Mechanical Design / CAD

Mechanical design and computer-aided design (CAD) are essential skills for creating three-dimensional models used to make prototypes for consumer products, tools and machinery. This field requires a unique mix of imagination, creativity, and problem-solving skills, and can lead to a variety of in-demand careers in industrial design, engineering, and general technologies.

At Oakton Community College, we offer a first-rate Mechanical Design/CAD program. We offer an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree and several certificates.

Our courses are designed to educate you in computer-aided design and mechanical prototyping and simulation techniques. You will learn about the core principles of this field as well as get the chance to perform lab-based digital manufacturing work. You'll also receive training to stay current with the latest technology, trends and in-demand skills of this challenging and rewarding industry.

With classes meeting in state-of-the-art labs on our campuses, you will gain hands-on practical experience with equipment and software comparable to what's used in real-life industry settings, including Autodesk, Revit, SolidWorks and MasterCam. "Our lab equipment includes three-dimensional printers, Laser cutters, and computer-controlled prototyping equipment.

Degrees and Certificates

We offer a number of different paths for you if you want to study mechanical design and CAD.

The A.A.S. degree in mechanical design/CAD technology requires a total of 60 credit hours, including 42 in the major area and 18 general education requirements. The curriculum focuses on preparing you for job positions in mechanical design, architectural design, interior design and building information management.

The Mechanical Design Certificate requires a total of 30 credit hours and covers a concentrated area of mechanical design/CAD courses like the A.A.S. but without the general education requirements.

After completing this degree or certificate, you will be qualified to:

  • Evaluate mechanical designs and select the proper process and materials for production.
  • Create 2D and 3D computer drawings and models for manufacturing and prototyping.
  • Evaluate computer-aided design models and assemblies based on critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  • Collaborate with people of diverse backgrounds and abilities and develop solutions through group work.
  • Communicate and present ideas and solutions to design problems.

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The Computer-Aided Design Certificate requires 11 credit hours. This curriculum prepares you for CAD drafting jobs using AutoCAD software. You will develop proficiency in drawing setup and drafting techniques for mechanical and architectural applications as well as general design fundamentals using CAD. You'll be prepared to work in job roles including mechanical draftsperson, architectural draftsperson and general design draftsperson.

After completing this certificate, you will be qualified to:

  • Create 2D and 3D computer drawings and models for manufacturing and prototyping using AutoCAD.
  • Evaluate computer-aided design models and assemblies based on critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

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The Industrial Design Engineering Certificate consists of 14 credit hours. This curriculum prepares you for CAD drafting positions using parametric modeling software (like Solidworks and Inventor) and 3D print computer models. You will develop proficiency in 3D Computer modeling and 2D drafting and annotation of part drawing techniques for manufacturing. With this certificate, you can pursue careers such as industrial draftsperson, 3D Print technician or mechanical designer.

After completing this certificate, you will be qualified to:

  • Create 2D drawings and 3D computer models for manufacturing and prototyping using parametric software.
  • Create prototypes using a 3D printer.
  • Evaluate computer-aided design models and assemblies based on critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  • Develop and present designs and prototypes.
  • Create prototypes using 3D printers.

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The CAD Interior Design Certificate consists of 8 credit hours. It prepares you for CAD drafting positions tailored to Interior Design using AutoCAD for 2D and 3D design and drafting. You'll learn to create floorplans and elevation drawings using AutoCAD and create 3D computer models of interior floorplans. Possible job positions include CAD draftsperson and interior detail draftsperson.

After completing this certificate, you will be qualified to:

  • Create 2D drawings and 3D models for interior design applications using AutoCAD.
  • Evaluate computer-aided design drawings based on critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  • Develop a solution through group work
  • Present interior design solution.

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The Solidworks Certificate consists of 12 credit hours. It will help prepare you for CAD design and drafting jobs using Solidworks Parametric Modeling software. (Solidworks is used by manufacturing and engineering companies to design parts and assemblies and to analyze their functions using computer engineering techniques.) Possible job positions include mechanical draftsperson and industrial designer.

After completing this certificate, you will be qualified to:

  • Create parametric 3D models to design and build mechanical parts and assemblies.
  • Evaluate computer models based on critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  • Apply parametric modeling to manufacturing and engineering concepts.
  • Setup sheets for plotting with text, dimensions, and details.

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The General Design Certificate consists of 17 credit hours and prepares you for general drafting positions using a variety of CAD software like AutoCAD, Inventor, Revit, and Solidworks to design 2D and 3D CAD models and detail drawings. Possible job positions include CAD draftsperson and general CAD designer.

After completing this certificate, you will be qualified to:

  • Create 2D drawings and 3D models for a variety of applications including architectural, interior design and building information modeling applications.
  • Evaluate computer-aided design models based on critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  • Develop and present designs and prototypes.

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The Revit Building Information Modeling Certificate consists of 12 credit hours. This curriculum prepares you for CAD design and drafting positions using Building Information Modeling (BIM). (BIM is an intelligent 3D model-based process that gives architecture, engineering and construction professionals the insight and tools to more efficiently plan, design, construct and manage buildings and infrastructure. Possible job positions with this certificate include building information modeler, architectural draftsperson and interior draftsperson.

  • Create parametric 3D models to design, build and maintain higher-quality buildings.
  • Evaluate building information models based on critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  • Identify the purpose of BIM and how it is applied.
  • Creating a 3D building model with walls, curtain walls, windows and doors.
  • Set up sheets for plotting with text, dimensions, details, tags and schedules.

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Job Outlook

Potential Careers

  • Mechanical Designers
  • Plant Designers
  • Mechanical Drafters
  • CAD Technicians
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Meet Your Faculty and Experts

Joseph Cirone, Chair
Chair, Mechanical Design/CAD, Manufacturing
Professor, Mechanical Design/CAD
 and Computer Networking
B.S. Northern Illinois University
M.S. Northern Illinois University
jcirone@oakton.edu
847.376.7612
Office: P131, Skokie

Boguslaw Zapal
Associate Professor of Manufacturing and
Coordinator of 
CAD/Mechanical Design and Manufacturing
A.A.S. Oakton Community College
B.S. University of Rzeszow, Poland
M.S. University of Rzeszow, Poland

bzapal@oakton.edu
847.376.7707
Office: P135, Skokie

Joseph J. Kotowski
Professor, Mechanical Design/CAD and Mathematics
Chair, Engineering Department

B.S. University of Illinois
M.A. DePaul University
M.S. Northwestern University
koto@oakton.edu
847.635.1268
Office: B231, Skokie

Ken Albert
Teacher – Industrial Arts
Niles North High School

Keith Cahill
Director of Operations
ITW Signode Service Business

Greg Korack
Unit Leader
Avon Products, Inc.

Richard Leopold
RIGHTech Fabrications

Gregory Turnowski
Engineer
Woodward

Timothy Hipp
Manager-Manufacturing Engineering Manufacturing Technology
U.S. Fabrication
S&C Electric Company

Nycolle Shuta
HR Manager
Nu-Way Industries (Precision Metal Products)

Jim Fitch
VP of Engineering
Nu-Way Industries (Precision Metal Products)

Steve Elliott
New Product Development
Nu-Way Industries (Precision Metal Products)

Bill Barkules
ADA Metal Products, INC

Tony Gemingani
General Manager
MAU Co. , R.F.

Howard Goldstein
Stonecutters, INC

Bill Jones
Engineerin Mgr
Signode Engineered Products, INC

Cliff Anderson
Engineering
Chicago Dial Indicator Co. Inc.

Maureen Calvo
Human Resources
Juno Lighting, LLC

Lynn Wesley
Human Resources
ITW Fastex Engineered Solutions

Gloria Kapica
Human Resources
United Displaycraft, INC.

Stephanie Coleman
Human Resources
Federal Mogul Sealing Systems

Ron Worth
Principle
Flashcut CNC

Jonathan Lawrence
Manufacturing Instructor
Evanston Township High School

Hank Ofenlock
Tempel Steel

Anthony Stulpinas
Tempel Steel

Ken Johnson
Tempel Steel

Chris Sikora
Associate Professor Computer Aided Design
Elgin Community College

Michael Cotton
Marketing Manager
OSG Tap & Die Inc.

Keiko Mimuro
Marketing Specialist
OSG Tap & Die Inc.

Olya Koteva
Manufacturing Engineer
John Crane Inc.

Richard Leopold
RIGHTech Fabrications

Steven J. Huy
President
Ultra-Metric Tool Co.

Martha Eldredge Stark
NSERVE

What's Next?

We are glad you are considering attending Oakton Community College. No matter where you are in your decision-making process, we are here to help you with your next steps. Whether you're ready to apply now, need information on paying for college or have questions and want to contact someone, we're here to help.

Contact Us

Joseph Cirone
Department Chair
847.376.7612
jcirone@oakton.edu

Boguslaw Zapal
Coordinator
847.376.7707
bzapal@oakton.edu.