Mid Michigan College Computer Aided Drafting & Design (CADD) Program students can often be found learning while working on projects connected to local businesses or community members. Beth Curtis didn’t intend to study CADD, but soon found herself on a path toward a meaningful career.
"I took an Advanced Integrated Manufacturing course initially, but shortly thereafter I took a CADD course and Instructor Eric Sander's passion for the field inspired me to change my focus," shared Beth Curtis, a current CADD student from Harrison.
As Beth began to deepen her understanding of the CADD field, she quickly discovered 3D printing technology. Her first 3D printed project was inspired by her passion to care for and help others.
“Both of my grandmothers, who value their independence, were struggling with gripping silverware after several health issues. Not being able to be as independent as they were before was difficult for both of them," shared Beth. "I worked at an adult care facility previously and watching those residents and both of my grandmothers struggle to perform simple tasks like enjoying a meal, inspired me to re-engineer a utensil gripping tool as my 3D printing project."
Beth re-engineered the tool in SolidWorks, an industry standard software, previewed the printing process, developed prototypes, and perfected her design using Mid's 3D printers and PLA plastic. The material costs for the tool were just .96 cents, and she was able to successfully create a functional tool to help others grip silverware and writing utensils and improve their quality of life.
"I particularly enjoy the hums and chirps the 3D printers make while printing. It's almost as if the printers are letting you know your project is coming to life,” shared Curtis. "The CADD field offers so many possibilities and I still have a lot to learn, but I'm motivated to complete my degree and begin my career every time I hear a CADD graduate success story, which is often! In the near future I plan to complete my CADD associate degree and start a career at a local manufacturing company."
Mid students have found success in local industry—91% of students who have successfully completed the CADD Associate Degree have been hired as full-time professional CAD Designers or have transferred to a four-year college or university to pursue advanced degrees.
Registration for the Fall Semester is currently underway at Mid. Interested students can request additional information at midmich.edu, apply online at apply.midmich.edu, or contact Admissions at firstname.lastname@example.org or (989) 386-6661.