Inspired Innovation: AutoCAD Grad Applies Skills, Gets Big Results
For Kason Barron, seeing complex patterns and designs come to life on a canvas has always been a rewarding process. As a high school student, that canvas was a drawing notebook. Today, it’s AutoCAD, a sophisticated computer-aided drafting software application.
As a cost estimator for Thyssenkrupp Materials, Kason works with industries ranging from aerospace and automotive to oil and gas, airlines, and more. When the wholesale metal supplier began to focus more on how they could play a role in the end products their customers needed, AutoCAD helped make it happen, and Kason, with his AutoCAD knowledge, was poised to play a key role in that transition.
“What AutoCAD does is depict coordinates to create a shape, model, or design,” Kason says. “Once that product goes into production, it tells how to cut that part. We then process the product to a near net shape, or outline, of the final shape of the item.”
Kason’s job involves determining the cost of each near net shape.
“The right cost estimates, understanding the weight of the materials, and how long it will take to produce them — all of that starts with AutoCAD,” he says.
Though Kason was already familiar with AutoCAD, he wanted to understand the latest version thoroughly. When he came across our AutoCAD Advanced Certificate, it fit his needs and he was particularly impressed with the expertise of the instructor, Paul Black.
“I wasn’t looking to take a course that would go by the book and test me on the material,” he says. “I was looking for an instructor who has a career in AutoCAD and is seasoned in using the program. The instructor was very skilled with management features and was able to guide us in using them. The book gives the technical aspects of the software, but Paul’s experience made the difference.”
The Advanced level course is one of four certificates offered through the College of Professional Education, from Essentials all the way to AutoCAD 3D, the newest class just launched this spring. Kason calls the 3D functionality “noteworthy” in his line of work.
“AutoCAD 3D allows you versatility,” he explains. “When a design is headed into production, three dimensional representations can exploit each and every critical dimension of a part for the programmer to note and review within the final quality inspection of the product.”
Since completing AutoCAD Advanced, Kason is seeing results. Those results take the shape of everything from aircraft parts and armored vehicles to door hinges for the Tesla Model X and, one time, a cannon replica for a small business that does Civil War reenactments.
“My employer is most definitely pleased with my level of knowledge,” he said. “In a corporate environment, there’s only one thing that matters in training — results applied within the company. Everything I create in AutoCAD goes into production. I get excited every day I go to work. Creating a digital near-net production layout for a customer’s part, only to see it later in use on something as complex as a Boeing SB-1 Defiant is truly spectacular.”