Engineers - Reinvent Your Career with Robotics in the Next 90 Days
Consult with Experts in our Career Advancement Program for the Experienced Engineer & Tech Professional. Gain clarity & community. Apply Now!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest

Need Help Learning CAD? Try These 3 Online Courses

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase. Learn Robotics is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a way for websites to earn advertising revenues by advertising and linking to

Liz Miller Learn Robotics

Attention: Engineer Looking for a New Career in Robotics

Liz here 👋, Engineer,  Robotics Expert & founder of this website.

If I offered to help you advance your 6-Figure+ Robotics, Automation, or AI Career with a $10,000 sign-on bonus in the next 90 days or less…

…without wasting time on unnecessary certifications…
…without studying another coding language or tactic…
…without needing to get another degree and wasting years…

…would you take me up on that offer?

LIMITED SPACE: I have 6 more client spots open this week!

Want a spot? Click the button to access my 12-min training below and then apply if it makes sense.

There are a ton of options when it comes to creating 3D models, drawings, and mechanical engineering designs. And, if you’ve never worked in CAD, it can be a very intimidating process to learn.

In this article, we’ll explore the best online courses to help you accelerate your CAD modeling skills so that you can feel comfortable and confident in creating custom parts and working on 3D designs.

There’s a lot of content in this article, so be sure to bookmark this page for future reference!

But before we dive into which Computer-Aided Design (CAD) courses to take, what is CAD modeling?

SaleBestseller No. 1
Hidden Figures
$16.99 −$8.00 $8.99
SaleBestseller No. 2

What is Computer-Aided Design (CAD) modeling?

Computer-Aided Design or CAD modeling is the process of taking a 3D object and converting it into a digitized drawing using computer software.

It’s also how engineers communicate part dimensions, features, and specifications before the manufacturing process. Some CAD software tools also provide ways to test material properties and product integrity, which is helpful to ensure that the part meets all its intended requirements.

CAD modeling is especially important if you plan on getting into mechanical, electrical, and robotics engineering.

There are two common types of CAD modeling: 2D and 3D modeling. 2D modeling focuses on layouts, blueprints, and schematics. While 3D modeling is used to visualize parts in 3D space.

If you plan on getting into 3D printing, having some 3D CAD experience will allow you to modify existing files and generate custom designs.

3DConnexion 3DX-700059 Spacemouse Compact 3D Mouse
2-Year manufacturer's warranty

Where can I learn CAD Online?

There are a bunch of resources to learn CAD modeling online. Some of these courses are self-guided and learn at your own pace, while others have specific enrollment dates.

Be sure to sign up before the enrollment date to have the best experience in the course.

Let’s take a look at the best courses to learn CAD online in 2020.

1. Fusion 360 for Robotics

If CAD modeling is intimidating to you, and you’re trying to break into the mechanical design for the robotics field, then you’ll want to check out Fusion 360 for Robotics. This will teach you how to design full robotics assemblies including end-effectors (EoAT), robot arms, and mobile robots.

You’ll gain skills in generating custom 3D parts for robots, creating full-scale models, generating drawings, and more!

The digital guide with video demonstrations is offered 100% online through Learn Robotics. Buy Now.

How to draw robots using CAD and Fusion 360 online course

Details about the Course

This course uses Fusion 360 to teach students the fundamentals of CAD modeling with ties to robotics.

The project-based course includes video demonstrations on how to draft, model, and create custom industrial robot arms and mobile robots. If you’re looking for a way to go from zero or limited CAD modeling experience to feeling comfortable designing custom parts, modifying existing assemblies, generating engineering drawings, and prepping files for 3D printing, then you’ll want to check out this course.

Because the course is flexible, you can take as much time on the course as you need to. However, if you’re looking for a more advanced course on CAD modeling, or you need to learn a specific CAD modeling software (other than Fusion 360), then I recommend checking out the specialization below.

2. CAD and Digital Manufacturing Specialization

The CAD and Digital Manufacturing Specialization is offered on Coursera in conjunction with Autodesk. Through this specialization, you will learn the foundations of product innovation and digital manufacturing while developing your technical skills within Fusion 360.

Learn CAD modeling online CAD and Digital Manufacturing Specialization Coursera
Photo Credit: “Drone Skeletal Mesh” by is licensed under CC BY 4.0

There are five courses in the specialization that will take you roughly six months to complete. After completing the specialization, you’ll receive an Autodesk Credential, that comes with a digital badge and certificate, which you can add to your resume and share on social media platforms.

If you’re looking for a unique way to learn CAD as a way to skyrocket your professional development skills, then you’ll want to check out the CAD and Digital Manufacturing Specialization on Coursera.

Details about the Course

In this course, you’ll use Fusion 360 to design a drone for manufacturing. Unique, right?

Additionally, you can expect to learn how to connect projects in CAD, CAM, and CAE through a series of short exercises on 3D modeling, rendering, simulation, and computer-aided manufacturing.

How to Get Started

Duration6 months
Effort3 hours/wk
PriceFree with Coursera Plus $49 per month
Sign UpEnroll on Coursera

3. 3D CAD Fundamental

In the 3D CAD Fundamental course offered through Coursera, you’ll learn foundational skills in CAD modeling using SketchUp.

This course is designed for beginner learners who don’t have any experience using CAD. If you have intermediate or advanced CAD skills, I don’t recommend taking this course. (Fusion 360 for Robotics and the CAD Specialization, mentioned above, are better options for working professionals.)

3D CAD Fundamental course on Coursera how to model using SketchUp to learn CAD online
Photo Credit: “robot-screen1” by jcreed is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

However, if you’re looking for a free way to get started in CAD, SketchUp is a good “first” CAD program to use. And even though SketchUp isn’t widely used in many traditional engineering firms, it does offer a free platform to help individuals just get started.

Details about the Course

You don’t need any experience with 3D modeling for this course. I recommend taking this if you feel overwhelmed by hardcore engineering CAD software and want to ease your way into learning CAD modeling without feeling overly stressed about it.

Recent Course Reviews

Short videos. Practical examples and homework exercises. I recommend this course to every aspiring CAD user. It was worth my time. Thanks to the Instructor and Course Administrators.SN
Simply great course. Thank you, professors and their team, the university and Coursera!Anteneh G T

How to Get Started

Effort26 hours
Sign UpEnroll on Coursera

Where can I learn CAD Modeling Online for Free?

Just about all of the paid versions of the courses mentioned above have a free trial, free membership, or free version. If you’re looking for ways to learn without having to pay, and don’t mind limited access, minimal guidance, and fewer credentials, then a free course can get you started.

If you are using the course for career development or a promotion, it’s probably worth paying for the added certificate, specialization, or degree program.

While it might seem like a lot shelling out thousands of dollars, some companies have education allowances and the value of a salary increase could make it well worth the initial investment.

Just think about where a 5-10% promotion could land you! Especially if you’re the only person on staff with the ability to translate ideas into 3D renderings, engineering drawings, and CAD files.

Related: Popular 3D Printing Courses To Help You Get Started

CAD Modeling YouTube Channels

You can always go the traditional route and use YouTube and blog articles to learn more about CAD modeling. Some YouTube channels worth checking out are below:

While these resources are free, they require more dedication and patience and typically don’t provide the guidance that courses do. But they’re free and you can choose what you want to learn and when to learn it.

The biggest benefit to online courses is the ability to practice with projects and quizzes and to earn certificates that can be used for career advancement.

Related Courses You May Like

What CAD Software Should I use?

My favorite CAD software has been Fusion 360 from Autodesk because it’s easy to draft models and prep them for 3D printing later. However, depending on where you work and what software licenses you have access to, there are many CAD modeling options out there.

Here are a few popular choices for CAD software:

Depending on your budget, goals, and requirements, you may have to learn one or more CAD modeling software packages. The good news is that the principles of CAD modeling are the same no matter which software you end up using. The only differences are the shortcuts and workflows for creating models.

Ad: Subscribe to any Autodesk product for 3 years, and get 10% off

Which CAD Course will you take?

Are you thinking about taking an online CAD course? Which one are you considering? Be sure to let me know in the comments below!

Liz Miller Learn Robotics

Attention: Engineer Looking for a New Career in Robotics

Liz here 👋, Engineer,  Robotics Expert & founder of this website.

If I offered to help you advance your 6-Figure+ Robotics, Automation, or AI Career with a $10,000 sign-on bonus in the next 90 days or less…

…without wasting time on unnecessary certifications…
…without studying another coding language or tactic…
…without needing to get another degree and wasting years…

…would you take me up on that offer?

LIMITED SPACE: I have 6 more client spots open this week!

Want a spot? Click the button to access my 12-min training below and then apply if it makes sense.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Did this content help you? 🤖
...say thanks and send us a coffee!

Experience Engineers & Tech Pro’s:

Gain personalized guidance and direct mentorship from Liz in her Robotics Mentorship Program.

This 12-week professional advancement program will help you soar to the next level in your engineering career. My clients earn $100k+ with a $10k+ sign on bonus.

You’ll uncover strategies they *don’t* teach you in engineering school to help you earn more and live a meaningful life, all while working in high-impact robotics, automation, and AI roles.

Are you next? Check out the 12-min training I put together and then apply if it makes sense.


Learn Robotics helps self-starters, hobbyists, and tech professionals get started in the robotics industry. 

We leverage a simple formula to make it easy to gain highly marketable and high-value 6-figure robotics & automation skills. 

Learn Robotics was founded by Robotics Engineer, Liz Miller, and leverages the Robotics Success Equation, our unique methodology that helps people learn to build robots while enhancing their careers for the future.

liz's featured robotics PROJECT ON YOUTUBE

Learn Robotics Botly Favicon


Apply to Work with Liz in her Robotics Mentorship Program for Tech Professionals

Liz Miller Learn Robotics