Surry Community College is now offering a
diploma as well as a certificate in Engineering Design, which can lead to a career in architecture,
civil engineering, and manufacturing. The certificate program only requires six
classes whereas the diploma program includes 15 classes. High school juniors and seniors can take Engineering
Design classes tuition-free through the Career & College Promise dual enrollment program. Hello, my name is Scott Lester, and I am the
Instructor for Engineering Design Technology. This is a program that prepares students for
a field in drafting, engineering or architectural fields. Companies need drafters because there is a
shortage of people who have these skills currently in the job market. Drafters are the engineers’ and architects’
workhorses. Students who also want to become an engineer
or architect should take these classes as a stepping stone. Surry’s Engineering Design program classes
including Technical Drafting, Computer Aided Drafting or CAD, Solid Modeling and Machine
Processes. We use the latest industry standard software
including Solid Edge, Solid Works, and AutoCad. The Engineering Design Technology program
prepares students to apply technical skills and use advanced computer software and hardware
to create working drawings, graphic representations and computer simulations for mechanical and
industrial designs. The program has four printers on site ranging
from desktop Makerbot printers to the commercial style printer. Students learn about the latest technology
in stereolithography, which is another word for 3D printing. We learn about the best methods for printing
– proper fit and function of parts so that they go together after being printed. The classes consist of a variety of board
work using pencils and paper like they used to do 20, 30 years ago and then we move on
up until we get into AutoCAD or 3D type drafting using the computer. And then, from there we transition into 3D
modeling and we create 3D models of objects whether it’s machine parts, cast parts,
plastic injected molded parts. And from there, we will actually create working
drawings that would be ready for manufacturing. One of the most exciting ideas about this
program is that you get an idea in your head. You draw it on paper, pass it on to a computer,
create it in 3D and even create machining drawings for the machinists to produce a finished
product. There’s this project we did in the Solid
Works class, which is Drafting 154. This right here is a pipe vice. This program right here it allows you to get
a design together, put it in 3D and then from that 3D model, you create a drawing. Those drawings are used in the machining shop. So, you hand those drawings to the machinist,
and the machinists creates each part of out metal or whatever material you are using,
and they physically assemble the whole part together. It is very helpful to taking machining classes
mainly because you see both parts of designing and creating a product. When you are in the design class obviously
you are designing a part. However, whenever you are machining, you get
that drawing and you implement the design knowledge into machine that you are actually
going to cut parts from. Taking drafting classes in high school were
very helpful. That’s how I actually kind of got hooked
onto doing this program. It also allowed me to get college credit through
that program, and it was really fun. It was really fun. I do plan on seeking further education in
this field, possibly a degree in Mechanical Engineering. I would recommend Surry Community College
to anybody and everybody who’s interested in this engineering program…The instructors
here are very helpful. They are patient with their students. They guide you through every single problem
that you have in order for you to reach your educational goals. I have always wanted to know how to draw this
stuff. I like artistic endeavors because I was a
map maker and a webmaster for many years. I never learned how to do CAD, and I have
a lot of inventions locked inside my head that I would like to see out in the real world. And, in the past creating a prototype of these
things was prohibitively expensive for someone that just went to work for a living every
day, but now if you can draw them in the computer in 3D, you can print them out on a 3D printer
and you can have a prototype in a few hours, and that is what is most interesting to me
about the thing. CAD is used for so many things…So if you
are in the construction trade industry, you would be using CAD to do building plans. If you are a mechanical designer, you would
use CAD to design mechanical objects like toasters or valves or something like that. If you are in the electrical trades, you are
going to use CAD for electrical schematic diagrams and that would hold true if you are
in the computer engineering field. PC boards are drawn in CAD now…Engineering
drawing is sort of like the language of building things. So if you want to or if you have ideas about
how to build something different from what you see today or you are creative in that
way and you want to have your ideas put into the marketplace then you are probably going
to have to learn how to draw engineering drawings or you are going to have to hire someone to
draw your ideas for you. Students can earn a certificate or diploma
in Engineering Design Technology at Surry Community College and then qualify for a variety
of jobs in mechanical areas such as manufacturing, fabrication, research and development and
service industries. Job titles include mechanical drafter, designer,
CAD designer and project designer, which pay around $35,000 per year on average for those
beginning their careers. For more information, go to www.surry.edu
or follow the program on Facebook @sccengineering.