, looking at the basic DesignSpark Mechanical design features, and explaining how to use the calliper.

Then, we show you how to use 2-dimensional primitive shapes, like lines, circles and polygons, to create more complex shapes.

After that, we get into 3-dimensional space and start to create solids based on the 2-dimensional shapes we created earlier.

We help you consolidate this knowledge by walking you through a realistic design project. In this project, you learn how to create a typical Arduino gadget enclosure with all the expected typical features (like openings for cables, switches, and internal mounts for the board and its shields). We also show you how to properly export your design for printing, and even how to order a high-quality print from popular online services (so you don't even need a printer).

As with all the Tech Explorations courses, we are here to help you in this exciting learning journey. As a student of this course, you will have access to the Questions and Answers board and interact with the instructors. You can ask questions, and make comments or suggestions. We are love to talk CAD!

Who is the target audience?
  • Makers that want to learn how to create custom objects, like project boxes
  • Anyone interested in learning the basics of mechanical design using computer aided design software
  • People new to 3D printing
  • Anyone that already owns or considering buying a 3D printer
  • Anyone interested in prototyping new product ideas
Compare to Other CAD Software Courses
Curriculum For This Course
74 Lectures
Getting started with mechanical CAD
5 Lectures 30:40
What is this section about?

CAD terminology (document)

Basic shapes

How to use a calliper
Welcome to the interface
7 Lectures 13:26
What is this section about?

A review of the DesignSpark User interface, Part 1

A review of the DesignSpark User interface, Part 2

Saving your work and opening files

DesignSpark Mechanical quick reference card

An explanation of primitives (PDF document)

DesignSpark Mechanical Mouse Gestures Card
Making your first 2D sketch
10 Lectures 01:10:21
What is this section about?

The line tool

Ellipse and circle, Part 1

Ellipse and circle, Part 2

The rectangle tool

The three-point rectangle tool

The rectangle tools recap

Drawing shapes with lines

Drawing complex primitive shapes
Editing 2D Shapes
6 Lectures 31:36
What is this section about?

Moving shapes

Moving multiple shapes

Modifying parameters of shapes, Part 1

Modifying parameters of shapes, Part 2

Deleting primitives and the Undo function
Working in 3D/ From the ground up using the Pull Tool
12 Lectures 01:00:05
What is this section about?

Extruding using Pull, Part 1

Extruding using Pull, Part 2

Extruding using Pull, Part 3

Switching Between 3D and 2D

Boolean Operations

Filleting or Rounding Solid or Surface Edges

Chamfering Solid and Surface Edges, Part 1

Chamfering Solid and Surface Edges, Part 2

Moving Things Around

Plane and Split Body Tools

The Shell Tool
Making Your Own Electronics Project Box
25 Lectures 02:24:52
What is this section about?

Using Save as New Version to Save Revisions Save Incrementally, Part 1

Using Save as New Version to Save Revisions Save Incrementally, Part 2

Using Save as New Version to Save Revisions Save Incrementally, Part 3

Using Save as New Version to Save Revisions Save Incrementally, Part 4

The 2D Sketch and Pulling it into 3D

Creating and Moving a Plane to Cut your new Box

Filleting for a Professional Appearance

Separating the Top and Bottom halves

Hollowing the Box and Specifying Wall Thickness

Adding a Stepped Surface for Box Assembly

Measuring for Clearance Using a Calliper to Estimate Component Diameter

From the Outside In Importing and Moving CAD Files, Part 1

From the Outside In Importing and Moving CAD Files, Part 2

Using Basic Reverse Engineering Principles, Part 1

Using Basic Reverse Engineering Principles, Part 2

Add mount walls for the Arduino board

Create the top cover openings

Projecting a 2D sketch to a surface

Create a break in the wall

Cutting out holes in a solid


Offsetting, an alternative method

Add a USB port

Preparing for printing
Having your parts printed quickly
5 Lectures 47:07
3D Hubs


Assembling the project box

Attaching the toggle switch to the project box

Soldering the switch
2 Lectures 09:31
What did you learn in this course?

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About the Instructor
Peter Dalmaris
4.5 Average rating
5,047 Reviews
43,217 Students
15 Courses
Tech Explorer

Peter Dalmaris is an electronics hobbyist and Maker, creator of several online video courses on DIY electronics and author of three technical books. 

As a Chief Tech Explorer since 2013 at Tech Explorations, the company he founded in Sydney, Australia, Peter’s mission is to explore technology and help educate the world. 

A life-long learner, Peter’s core skill is in explaining difficult concepts through video and text. With over 15 years in tertiary teaching experience, Peter has developed a simple yet comprehensive style in teaching that students from all around the world appreciate. 

His passion for technology and in particular for the world of DIY open source hardware has been a powerful driver that has guided his own personal development and his work through Tech Explorations.

Peter’s current online courses have helped over 30,000 people from around the world to be better Makers. His video courses include:

* Arduino Step by Step: Your Complete Guide

* Advanced Arduino Boards and Tools

* Raspberry Pi: Full Stack

* Raspberry Pi: Make a Workbench Automation Computer

* Kicad Like a Pro

* The Electronics Workbench: A Setup Guide

* Arduino Fun: Make a High Tech Remote Controlled Car

* Beginning Arduino: Make a environment monitor system

Peter’s books are:

* Kicad Like a Pro: Learn the World’s Favourite Open Source PCB Electronic Design Automation tool

* Raspberry Pi: Full Stack: A whirlwind tour of full-stack web application development on the Raspberry Pi

* Arduino: a comprehensive starting up guide for complete beginners

Nick Christodoulou
4.5 Average rating
38 Reviews
424 Students
1 Course
CAD, RE, Rapid Prototyping, and CNC Machining Specialist

Meet Nick Christodoulou, our director of operations. He has experience across an array of disciplines including CAD and CAM systems, CFD and FEA Simulation Software, Object Scanning and Reverse Engineering, 3D Printing / Rapid Prototyping, and CNC Machining. Octane Motorsports, L.L.C. is a U.S. based company that was conceived with the goal of providing the collector and exotic car markets with quick turnaround services for one-off, hard to find parts.

Nick has been an avid explorer and maker since childhood. He would take apart radios, telephones, TV's, tape decks, and toys to study them and see how they worked. A large part of his personal inspiration stems from reading books about the life and many inventions of Nikola Tesla. He wishes to instill a similar drive and spirit of invention / making into others.

Nick is an expert in the field of Additive Manufacturing technology and has always found inspiration in the world of engineers, inventors, makers, manufacturers, and their products. He enjoys sharing his knowledge and experiences with others in the maker and engineering communities.

His hobbies include Amateur (Ham) Radio, configuring and tuning Engine Management Systems, designing and assembling Forced Induction systems, HPDE / Road Course Racing, Travel, RC craft, and Scuba Diving.