Drafting and Design (Computer Aided Drafting)

Our homes, the cars we drive, and the products we buy all begin with the art of drafting.  Drafting, known as the “language of industry”, is the process of drawing products through a graphic or picture language that can be understood by people worldwide.The Mechanical Design component of the program recognizes that today’s design tools differ from those of the past and offers students a program utilizing the latest 3-dimensional parametric modelers including “Solidworks.” Daily lectures teach the foundation of design principles. Then, students apply their knowledge to a curriculum-designed project that integrates real world applications. By the program’s completion, students are able to design a mechanical project, piece by piece, by creating 3D models of each component. The students will then assemble the parts and produce a “working drawing” of the model. The 3D model can then be emailed to a CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) machine in our onsite manufacturing lab to be built as a prototype. This systematic approach walks the students through the entire experience of design from concept to prototype and introduces the different roles that are integral to product design.  The Electro-Mechanical Drafting components of the program prepare students to understand the drawing procedures from schematic diagram to PC board. Students will learn to recognize basic electronic symbols and draw schematic diagrams using CAD (Computer Aided Design) programs.  The Architectural Drafting component of the program prepares technical drawings for residential and commercial projects. Their drawings and models provide visual guidelines, details and specific dimensions for the construction industry. A major part of the curriculum uses the latest parametric 3D design software to produce drawing plans, elevation, sections, and details. The curriculum also includes architectural styles and history, structural theories, code research, sketching, presentation drawings, and model building.

     Sample Job Titles: 

  • Architectural Drafter
  • Mechanical Drafter
  • CADD (Computer-Aided Design) Drafter
  • Civil Drafting Technician
  • Commercial Drafter
  • Electronics/Electrical Drafter
  • 3D Printing Technician
  • Digital Manufacturing TechnicianTechnical and Higher Education Majors:
    Architecture and related Services
  • Engineering Technology
  • Drafting and Design Technology
  • Civil Drafting
  • Civil Engineering
  • Interior Design
  • 3D Printing

        College and University Programs:

  • Boston University                                            Northeastern University
  • Wentworth Institute of Technology             Boston Architectural Center
  • Fitchburg State University                             UMASS Boston
  • North Shore Community College                  Bunker Hill Community College
  •  Middlesex Community College                     New England Institute of Technology

Certifications and Career Advancement:  The American Design Drafting Association (ADDA) has established a certification program for drafters. Individuals who wish to become certified must pass the Drafter Certification Test, administered periodically at ADDA-authorized sites. Applicants are tested on basic drafting concepts, such as geometric construction, working drawings, and architectural terms and standards.  Entry-level or junior drafters usually do routine work under close supervision. After gaining experience, they may become intermediate drafters and progress to more difficult work with less supervision. Drafters may eventually advance to senior drafter, designer, or supervisor.  With appropriate college degrees, drafters may go on to become engineering technicians, engineers, or architects.   Architects must graduate with a degree accredited by the National Architectural Accreditation Board (NAAB), complete the Intern Development Program (IDP), and pass exams given by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB).


Industry Affiliations:  SKILLS USA

Industry Certifications available in High School:  OSHA 10 Hour General Industry (OSHA G10), CAD Certification – Solidworks (have to go for it additionally), Certified Solidworks Associate (CSWA)  (have to go for it additionally)

College Credits toward post-secondary certifications/degrees can be earned through Articulation Agreements with:

College Course
Ben Franklin Institute of Tech. AR100/AR110 Architectural Graphics/Intro to CAD  7 cr.
 MA State Agreement w/MAVA/North Shore CC Intro to Drafting and Intro to CAD  3 cr.
New England Institute of Tech. ABT112 Technical Drafting and Graphic Comm  3 cr.
ABT114 Introduction to CAD – 4 cr.
ABT 115 Introduction to Structures – 2 cr.
Middlesex Community College CAD 101 Mechanical Drafting I and Lab (3
CAD 115 Introduction to Computer Aided
Design (3 credits)


GRADE 9 EXPLORATORY – COURSE #DDX    1.4 CREDITS ​The CAD design exploratory program introduces the students to today’s cutting edge design process. Students begin their week long experience with a design challenge.  Students design their own invention in a 3D mode which will be animated and tested for correct fit. When the animation is correct, students make working drawings with proper views and dimensions.

GRADE 9 SHOP – COURSE #DDXF-16    4 CREDITS  Students learn about drafting shop tools that are used in the professional drafting and design “shop” environment.  Emphasis is on basic drafting practices and principles. Daily lessons incorporate examples of using parametric CAD programs that 21st century professionals use to design the homes and products that we use today. The students experience the theories of drafting methods through both individual and group assignments.

GRADE 10 SHOP – COURSE #DD2     20 CREDITS   This course meshes the time-tested fundamentals of mechanical design with today’s most advanced design tools. Lesson topics include Introduction to Design, Sketching and Freehand Technical Design, Basic Geometric Construction, Solid Part Modeling, Assembly Modeling, Orthographic Projection/ Creating Working Drawings, Measurement, Sectional Views, Auxiliary Views, Electronic Drafting and Introduction to Rapid Prototyping. All topics are covered in an easy to understand sequence and delivered in a way that builds knowledge and confidence.

GRADE 10 RELATED – COURSE #DD2R     5 CREDITS   The purpose of this course is to present the theories behind the common practices used in the mechanical design field.  This course explains the “why” behind the “how to” that are learned in shop. Lessons are carefully planned to align with shop lessons and reinforce concepts necessary to master the skills. Daily lectures are offered in a discussion format.

GRADE 11 SHOP – COURSE #DD3    25 CREDITS   The purpose of this course is to focus the Drafting and Design student on a variety of architectural projects. The students use Chief Architect software program to develop plans, elevations, sections and details on a variety of residential and commercial projects. Students are introduced to architectural theory, layout sketching, building materials, structural requirements, architectural components and building code regulations. Students will be introduced to the following topics: one and two story house design, stair layout, roof design, site design, kitchen and bath design, accessibility regulations and code analysis, commercial design projects. The students are required to develop and maintain a presentation portfolio with all weekly projects including sketches, notes, CAD drawings and models.

GRADE 11 RELATED – COURSE #DD3R    5 CREDITS   The purpose of this course is to focus the Drafting and Design student on a variety of architectural concepts, theories and terminologies. The students are introduced to architectural theory, layout sketching, building materials, structural requirements, architectural components and building code regulations. Curriculum also includes one and two story house design, stair layout, roof design, site design, kitchen and bath design, accessibility regulations and code analysis, commercial design projects, plot plans, civil drafting concepts, surveying and mapping. Students are required to develop and maintain a journal complete with weekly assignments, handouts, sketches and notes.

GRADE 12 SHOP – COURSE #DD4    25 CREDITS   During their senior year, drafting students work on a variety of school approved community projects, larger commercial projects and larger residential projects. Seniors work on developing and practicing competencies that were learned duringtheir junior year. The students are required to complete and present their Junior/Senior project having earlier chosen

GRADE 12 RELATED – COURSE #DD4R   5 CREDITS  The Grade 12 related course curriculum engages students in areas of the state competencies that they have not yet experienced while reinforcing previously learned fundamentals. Emphasis is also placed on skills essential for successful completion of the Junior/Senior Project.

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