Fashion Design Classes: Learning to Use CAD

Fashion design schools teach students how to use Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software in order to prepare them to use the technology during their careers in a variety of fashion design disciplines. CAD software is a central piece of fashion design technology that helps fashion designers create, catalog, and present their designs. The software provides models of any size and shape in a virtual environment and provides the opportunity to design items that may not be possible in the realm of the real-world due to budget restrictions and material availability.

There are many types of CAD programs available to fashion designers, so classes typically focus on one specific brand. Alternatively, some fashion design schools offer multiple CAD brand training opportunities through a series of classes. Fashion design classes that teach students to leverage CAD technology is typically organized in a course schedule and expands many different classes; each with its own purpose and nd, focus in the use of computer-aided design.

Introductory classes are often lecture based and include a thorough review of the chosen software brand. Other introductory classes my use actual training by instructors, allowing students to grow accustomed to the software by using it directly during the CAD fashion design class. These classes usually incorporate aspects of the design program that allow a student to create basic patterns using virtual models, materials, prints, textures, trims, and other elements in the design. Using the software in relation to measurements and real pattern production is typically the focus of early CAD classes for fashion design students.

Advanced CAD classes teach advanced design methods and expand on the foundational knowledge learned in the introductory classes. Students may be required to recreate apparel they’ve designed in previous classes within the CAD system to better understand how to process works and how virtual designs may translate in real-world fabrication. Advanced classes typically involve aspects of data and file management, as well. For example, a presentable CAD portfolio may be a requirement of completing the design class.

Specialized classes that teach students on the advanced capabilities of the software are often part of the final stages in the course curriculum at fashion design schools. These classes may include advanced data management, web integration for online portfolios, detailing the specifications of a fashion design to polish the designer’s files and accumulated portfolio, and more.

Ultimately, fashion design classes in CAD concepts will typically culminate with a full electronic clothing line, presentation that originated in the software program, and the fabrication of designs created during CAD training.

Students may be required to purchase software or software licenses for CAD programs when entering these courses for the first time, though some students can avoid the purchase at this point in the program due to previous classes requiring CAD. Supporting documents and textbooks in the chosen CAD program may also be required purchases for students in this type of fashion design class.