It’s no secret that CAD tools are among the most complex pieces of software to learn and – perhaps most importantly – use effectively with intent. Unsurprisingly, learning these tools has been a brutal experience for many that can test even the most patient of learners and take them to their limits.

More recently, video sharing platforms including YouTube and Vimeo have enabled a new generation of content creators to create their own video tutorials using screen casting software such as Techsmith’s Camtasia.

While the majority of these videos have been immensely helpful in communicating complex processes, the nature and layout of these video sharing platforms have left much to be desired in establishing any sort of a structured learning path that’s free of advertisements and unrelated cat video suggestions.


In an effort to make the design education experience as seamless and accessible as possible, Autodesk is launching their innovative Autodesk Design Academy platform on iTunes U for users to take with them wherever they go. The iTunes U platform, which is designed to be a seamless way of organizing a classroom and sharing materials, allows educators and students to stay connected with lesson plans via an iPad.

YouTube video

To provide a diverse range of learning experiences, the Autodesk Design Academy will offer three types of content – exercises, projects and courses – for beginner through advanced skill levels. Additionally, every project will include a bundle of supplementary resources that are aimed at helping students not only learn the software, but also think like designers. Among other resources included with each project will be an interview with the designer who created the product for the project as well as insights into the industry using the skills that have been learned in the project.


Needless to say, the Academy is the most comprehensive and forward-thinking approach to learning 3D software that we’ve seen. Among other courses coming to the platform this Fall will include Fusion 360, Maya and Inventor, among others.


Stay tuned for our upcoming interview with Peggy Snyder, Director of Autodesk education to find out more about the long term plans of the Academy. In the meantime, head over to the platform to take a look.


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.